Decades-long controversial ‘Priest Killer’ and alleged ‘cannibal’ arrested for a new murder case

Image by Asian Correspondent, ABS CBN

The decades-long controversial ‘Priest Killer,’ A.K.A. Kumander Bukay was arrested right in the station of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at General Santos City this Friday.

But what was he doing there in the first place?

Manero who was called so many names and aliases such as ‘ex-con,’ ‘fugitive,’ ‘wanted,’ ‘free-man,’ ‘changed man’ went to their station located inside Camp Fermin Lira Friday morning to follow-up a case wherein he himself would be a ‘consultant,’ according to CIDG.

The moment he arrived, the CIDG handed him two arrest warrants that the court issued against him.

The warrants released is for a murder case and attempted murder case that he shares with four other accomplices; namely: Rolando Paglangan Jr., Sonny dela Cruz, Wahab Dikayan, and John Palma.

The CIDG apprehended him in a mild manner, wherein he didn’t resist being ‘cuffed’.

Manero explains that he is ready to face the cases against him. He wonders how he could have an arrest warrant when he has been going in and out of the country. He said: “Bakit ako may warrant, eh kung may warrant pala ako, bakit ako nakalusot sa NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) at nakapunta pa ako sa Phuket (Thailand)?”

Manero was brought past 1pm of the same day at the Hall of Justice of General Santos City where he was presented at Regional Trial Court Branch 23; the court that issued an arrest warrant against him.

Shortly, the court released a commitment order against Manero and he is now being detained at General Santos City Jail.


Norberto Manero Jr. led the dreaded Christian vigilante group ‘Ilaga’ that fights off Muslim communists and rebels during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

In the course of his group’s campaigns, they became ‘notorious’ due to their penchant for mutilating the bodies of their victims, and turning those body parts into amulets. Allegedly, they also ate some of the body parts; making him a spot on the list of “Filipiknow’s five Horrifying Pinoy Cannibals.

Manero was jailed for 23 years for killing Tullio Favali, an Italian priest, on April 11, 1985 in Tuluan, North Cotabato.

The Manero brothers, Edilberto, Norberto Jr., and Elpidio and some members of the paramilitary group CHDF, plotted to kill a number of communist sympathizers to lessen their number. On their list was an Italian priest by the name of Peter Geremia. When Father Geremia did not show up, the gang decided to kill another Italian priest.

After a couple of hours, the group saw Father Favali. The priest alighted from his motorcycle and went inside the house of a Domingo Chavez. When gone, Norberto Jr. set the priest’s motorcycle on fire. Father Favali approached the group of men to ask why they burned his motorcycle. In response, Edilberto Manero shot him with his BAR rifle. According to police reports, 22 bullets were shot at the priest’s body.

Discontented, Edilberto Manero jumped on the dead body of Fr. Favali three times then kicked its left side twice. Then he brutally fired several shots at the dead priest, causing the victim’s head to crack open. Norberto Manero, Jr., reportedly picked up portions of the priest’s scattered brain and showed them to the passengers of a jeep that stopped near them and mocked the death of the Italian priest. Rumors spread that according to a witness, a triumphant Manero taunted the fallen priest, after scattering the brains, by eatinge parts of it.


  • April 11, 1985: Together with his brother, Edilberto Manero, Norberto Jr. shot Father Favali dead.
  • 1987: The Branch 17 of the Regional Trial Court of Kidapawan, Cotabato caught the Manero brothers and their five companions. They were all found guilty and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua. Norberto Manero was also found guilty with arson.
  • 1992: Norberto Manero escaped from the jail. Within 1992, he was re-arrested and finally sent to the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
  • January 29, 1993: The Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision and convicted Norberto Manero of murder.
  • 1998: Then president Fidel V. Ramos changed Norberto’s sentence to 24 years.
  • December 1999:Norberto Manero Jr. was given conditional pardon by then president Joseph E. Estrada.
  • March 2000:The Malacañang invalidated the conditional pardon granted to Norberto Manero Jr. due to pending criminal cases of murder and kidnapping in South Cotabato. He was detained at the Sarangani Provincial Jail.
  • March 22, 2001: Norberto Manero Jr. escaped from the Sarangani Provincial Jail.
  • April 2001: Norberto Manero Jr. surrendered and was brought back to the Davao penal colony. Later, he was moved to the New Bilibid Prison.
  • May 29, 2003: Edilberto and Elpidio were released from the New Bilibid Prison.
  • January 25, 2008:Norberto manero Jr. was freed from prison.