Gisela’s family: Boniel’s lawyers using delaying tactics to stall proceedings
The family of slain Bien Unido mayor Gisela Bendong Boniel accused the camp of Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel of resorting to “delaying tactics” in the proceedings conducted by the trial courts.
Gisela’s older sister Mikay Bendong said some scheduled trials were postponed due to a number of pleadings filed by Niño’s lawyers.
“They are employing delaying tactics here. But I just want them to know that if the cases drag on, they will be at a disadvantage because Niño is detained,” she said in a phone interview on Friday.
Mikay said they badly want to expedite the proceedings so that justice will be swiftly served.
“If the cases move so slowly, it’s very draining on our part,” she said.
“We want the cases to be resolved quickly so that we will know the outcome,” she added.
Her sister Gisela was allegedly shot in the head by her husband Niño before dumping her body into the sea at dawn of June 7, 2017.
Niño, the prime suspect in Gisela’s disappearance and presumed death, is facing parricide charges at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City which was given jurisdiction over all newly filed criminal cases in Lapu-Lapu City.
Charged with murder are Niño’s cousin Riolito Boniel, driver Randel Lupas, Wilfredo Hoylar, Restituto Magoncia Jr., Allan delos Reyes Jr. and Lobo Boniel.
The cases against the other suspects, Wilson Hoylar and Brian Boniel Saycon are still at the prosecutor’s office for preliminary investigation.
Of the nine suspects, five have been arrested: Niño, Riolito, Lupas, Wilfredo and Magoncia.
Last Oct. 5, 2017, Judge Anna Lou Fernandez-Cavada of the RTC Branch 57 in Cebu City issued an arrest warrant against Delos Reyes and Lobo.
The arraignment of the arrested suspects is set on Dec. 8, 2017.
Aside from the parricide case, the suspects are also facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases at the RTC in Talibon, Bohol, for allegedly detaining Gisela’s best friend Angela Leyson and the latter’s 17-year-old son for several hours before they were released.
Two of the suspects — Riolito and Lupas — have been endorsed by the police to become state witnesses after they pointed to Niño as the one who killed Gisela and threw her body into the sea waters between Bien Unido in Bohol and Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City.
Mikay said their family decided to leave Bien Unido and settle either in Cebu City and Iligan City for security purposes.
“Our lawyers and the police advised us not to return to Bien Unido,” she said.
Niño’s lawyer Gerardo Carillo brushed aside claims that they are trying to delay the resolution of the cases against the accused.
“We exhausting all administrative remedies. That is part of due process,” he said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
Lawyer Inocencio De La Cerna Jr., counsel of the other accused, said he is also asking the court to recall the arrest warrant it issued against Delos Reyes and Lobo.
“We have a pending petition for review at the Department of Justice so I want the (arrest) warrant to be recalled,” he said.
Aboard a pump boat, Gisela’s family went out to the sea in between the islands of Olango and Caubian in Lapu-Lapu City where the victim’s body was allegedly dumped.
They threw flowers and lit candles which they placed on a piece of wood and let it float, last Thursday, All Souls’ Day.
Mikay said they are optimistic that justice will be served in due time.
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