In compliance with the directive of the Supreme Court (SC), Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel was shipped from the Talibon District Jail in Bohol to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) on Thursday.
Niño, the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife, Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel, arrived at Pier 3 in Cebu City at around 1 p.m., said his lawyer Gerardo Carillo.
He was escorted by jail officers of the Talibon District Jail where he was detained for about six months.
Niño was placed in a regular detention cell at the CPDRC.
Carillo said they earlier opposed the high court’s order to transfer Niño to Cebu City but eventually acceded to it.
“We find it convenient for purposes of security, and that it would be easier for us if the two cases are consolidated. We’re here to follow the Supreme Court’s directive,” he told Cebu Daily News over the phone.
Since Niño is a politician, CPDRC acting warden Audesti Miguel said the accused is considered a “high-profile inmate.”
However, Miguel said Niño will be treated like any other inmate.
“As I’ve said before, we cannot afford any special treatment. Our policies in the jail apply equally to inmates,” the CPDRC jail warden told reporters.
Last November 2017, the high court approved the request of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and the prosecution to have the case for kidnapping and serious illegal detention against Niño transferred from Bohol to Cebu.
Gisela’s best friend Angela Leyson filed a case of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against Niño who allegedly held her and her son against their will inside a resort in Bien Unido.
The charges will be consolidated with another case of parricide which is pending at the Lapu-Lapu City trial court which has jurisdiction over the part of the sea where Gisela’s body was reportedly dumped.
Charged with murder were Niño’s cousin Riolito, driver Randel Lupas, Wilfredo Hoylar, Restituto Magoncia Jr., Allan delos Reyes Jr., and Lobo Boniel.
The offense is non-bailable.
Gisela was allegedly shot in the head by Niño before her body was dumped into the sea off Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City at dawn of June 7, 2017.
Riolito confessed that he operated the boat that was used in dumping the body of Gisela. Shortly after he yielded to the police, he accompanied them to the part of the sea where they supposedly threw Gisela’s body.
For weeks, divers scoured the seas near Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City but did not find Gisela’s body.
Lupas also confessed participation in the crime and was endorsed by the police as state witnesses along with Riolito.
Based on the investigation, Gisela might have been killed by her husband due to a marital rift arising from jealousy and financial problems.
In his counter-affidavit submitted to the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office, Niño denied killing his wife. He said Gisela is alive and is just in hiding after incurring debts that reached millions of pesos.
Niño said he could not afford to kill Gisela.