Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel will be moved back to a detention facility in Cebu City where he will face trial for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, together with three others.
This after the Supreme Court en banc ordered the transfer of Boniel and his co-accused from the Talibon District Jail to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) in a decision which was released to media recently.
Board Member Boniel, accused of abducting and murdering his wife Bien Unido town Mayor Gisela Boniel, was previously detained in Cebu City after he was arrested on June 8, days after one Angela Leyson reported to police that the board member had abducted his wife and killed her on board a pump boat and later dumping the mayor’s body at sea.
Leyson and her teenage son were allegedly with Mayor Boniel when her husband Board Member Boniel, together with several accomplices, abducted them from a dive camp resort in Bien Unido on June 7.
However, on June 23, Presiding Judge MarivicTrabajo-Daray of RTC-Branch 52 in Talibon ordered Board Member Boniel to be moved to the Talibon where the case filed against him and three other suspects for kidnapping and serious illegal detention will be held for trial.
The two cases were filed by Leyson against the board member who is also charged with parricide in relation to the murder of his wife. The case is lodged in Lapu-Lapu city Regional Trial Court.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), acting as prosecutors of the cases against Boniel, however, filed a petition at the Supreme Court requesting to transfer the venue of the trial for kidnapping and serious illegal detention from Talibon to Cebu City.
The DOJ cited in its petition alleged attempts by the Bohol Board Member to influence local authorities to accord him special treatment
“There are disturbing reports of continuing attempts to influence the local police and jail officials in order to give special treatment to Niño Rey Boniel and the other accused presently detained at the Talibon District Jail,” stated the petition which was signed by DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
In its decision, the Supreme Court directed the RTC-Branch 52 in Talibon to transfer Boniel, Willy Hoylar, and Restituto Magoncia Jr. from Talibon District Jail to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.
Leyson was happy about the decision of the court, saying that it is a “sigh of relief” considering that her “life is at risk,” she said.
“I’m looking forward na sana justice will be served not just for Gisele (Gisela) but for me and my family, as well,” she added.
Leyson was the best friend of Mayor Gisela Boniel. She was reportedly kidnapped and detained by Board Member Boniel on the day he allegedly killed his wife.
Lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna Jr., one of the counsels for Board Member Boniel, said they have yet to receive a copy of the decision. He said they will seek for reconsideration.
“We have not received that as yet, and we have to make a motion for reconsideration on that if that is really true,” dela Cerna said.
The police are now making security arrangements for the transfer of Boniel.
“We’ll be coordinating with the BJMP because as we all know, the Board Member is incarcerated at the Talibon District Jail and the thing that we can do is provide security and escort the accused to Cebu,” said Senior Superintendent Jonathan Cabal, chief of the Regional Intelligence Division of PRO-7.
Meanwhile, the family of Gisela has raised the bounty to P200,000 for the arrest of the two remaining suspects in the murder of the mayor.
Lobo Boniel and Alan de los Reyes were tagged as among the cohorts of the board member in killing his wife.
They were among the nine people charged before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office.