CHR-7 acting chief says he will look into lawyer’s claim of cops coaching witnesses

By Nestle L. Semilla June 18,2017


The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas will conduct an investigation on claims of the legal defense team of Provincial Board Member Niño Boniel of alleged police coaching of two witnesses to implicate their client.

However, Arvin Odron, CHR-7 officer in charge, said that he would wait for the legal counsels to file a complaint at the office before they would conduct an investigation.

Odron said that he had read in the local papers about the legal counsel of the suspects seeking their assistance.

He said that they will be expecting anytime today or in the next few days that the legal counsels will be in their office to formally ask their assistance.

“But just the same, should our office received a complaint against the investigating and detaining police unit, we will give the named respondents their fair day in our in investigation,” Odron said.

Aside from seeking the CHR-7’s assistance, one of the lawyers of the suspects in the killing of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel also cautioned the police in calling out the suspects who are still at large to surrender.

Lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna, the legal counsel of the four suspects at-large, said that the Police Regional Office-Regional Intelligence Division in Central Visayas should be cautious about their statements.

“I caution the police and the RID chief (Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal) in his call for them to surrender as the four are undergoing regular preliminary investigation,” Dela Cerna said.

Dela Cerna stated that there are no arrest warrants that have been issued against his clients.

Dela Cerna was referring to the four of the eight suspects who were impleaded in the parricide case filed last Tuesday against Provincial Board Member Niño Boniel for the death of his wife Gisela.

The suspects impleaded in the case are Riolito, Lupas, Willy Hoylar, Restituto Magoncia Jr., Lubo Boniel, Allan Delos Reyes Jr., Wilson Hoylar and Brian Boniel Saycon.

Of the eight, Lubo Boniel, Delos Reyes Jr., Wilson Hoylar and Brian Boniel Saycon remain at large.

Dela Cerna said that if the police would insist on arresting his clients they would file the necessary administrative cases against them.

As well as cases for the violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices acts against the police, Dela Cerna added.

He said that “reckless and irresponsible” statements of the police are putting the lives of his clients in danger.

“I urge the RID and concerned police agencies to consult first their police lawyers (before giving statements),” Dela Cerna stated.

Dela Cerna added that he would submit letter of complaint on such actions by the RID today (Monday) to Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director.

Sought for his comment, Cabal said that they are still on pursuit operations against the people involved in the killing of Mayor Gisela Boniel.

“We cannot be cowed nor stymied by this veiled threat by these enterprising lawyers. We are still on pursuit operations as we never ceased in going after every conspirator of this dastardly crime,” Cabal said.

Cabal said that the legal counsels’ “flip-flopping antics” before the prosecutors and the Regional Trial Court (RTC) that issued the habeas corpus only shows the counsels’ fear of their clients’ guilt.

“My call for their surrender is for them to clear their names, tell the truth and not to be used anymore, for they are mere pawns,” Cabal added.

On the accusations of the suspects’ counsels that the police are influencing the witnesses, Cabal belied the allegations.

He said that the suspects who turned witnesses are the ones who volunteered to give information as to their participation on the crime.

“Look sa lahat ng (all) video especially on June 8 footages of television networks and other media in the boat when we are doing the first retrieval operation in Caubian, you can see that the narration was voluntary and with no coercion or intimidation. Lawyers tactics lang yan para sila mag-hijack ng witness namin (It’s just lawyers’ tactics to hijack our witnesses),” Cabal stated.

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