Authorities have yet to find the body of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel as search operations resumed this morning but a witness has already pointed out that she was shot dead and thrown into waters off Olango, Lapu-Lapu City on Wednesday dawn.
Provincial Board (PB) Member Niño Rey Boniel, Gisela’s husband, has been tagged by the police as the prime suspect in the alleged kidnapping and murder of the mayor.
Riolito “Etad” Boniel who was arrested yesterday among 4 other suspects including Rey told media that Gisela was bound by a net together with two rocks approximately weighing 30 kilos before she was thrown into the sea.
On Thursday evening, Riolito accompanied police to the possible whereabouts of Gisela’s body but darkness cut short the seaborne search operation.
According to Riolito, there were four people on board the boat during the incident including himself, the mayor and the board member.
Gisela was shot and killed by Rey after they left a dive camp in Bien Unido on board a pump boat, said Riolito.
“I just heard the gunshot. He [Rey] was holding his own firearm,” added Riolito who also noted that no one else was holding a firearm after the blast was heard.
Prior to the shooting, the mayor and provincial board member were reportedly talking but the conversation was inaudible for Riolito as he was operating the pump boat’s engine.
According to Angela Leyson, a longtime friend of the victim, they were resting at the dive camp when several men including the board member barged into their room.
Leyson who was “half naked” during the incident claimed that she was beat up while a taser was used on her.
She also said that she saw the mayor get punched in the stomach.
Meanwhile, Gisela reportedly pleaded for Leyson’s life as the latter’s son was sleeping in the next room.
Leyson was released later on that day in Tubigon.