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By: Nestle L. Semilla June 11,2017 - 11:38 PM

Randel Lupas

It was a gruesome death for Gisela, witnesses reveal

Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel was alive and conscious when she was gagged, tied up, wrapped with a fishnet and tied to a 30-kilo rock before she was shot dead and dumped into the sea.

These gruesome details of the events that led to Gisela’s death emerged yesterday, with the alleged killer, Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel, threatening others to follow his orders or they might be harmed.

Riolito “Etad” Boniel, a cousin of the PB member, revealed the killing was planned.

Riolito said he was at home early on June 7, a Wednesday, when his cousin Niño called him and asked for his help to operate a pump boat.

“Sa pagka-ngan nga first degree mi nisalig ko nga tarong iyahang pag-imbitar nako. Gatoo ko nga mag patrol mi sa mga illegal fishing atong higayona,” Riolito said.

(Since we are first cousins, I trusted him and thought that he only wanted me to operate a pump boat to patrol the municipal waters against illegal fishing at that time.)

What Riolito did not know was that he would be witnessing a crime and will be tagged as one of the suspects in the killing of Niño’s wife, Gisela.

Riolito drove the motorized boat that used to dump the mayor’s body into the waters between Cebu and Bohol on June 7.


Riolito narrated that after getting the call from his cousin, he immediately proceeded to the boat that was docked just a few meters away from the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Dive Camp and waited there as instructed by the PB member.

Riolito said that when Niño arrived at where the boat was docked, he came in the company of Randel Lupas, Niño’s driver; and a certain Jay-R.

He said Lupas and Jay-R were carrying the body of Gisela wrapped in a blanket.

“Kuyawan na g’yud ko. Ato nga time, action siya (Niño) og ti-on nako sa ulo. Nagplano na diay siya patyon iyahang asawa. Planado g’yud to nga patyon,” Etad said.

(I got scared. At that time, Niño pointed a gun at my head. Right then, he must have already planned to kill his wife. I’m sure it was planned.)

He said he believes that there was an intent to kill the mayor since the one who provided the boat was Lobo Boniel, a distant relative and a trusted aide of the PB member.

Randel Lupas, Niño’s driver and also tagged as a suspect, also claimed that he was also threatened by the board member.

He said he was sleeping in the car parked at the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Dive Camp pre dawn on June 7, a Wednesday, when Niño woke him up and ordered him and another man identified as Jay-R to load Gisela into the pump boat.

Out of fear, he said he followed Niño’s order and did not question it.

“Nahadlok nako kay naa siya’y pusil. Kay amo lage nako siya, wala nako mikwestiyon,” Lupas said.

(I was afraid since he was carrying a gun. Since he is my employer, I did not question the order.)

Was still alive

Lupas said the mayor was still alive and barely conscious when she was loaded to the pump boat.

When he carried Gisela, Lupas said the mayor was struggling and tried to scream.

“Buhi pa to siya. Nitingog pa man. Nilihok pa iyahang mga tiil,” Lupas said.

(She was still alive. She even whimpered. And she moved her feet.)

Riolito said the board member had his wife tied up and her mouth covered with a duct tape.

He said Gisela was then wrapped in a fishnet with a rock that weighed about 30 kilos before she was shot.

Family appeal

The families of Riolito and Lupas, both held at Camp Sergio Osmeña, the headquarters of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) in Osmeña Boulevard of Cebu City, visited them yesterday.

Riolito’s wife Jonna appealed to the police to let go of her husband as he was innocent.

“Walay labot akong bana sa gibuhat nga krimen ni Board. Nganong gi-among among? Kung naa silay problema mag tiayon dili nila among amongon ang laing tawo,” Jonna said.

(My husband has nothing to do with the crime committed by Board Member Niño. Why he was included? If they had marital problems they should not have involved other people.)

Riolito said he never had any criminal record and hoped that justice will be served and he will be freed for the sake of his five young children.

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TAGS: death, Gisela, reveal, was, Witnesses

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