Police investigators are hot on the trail of five suspects, one of them already identified, who were tagged in Sunday’s killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo in Nueva Ecija.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, director of Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) said that from two initial suspects seen on CCTV footage, police are now tracking down five persons believed to have a hand in the killing of Nilo.
“We are looking into five suspects and as per update today (Wednesday) of the provincial director of the Nueva Ecija, we’re trying to confirm their identity, we have the name of one of the suspects and he (director of Nueva Ecija police) is now confirming the identity of that person,” said Corpus.
“We’re conducting follow-up operations so we need to confirm his identity first,” he added.
Corpus stressed the number of suspects went up following in-depth backtracking of all available CCTV footage gathered by the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “Nilo” up to other towns outside Zaragosa.
Nilo was preparing to conduct mass at the Mayamot Chapel in Barangay Mayamot, Zaragosa on Sunday when he was shot dead by the suspects.
Based on the analysis of the operatives, Corpus said the suspects used a getaway car aside from a motorcycle used by two suspects initially tagged in the killing.
Corpus said three other suspects served as lookouts.
The official vowed members of the task force will not rest until the killing of the priest is solved.
Police are looking at Nilo’s active assistance to minor rape victims, to those oppressed in land dispute and his being a staunch critic of another religious sector as possible motives behind the killing.
Corpus also reiterated calls by the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership for priests who feel having a security threat to seek help from the police.
“If they think that their life is under threat, we will provide them with security, we will afford this privilege to anybody who we see is under threat,” Corpus said.