CHR official: Suspects in Boniel case not tortured

THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7 found no evidence to support the claims that the two suspects behind the alleged murder of Bien Unido, Bohol Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel were tortured.

Leo Villarino, CHR 7 chief investigator, said that Reolito “Etad” Boniel and Randell Lupas both executed sworn statements that they were not tortured or coerced by police to throw accusations against jailed Bohol Provincial Board (PB) Member Niño Rey Boniel.

During their visit to the PRO 7 stockades last July 10, CHR 7 investigators found that the two detainees showed no signs that they were tortured.

Aside from proper detention quarters, the two detainees were also not prevented by police to see their families and lawyer.

Villarino said they investigated the matter after CHR Manila sent to them last July 5 the letter of Angela Leyson, one of the complainants of the illegal detention case against Niño Rey.

Leyson asked CHR to investigate the accusations made by Niño Rey’s legal counsels that operatives of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 allegedly maltreated Etad and Lupas to issue statements against their client.

Villarino urged the lawyers of Niño Rey to visit their office to provide information about the matter since the accusation came from them.

In a related development, the camp of Niño Rey filed a motion in the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office asking them to reconsider its earlier decision on the PB member’s parricide case.

Atty. Gerardo Carillo, one of Niño Rey’s lawyers, said that the investigating prosecutors “erroneously concluded that probable cause exists and respondent should be held trial of the crime charged.”

“There is a failure of the prosecutors to establish a clear probable cause because we believe that there is no corpus delicti,” he said.

The prosecution, Carillo said, relied too much on the testimony of Etad.

Carillo also said that the prosecutors erred in their conclusion that Lapu-Lapu City has jurisdiction over the crime.

“The incident happened in Bohol and allegedly, based on the statement of Etad and Lupas, the cadaver was already placed in the boat. So it happened in Bohol,” he said. (JKV, JOB)
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