Police identify persons of interest in the killing of Nueva Ecija priest

 

Using an artist’s sketch, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified the suspects in the murder of a priest in Nueva Ecija.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde visited the wake of slain priest, Father Richmond Nilo on Tuesday, June 12, where he spoke with other priests to hear their concerns and find out what can be done to help them.

Authorities have presented an artist’s sketch of the suspect based on descriptions of witnesses and the CCTV footage.

However, the PNP provincial director has requested to hold off the release of the sketch to the public.

“Humihingi ng two days ang ating imbestigador especially yung provincial director na kung makuha yung persons of interest dito. Kung hindi naman, then we will publish yung nakuha nating mga artist’s sketch para makatulong yung ating mga kababayan para ma-identify ng malapit yung mga persons of interests natin,” Albayalde said.

(Our investigators, especially the provincial director, are requesting for two days to find the persons of interest. If they fail to locate them, then we will publish the artist’s sketch so that the public can help identify the persons of interest.)

Even though they have yet to find out the exact motive for the killing, police are looking at three possible angles.

“Isa is, makatulong sa pagtulong nga sa mga na molestya na mga bata; pangalawa yung of course alam naman natin na talagang masigasig na kritiko  itong ating  si Father Nilo sa ibang sekta o ibang religious group; and of course yung isa is, sa lupa.  Meron siyang tinutulungan na mga nagkaka problema sa lupa. So yon yong tinitignan nating anggulo dito,” said the PNP chief.

(One angle is connected with his advocacy of helping molested children. Another angle may be related to his reputation as a staunch critic of other religious groups.  A third possibility may have something to do with a land dispute. He’s been helping someone with property issues. So those are the possible angles we are looking into.)

Despite considering the case as an isolated one, the PNP chief assured protection for members of the clergy especially those whose lives are under threat.

Meanwhile, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) called for the restoration of the death penalty due to the series of killings involving guns for hire.

“PNP should take steps, initiatives, police intervention, to stop itong cottage industry na bago, which is itong gun for hire (to stop this cottage industry which is the gun-for-hire),” VACC spokesperson Arsenio Evangelista said.

“Kulang nalang dito ay irehistro nila sa Securities and Exchange Commission as a cottage industry.  Alam po niyo we support the war on drugs but then I’m calling on the PNP, we are calling on the PNP to address this co-equal major crime threat sa ating bansa which is gun for hire,”  he added.

(These guns-for-hire are just a few steps short of registering their “trade” at the Securities and Exchange Commission as a cottage industry.  You know, we support the war on drugs, but then I’m calling on the PNP, we are calling on the PNP to address this co-equal major crime threat to the country which is gun for hire.)

Father Richmond Nilo was shot by gunmen riding in tandem while conducting mass at a church in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija. — Danny Munar | UNTV News & Rescue

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