Court to decide on plea for witness protection on Mayor Boniel slay case
A Lapu-Lapu City court will decide on a plea to discharge as state witness two of the accused in the murder of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel next month.
Judge Ferdinand Collantes of the Regional Trial Court Branch 65 in Lapu-Lapu City will issue the ruling on Aug. 9, prosecutor Amando Virgil Ligutan said.
Both the prosecution and the accused were ordered by Collantes to submit their respective memoranda three days from Thursday to summarize their respective positions on the matter.
The Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program asked the court to admit as state witnesses Reolito Boniel and Randel Lupas—two of the nine suspects in the mayor’s murder
Asst. Regional Prosecutor Llena Ipong-Avila, program implementor of the Witness Protection Program for Central Visayas, said the testimonies of the two men are “absolutely necessary” to prove the guilt of Gisela’s husband, former Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel.
The Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office earlier indicted Niño of parricide over the disappearance and presumed death of his wife Gisela. The four other arrested accused were charged with murder.
The other suspects remain at large. Reolito, a casual worker at the Bien Unido municipal hall and a close relative of Niño, claimed to have witnessed the mayor’s murder.
Lupas, who worked as driver for the mayor and Boniel said he was sleeping when he was asked to carry the victim’s body from the Dive Camp Resort in Bien Unido to the motorboat where the mayor was eventually killed.
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