By: Benjie B. Talisic, Morexette Erram June 25,2017 - 11:49 PM

PARRICIDE CASE FILED TO BOHOL PB MEMBER BONIEL/JUNE 13, 2017: Arrested Bohol provincial board member Niño Rey Boniel at teh Lapulapu City prosecutors office. (JHM)


Too obvious and too late.

This was the response of lawyer Lane Pangilinan after Bohol Provincial Board (PB) Member Niño Rey Boniel announced last Saturday that his wife, Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel, is still alive and is in hiding reportedly in Dubai.

For Pangilinan, Niño’s claims were nothing but obvious “speculations to escape (possible) criminal liability.”

“It’s an obvious speculation to escape criminal liability. … All the circumstances, evidences and witnesses we gathered point to the fact that Gisela was killed and her body was thrown into the sea,” the lawyer told Cebu Daily News by phone on Sunday.

Pangilinan is the legal counsel of Angela Leyson, Gisela’s best friend.

It was Leyson who had alerted the Lapu-Lapu City police on June 7 that her friend was in danger because hours earlier, or at around 2 a.m., she saw Niño punch Gisela in the stomach before she (Leyson) was tasered, held separately and later moved out of the dive camp in Bien Unido and driven to Tubigon town, along with her 17-year-old son.

The next day, June 8, Niño was named the prime suspect in the murder of his wife after another suspect and Niño’s cousin Reolito “Etad” Boniel confessed to the police that he saw the board member shoot Gisela before throwing her body into the water between Bohol and Cebu.

Reolito, Randel Lupas and Edgar Tapere, all of whom worked for the Bohol PB member and were reported to be present during the kidnapping and slaying of Gisela, have now been endorsed into the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice in Central Visayas (DOJ-7).

The three, however, would remain in police custody pending the completion of the documents placing them under WPP.

Sought for comment, lawyer Gerardo Carillo, Niño’s legal counsel, said they will release their statement only after the trial on the parricide case has started.

“We will comment on the WPP as soon as they will file their motion. Right now, they are all among the accused of the case. Whether they will qualify as state witness that would be decided by the court not by the police,” Carillo told CDN through a text message.

Last Friday, Niño filed a counter-affidavit at the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office requesting them to drop the parricide charges against him citing the absence of any proof — Gisela’s dead body — to show that his wife is dead.

The Bohol PB member has also challenged his accusers to bring Gisela’s body from the sea to the surface.

Burden of proof

However, this time, Pangilinan turned the table on Niño, saying, “The burden of proof is now upon him.”

Pangilinan explained that in order to drop the parricide charges filed against Niño, the latter has to overcome the testimonies of prosecution witnesses by providing evidences or witnesses to support his claim.

“He said Gisela was in Dubai, so produce an itinerary showing that she flew to Dubai. Produce a witness to testify that they saw Gisela get out of the country. … His claim that she’s alive without any proof — it’s as good as nothing,” said Pangilinan.

Police authorities, led by Police Regional Office–Central Visayas (PRO-7) director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, also earlier scoffed at Niño’s claim, saying the PB member could not just say she is alive without giving any proof.

For Pangilinan, Gisela was killed in a gruesome way.

“We already have the complete picture of the commission of the crime. From the kidnapping in Bien Unido to the murder (in) the sea between Olango Island and Punta Engaño in Lapu Lapu City, up to the point where Niño returned to his home in Barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City — we have everything. The documentary, testimonial and object evidences, we have them. We laid them out, and everything points out to the fact that he killed and threw Gisela’s body at sea,” she said.

Moreover, Pangilinan said, to say that Gisela is alive was another inconsistency made by Niño.

“His denial (over killing Gisela) can only be overcome by positive testimonies. We have witnesses who will testify that he killed his wife… all of them — Angela, Randel and Etad — and all the circumstances tell us that he physically assaulted Gisela, was carried to a boat, wrapped her body with duct tape, and thrown at sea,” she added.

Pangilinan noted that when Niño went to the police station in Bien Unido in the afternoon of June 7 to file a report that his wife has gone missing, “he did not ask for help from the police on searching for his wife.”

She said they were also able to confirm the statement of Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal, the head of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) 7, that Niño had claimed before Taliño that Gisela was shot dead by Reolito.

“It was not even under custodial investigation, just a friendly conversation with Chief Supt. Taliño that he saw how Gisela was killed. It was a recorded conversation, and we obtained a copy of it,” said Pangilinan.

It was because of Niño’s allegation that Reolito, when confronted by the police, confessed that it was Niño who in fact shot his wife and even brought authorities to the sea off Mactan Island where he said they had thrown her body.

Possible fabrication

Pangilinan said they are also prepared to refute “fabricated stories” that Gisela is still alive.

“It’s too easy to concoct lies such as producing witnesses to say that ‘I saw Gisela in Dubai,’” she added.

To avoid such possibilities, Pangilinan said they already took note of the possible witnesses who might back Niño’s claims.

A three-man panel from the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office will sit down this week to rule on the parricide complaint filed against Niño and eight others who were reported to be his cohorts in the slay of Gisela.

The accused Bohol PB member is also facing separate charges of kidnapping and illegal detention before a Regional Trial Court in Talibon, Bohol.

Niño was transferred to the Talibon Jail last Friday to await the outcome of this case.

Pangilinan urged the public not to be swayed by Niño’s allegations against his wife, particularly about his claim that his wife supposedly went into hiding because she was buried in debt.

“He just wanted to control the direction of the issue to propagate negative perception (about) his wife. He is discrediting the honor of his wife,” Pangilinan said.

She also challenged Niño to come clean about the so-called debts.

“(He did all of these) because he’s also afraid of actions from the government because there were reports of corruption against him back in Bohol. Just tell what you really did to your wife. Our evidence is complete to prove that the charges against him are true. He could not do anything about that anymore,” added Pangilinan.

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TAGS: camp, DARES, Gisela, life, Nino, PROOF, show

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