The search and retrieval operatives scouring the waters off Lapu-Lapu City for the remains of Mayor Gisela Boniel who is presumed dead are in need of more divers, said the team’s leader.
Chief Insp. Jacinto Mandal told the Chronicle that his team is undermanned given the wide coverage of their retrieval operations.
As of yesterday, 14 divers including seven from the local government of Bien Unido joined the search in waters off Caubian Island near the Olango Channel off Lapu-Lapu City.
The area is where Gisela’s body was dumped after she was allegedly killed by husband Board Member Niño Boniel, based on the statement of Riolito Boniel who claimed to be the boatman during the incident.
The local government of Lapu-Lapu City under Mayor Paz Radaza has been sustaining the operations by providing needs of the divers including food, fuel and pumpboats.
Earlier, the provincial government of Bohol and the Bien Unido local government extended P100,000 each to help fund the ongoing search.
The Bohol League of Municipalities had also released P50,000 as contribution in the search for the body of Gisela, who was a member of the LMP.
Yesterday was the eighth day of the search operation.
Since it was launched last week, the Philippine Coast Guard, maritime police and volunteer divers, among others, have joined the search for the mayor’s remains.
However, authorities have still yet to find Gisela’s body despite the efforts and the use of technology from the navy such as an unmanned underwater robot, a sonar site scanner and fish finder.
According to Mandal, they will continue to conduct the search until the Police Regional Office 7 directs them to suspend the operations.
Mandal however admitted that divers are only able to descend to depths of around 200 feet while certain areas in the location could reach to up to 700 feet underwater.
He also noted that they are set to search waters off Camotes Island as the mayor’s body may have been swept away by strong underwater current. (Rey Tutas)