Tuesday August 21, 2018

Parricide suspect steps down as PB member in Bohol after arraignment

PARRICIDE suspect Niño Rey Boniel has resigned as a board member of Bohol’s second district, barely a year after being detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center for allegedly masterminding the killing of his wife, Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel.

Niño, who maintains his innocence, announced his “irrevocable resignation” after his case was arraigned before Judge Ferdinand Collantes of the Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Lapu-Lapu City.

“I am still in (a state of) shock,” an emotional Niño told reporters after his arraignment, referring to his non-bailable case.

Niño did not enter any plea, saying his lawyers have filed a petition questioning the legality of his arrest before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The court ended up entering a “not guilty” plea for him and his co-accused Wilfredo Hoylar and Restituto Magoncia, Jr., while the DOJ resolves their petition.

Aside from Niño, Hoylar and Magoncia, also arraigned yesterday were Riolito Boniel and Randel Lupas, who are under the DOJ’s witnesses protection program.

They pleaded not guilty.

Allan delos Reyes Jr. and Lobo Boniel were not arraigned since the duo remain at large. Excluding Niño, the accused are facing murder.

In his resignation-letter, Niño said he consulted his family and supporters about his move. He said he is willing to assist his successor in the transition of his job.

Niño said that his detention made him closer to God. He said he has formed a Christian ministry inside the jail to bring other inmates closer to God.

“I realized that what matters most is your relationship to God and other people,” he said, adding that the truth will soon come out in his favor.

Amando Virgil Ligutan, the prosecution’s lead counsel, said they are preparing 45 witnesses to bolster their case during the trial proper.

Niño is also facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges that were filed by Angela Gamalinda-Leyson, Gisela’s best friend, and Leyson’s 17-year-old son after he allegedly held them against their will at the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Dive Camp on June 7, 2017, the same day that he allegedly shot his wife, whose body was allegedly thrown off Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City. (GMD)