THE Sandiganbayan has suspended for three months without pay Bohol Provincial Board (PB) Member Niño Rey Boniel and eight others last year for “hastily” giving a cockpit license to his relatives.

The anti-graft court placed Boniel and his co-accused under a 90-day preventive suspension pending trial of their case for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Office of the Ombudsman sued Boniel and eight other local officials after they “arbitrarily rejected” the renewal of the cockpit license of one Virginia Baruffol, the complainant of the case.

Boniel is a former mayor of Bien Unido, Bohol who allegedly masterminded the killing of his wife, Gisela Bendong-Boniel, last Thursday.

“The accused also hastily granted the privilege to an unregistered business entity controlled by Boniel’s relatives,” the ombudsman said.

Apart from Boniel, also named respondents in the graft case were Bien Unido, Bohol Vice Mayor Rene Borenaga and PB Members Patricio Avenido, Eduardo Gentapa and Froilan Romo, and Tagbilaran City Assessor Rogelio Villarias; Petronilo Justiniane, Alejo Boniel and Sotero Macua, Jr.

Police said that Niño Rey ordered his men to kidnap and kill Gisela, the 38-year-old mayor of Bien Unido, Bohol.

Charges for kidnapping, murder and serious physical injuries were filed against Niño, his cousin Riolito Bonie and a certain Lopas.

Gisela, a Cebuano, was a pilot for 16 years. She was AirAsia Philippines’ first female captain.

She resigned to run for mayor in last year’s elections. The couple, who were married in December 2015, have a three-year-old son.