PNP: Prime suspect in Father Nilo’s murder not a ‘fall guy’
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde on Monday assured the public that the prime suspect arrested for the murder of Fr. Richmond Nilo is not a fall guy based on the account of one of the witnesses.
Albayalde said the witness, an altar boy, allegedly saw Adell Roll Milan gun down Nilo as he was preparing for Mass at Barangay Mayamot chapel at Zaragosa town in Nueva Ecija at around 6 p.m. on June 10.
The police chief said authorities did not rush solving the case merely out of public pressure.
“Number one, we can assure the public na hindi kagagawan ng PNP na gagawing fall guy si Milan kasi yung bata na nagturo sa kanya yung altar server ay hawak ‘yan ng pari,” Albayalde said in a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
(Number one, we can assure the public that it is not the work of the PNP to tag Milan as a fall guy because the boy who identified him was an alter server and has been under the custody of the priests.)
He said the boy had identified the suspect thrice in a rogue gallery and even cried when he saw the photo of the gunman, who allegedly shot the priest through the chapel’s window.
“Then pinaulit-ulit at tinanong sa kanya sa pari na sigurado ba siya dahil konsensya niya ‘yan and he said yes ‘yun ang bumaril kay Father Nilo,” Albayalde said.
(Then he was repeatedly asked if he was sure because it would be his conscience and he said yes, he was the one who shot Father Nilo.)
Last week, friends of Milan disputed the accusations against him, saying that he was with them drinking while the incident happened.
Albayalde, however, said the suspect has to dispute before the court the boy’s statement.
“Ang sakin naman ay we base on the statement nung bata. ‘Yun ang matibay na ebidensya na isa eh dahil siya yung mismong tinuturo ng bata,” he said.
(For me, we rely on the boy’s statement. That is a strong evidence because he himself was identified by the boy.)
Nilo’s death sparked public outrage against the series of killings and violence against priests.
He was the third priest and the second in Nueva Ecija to be killed in the past six months. Others were: Fr. Mark Ventura, who was gunned down after celebrating Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan last April; and Fr. Marcelito Paez, who was killed a few hours after assisting the release of a political prisoner in Jaen, Nueva Ecija last December. /vvp
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