Police: Body found in waters between Cebu and Negros is not Gisela
It is definitely not the body of missing Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel.
This was the clarification issued tonight by Chief Inspector Rollie Poldevilla, the police chief of Escalante City in Negros Occidental, amid speculations that the decomposing body of a woman wrapped in a fishing net and with a rope tied around her neck that was found in the waters off the city could be that of the Bohol town mayor.
Poldevilla said that members of a family from Calatrava town, also in Negros Occidental, have claimed the body as that of their relative, identified as Laureta Cabag, 64.
Poldevilla likewise affirmed that the remains was that of an elderly woman. Gisela was 40 years old.
There were speculations that the body was that of Gisela because witnesses to her alleged murder had claimed that her body was wrapped in a fishing net, tied with a rope and weighed down with a rock before it was dumped into the sea between Bohol and Cebu at dawn of June 8. Gisela’s husband, Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel, who was named by a suspect-turned-eyewitness as the mayor’s alleged assailant, has been indicted of parricide by the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Poldevilla, the body of Cabag was actually found by a fisherman in Cebu waters, or off the coastal village of Maravilla in Tabuela town in southern Cebu but he had no contact with any Cebu official so he decided to call instead the Bantay Dagat in Escalante, a coastal city on Negros Island facing Tabuelan.
The Bantay Dagat then towed the body to the shore of Escalante. Hours later, Cabag’s family came to claim her body.
Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil Jr., Negros Occidental police director, said that when he heard that a female body was found in Cebu waters, they initially suspected that it could be that of Mayor Boniel but when it arrived in Escalante, police found it was not her.
Police and divers have been searching for Gisela’s body since June 8 to no avail. The search was halted last Tuesday, June 27. But heeding the appeal of Gisela’s family, the police decided to resume the search next week
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