Around P2 million is needed to resume the underwater search for the remains of Mayor Gisela Boniel using modern equipment to enhance chances of finding the body, said a Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 official.
According to PRO 7 Regional Intelligence Division director Sr. Supt. Joanathan Cabal, the amount is needed to rent devices that would boost authorities’ search capabilities.
The said amount was based on an estimate made by technical divers who were previously tasked to search for Boniel’s body which is believed to be in waters off Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City.
Cabal told Bohol media that the search operatives need modern technical equipment due to the depth of areas surrounding the body’s purported drop zone.
Technical divers only dove down to around 200 feet and were unable to reach the bottom of waters near Caubian Island which is about 1,400 feet deep.
However, Cabal still expressed optimism that the mayor’s remains will be found even amid uncertainty in circumstances surrounding the resumption of retrieval operations.
The police intelligence officer also said that he is hoping for the national government to extend assistance amid lack of funds to pay for the needed equipment.
Still, Cabal thanked the provincial government of Bohol and the Bien Unido local government unit (LGU) for providing financial aid during the previous search.
The LGU of Lapu-Lapu City, League of Municipalities of the Philippines Bohol and Cong. Aristotle Aumentado also extended funds to authorities conducting the retrieval operations.
The Cebu-based Cabal was in Bohol Thursday along with other PRO 7 officials for a command conference in Camp Dagohoy.
He was joined by PRO 7 director Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino and former Bohol Police Provincial Office chief and now deputy regional director for operations Senior Supt. Dennis Agustin. (Rey Tutas)