Cebu trial for Boniel cases; detention at CPDRC
THE kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases against Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel will be tried in Cebu City.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II asked the Supreme Court to transfer the venue of the trial from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 52 in Talibon, Bohol, to RTC Branch 57 in Cebu City where the parricide case is being heard, and to consolidate the cases against Boniel.
The Supreme Court, however, only partially granted the letter-request and transferred the venue of the trial of the cases in Talibon to Cebu City but ordered a separate raffle of the cases.
The presiding judge of RTC Branch 52 in Talibon was ordered to issue a commitment order for the “immediate detention of all the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 17-4271 (Riolito Boniel, et al) and 17-4216 (Niño Rey Boniel, et al) at the Cebu Provincial Jail located in Cebu City.”
PB Member Boniel stands accused of kidnapping and killing his wife, Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong Boniel, last June.
Angela Leyson, Gisela’s close friend, also filed kidnapping and serious illegal detention complaints against Boniel, who allegedly held her and her son against their will inside a resort in Bien Unido.
In a press conference yesterday, Leyson’s lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan said that they received the order from the SC en banc dated November 7, only on November 21.
“It is stated in the order to transfer the cases immediately,” Ligutan said.
Ligutan said that they welcomed the order, adding that they were worried that Boniel’s being a PB member would affect the cases.
Leyson, meanwhile, said it would be more convenient to have the trials in Cebu.
“Actually I’m very, very happy kasi ang hirap for me every time I would go there (Bohol) it’s a nightmare na may nakasunod,” Leyson said.
(Actually I’m very, very happy because it is hard for me every time I would go to Bohol. It’s a nightmare thinking that someone’s following me.)
Ligutan said the pre-trial for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases has not yet started.
“So it will not be a problem if the cases will be transferred,” said Ligutan.
He also added that the parricide case in Cebu City has not yet moved since the lawyers of Niño Rey filed for a petition for review before the DOJ.
Sought for comment, lawyer Inocencio de la Cerna Jr. said the transfer of venue of the trial will not affect his clients’ cases.
Dela Cerna, who is the legal counsel of Niño’s co-accused Lobo Boniel and Allan delos Reyes, said that they are ready with their defense wherever the trial would be.
“Be that as it may, nevertheless we are prepared for trial already,” Dela Cerna said.
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