THE Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court Branch 27 on Thursday ordered the withdrawal of the criminal case against a suspect in the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Richmond Nilo last June 10, saying he was mistakenly identified and arrested by authorities.
Presiding Judge Angelo C. Perez, in his order dated June 28 and released to media on Friday, ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Cabanatuan City to release Adell Roll M. Matias, who was earlier suspected of killing Mr. Nilo.
Mr. Matias was arrested on June 15 for allegedly killing Mr. Nilo after being identified by witnesses.
According to an affidavit submitted by Mr. Matias to the court on Friday, state investigators discovered a certain Omar L. Mallari was actually behind the killing.
He clarified he would not file a complaint against the authorities who apprehended him.
Mr. Nilo was shot by two unidentified gunmen on his way to hear mass at a in church Zaragoza. He was the third priest to be killed in a similar manner in half a year.
Authorities have yet to pinpoint a motive for his death. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio