The prime suspect in the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Fr. Richmond Nilo has been arrested, the Philippine National Police confirmed on Friday.
The suspect, identified as Adell Roll Milan, was arrested in Barangay Malapit in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Police Regional Office 3.
A witness positively identified Milan as the one who shot Nilo.
Nilo was shot dead last Sunday by motorcycle-riding suspects while he was about to officiate a 6 p.m. Mass in a chapel in Barangay Mayamot in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija. He was the third priest to be killed in six months.
Central Luzon regional director Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus earlier said investigators are looking into three possible motives which include Nilo's involvement on helping minors, especially those who were either molested or raped, to file appropriate charges against suspects.
He added that the slain parish priest's participation on helping those involved in land disputes as well as his stance against a certain religious sector are also being investigated.
At a press conference in Nueva Ecija, Corpus said Milan is listed as a drug surrenderer and a "known gun-for-hire" based on their records. The suspect was brought to the Nueva Ecija Provincial Crime Laboratory for laboratory examination.
Follow-up operations against the remaining five suspects are still ongoing, according to Corpus, adding that they already have the composite sketch of the three other suspects.
Based on their investigation, police said the three suspects even attended the mass officiated by Nilo at Barangay Valeriana.
At the Senate, Senator Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution 764 asking the chamber to direct the public order and dangerous drugs committee to probe the killings of Nilo as well as of Fr. Marcelito Paez, and Fr. Mark Ventura.
She also wants the committee to get into the bottom of the assassination attempt against Fr. Rey Urmeneta on June 6.
The Catholics Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the leaders of various religious congregations in the Philippines condemned the killing of Nilo and demanded justice for him and other priests killed in the past few months. —KBK/RSJ, GMA News