Board Member Niño Rey Boniel pleaded not guilty to charges of detaining and abducting Angela Leyson, the best friend of his wife Mayor Gisela Boniel, hours before the local chief executive was allegedly taken forcibly and shot dead in the wee hours of June 7.
Niño entered the plea during his scheduled arraignment before the Regional Trial Court Branch 52 in Talibon on Thursday morning.
The complaints against Niño were filed by Leyson who alleged that the Bohol legislator kidnapped her from the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Dive Camp and detained her along with her 17-year-old son.
Leyson, however, was not present during the proceedings as she was represented by her lawyer Atty. Lanilyn Pangilinan.
According to Pangilinan, Leyson’s camp was already expecting the board member to enter the plea and maintain his innocence to the said charges.
Leyson also expressed optimism as the case moved forward, she added.
Meanwhile, Atty. Romero Boniel, one of Niño’s lawyers, said that they are still finalizing their position on the previously bared plan on asking the courts to have the cases lodged against the board member consolidated.
“We are still finalizing our posture on that,” said Romero.
A separate parricide complaint for the alleged killing of Gisela is pending before the Lapu-Lapu City prosecutor’s office.
The pre-trial for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases against Niño is scheduled on July 19, Romero said. (Allen Doydora)