Bohol board member acquitted in murder of mayor wife but kidnapping charge still pending

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the parricide case against Bohol Provincial Board Member (BM) Nino Rey Boniel, alleged mastermind in the murder of his wife Gisela, who was mayor of Bien Unido town, Bohol.

“Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition for reviews is granted and assailed Resolution dated 28 June 2017 of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu City is hereby granted and set aside,” read the 12-page resolution signed by Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo.

The DOJ also ordered the withdrawal of murder charges against Boniel’s two alleged cohorts, Willy Hoylar and Restituto Magoncia Jr.

Orceo, however, said there was still a pending kidnapping complaint against Boniel before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.

“It should be noted that a case for kidnapping is still pending in Bohol, whereby the same set of evidence has been presented to pursue the case against the herein respondent-appelant. The allegation that Mayor Gisela was killed by respondent-appelant was likewise presented before the prosecution office of Bohol by virtue of Riolito’s sworn statement,” he said.

Citing the sworn statement of witness Riolito Albarquez Boniel, the mayor, who was allegedly accused by her husband of having an affair, was abducted by his husband along with several others from the Bien Unido Dive Camp in Bohol past midnight of June 7, 2017.

Riolito said he drove the pump boat with the couple on board and took them to waters of Cuabian and Olango Island.

“He (Riolito) saw BM Boniel shoot Mayor Gisela on the head and he immediately turned off the pump boat engine. He saw that half of Mayor Gisela’s body was submerged in the sea and hanging on the left side of the pump boat. BM Boniel ordered him to get the fishing net which they used to wrap the body of Mayor Gisela and placed the rock inside the fishing net and the fishing net was tied to the stone that had a hole. BM Boniel threw the body of Mayor Gisela to the sea, assisted by Allan delos Reyes, Jr.,” the account of the witness read.

Should the Bohol Prosecutor’s Office find probable cause to indict Board Member Boniel, the Undersecretary pointed out “the charge would be one for the special complex crime of kidnapping with murder, whereby the killing would not be treated separately from kidnapping.”

“The killing, if found by the prosecutor’s office in Bohol to have been committed, could not be considered a separate crime. The kidnapping, which allegedly took place in Bohol would be considered a necessary means to commit the murder. And since the investigation commenced in Bohol, it should be take cognizance of the case,” he explained.

In his petition, Boniel said that Lapu-Lapu City investigating prosecutors erroneously concluded that probable cause exists and that he should be held for trial for parricide.

He also said that the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office had no jurisdiction over the crime charged and that a crime for parricide should be filed separately from the crime of serious illegal detention.

Boniel is currently detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. (PNA)