‘Mama is in heaven, watching over us’ | SunStar

‘Mama is in heaven, watching over us’

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‘Mama is in heaven, watching over us’

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Deep, blue something. The family of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel offered flowers into the sea off Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City. The mayor’s body remains missing. (SunStar Foto/Alan Tangcawan)

ALL Soul’s Day is the time for people to visit the graves of their loved ones. But, it was different for the family of the late Bien Unido mayor Gisela Boniel.

The mayor’s mother, siblings, son and other relatives rode a motorboat from Hilton Wharf and went to the seas in Lapu-Lapu City, particularly between the Caubian and Olango Islands, where her body was allegedly thrown after she was shot by her own husband, Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel.

Prayers led by a pastor were offered and flowers were thrown to the sea.

Mikay Bendong, older sister of Gisela, shared that while they were in the seas all the pain the she felt came back since the day Gisela went missing.

“Sakit kaayo hangtod karon sa tibuok pamilya nga wa gyud makit-i... Way lapida, way lawas kay naa sa ilawm sa dagat. Lahi gyud ang All Soul’s Day (It is still painful for the family that until now her body remains missiong...no grave, no body because it’s deep in the sea. We have a different All Soul’s Day),” said Mikay.

She said that although the mayor’s five-year-old son and their 77-year-old mother, Perlita, joined them, they both did not know what really happened to Gisela.

Mikay became emotional during a press interview yesterday after they went to the sea. Mikay said her mother suffered a brain tumor so she cannot talk and walk.

Perlita was on a wheelchair.

Mikay believed that their mother already has a feeling about what happened to Gisela.

She said it was still hard for them to tell their mother and Gisela’s son that she is gone.

“Ingnon namo mama (We just tell Gisela’s child that his mother) is in heaven, mama is watching us,” said Mikay.

She said her family is now taking care of Gisela’s child.

Members of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office led by Chief Insp. Junnel Caadlawon and some of the divers that helped in the search operation for Gisela’s body last June joined the Bendong family.

Aside from Mikay, Gisela’s other siblings, namely Jessica, Josephine and Julius were there.

The late mayor’s nieces and nephews also came.

Aster Bendong, niece of Gisela, said  they learned that an arrest warrant was already issued by the court against Allan Delos Reyes Jr. and Lobo Boniel, some of the suspects, for the crime of murder.

Aster showed the media a copy of the arrest warrant, which was issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 57 Judge Annalou Fernandez-Cavada in Cebu City.

“We are really fighting for justice kay sayang ang life sa akong tita,” said Aster.

Gisela went missing last June 7 after she was allegedly shot and thrown to the sea while on a motor banca.

Niño and six other persons were tagged as the suspects. (FMG)

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 03, 2017.

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