BOHOL Provincial Board (PB) Member Niño Rey Boniel yesterday maintained his innocence to charges that he abducted and detained the close friend of his wife on the night that he reportedly snatched and shot dead Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel.

Assisted by his lawyers Handel Lagunay and Romero Boniel, the PB member pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention during his arraignment before Regional Trial Court Judge Marivic Trabajo-Daray.

Niño is presently detained at the Talibon District Jail.

He attended his arraignment at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Daray of RTC Branch 52. The pre-trial of the case is set on July 17.

The case stemmed from the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges filed by Angela Gamalinda-Leyson, Gisela’s bestfriend, and Leyson’s 17-year-old son, against Niño before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Aida Digaum-Langcamon indicted Niño for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

Leyson charged Niño after she and her 17-year-old son were allegedly held by him in the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Dive Camp last June 7.

Gisela was allegedly shot dead by her husband, Niño, on June 7.

Her body was allegedly thrown off Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City.

Niño was subsequently charged with parricide, illegal detention, and kidnapping.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 is seeking the reorganization of volunteer divers to resume the search for the body of Gisela in the waters off Caubian Island.

PRO 7 Director Noli Taliño said that the search can be conducted on the shallow waters at the vicinity where she was reportedly dumped, and not on the deep areas.

Nagbabasakali tayo na makita siya,” Taliño said.

He said that the fishermen can also help them in the search during their daily fishing activities.

“The fishermen are encouraged to immediately notify the police if the body is found,” he said. (GMD/JOB)