THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7 urged lawyers of detained Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel to substantiate their allegations that witnesses against their client were coerced by police.
Leo Villarino, CHR 7 chief investigator, said this after lawyer Gerardo Carillo, who serves as the legal counsel for Boniel, said he plans to seek CHR 7’s help to investigate claims that the witnesses were coerced.
Villarino said that witnesses for Boniel should provide proof that they were coerced by police officers who arrested them.
Carillo earlier said he plans to send the witnesses to CHR for investigation.
But no witnesses appeared before the CHR since early morning until 5 p.m. yesterday.
While they are closely monitoring the case, Villarino said there is no need for them to conduct a “motu propio” or agency-initiated investigation since it will only lead nowhere.
“Lisod kayo if mag-conduct ta og motu propio(investigation). Mora tag nag-witch hunting ana (We don’t want to appear like we’re witch hunting),” he said.
Villarino, instead, urged Boniel’s witnesses to come forward and testify, under oath, on their claims that they were forcibly ordered by police to testify against the detained board member.
“He who alleges should prove it,” Villarino said.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2017.
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