SECTIONS
Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prosecution suffers ‘temporary setback’

THE prosecution team does not agree with the resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which ordered the withdrawal of the case against Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel and two others.

“In fact, we are confident that we will get a reversal of this decision upon the filing of a motion for reconsideration,” said prosecution lawyer Armando Virgil Ligutan in a press conference yesterday.

DOJ Undersecretary Reynante Orceo gave the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office 10 days to withdraw the parricide case against Boniel.

Orceo also directed the prosecutors to withdraw the murder case against Niño’s co-accused, Willy Hoylar and Restituto Magoncia.

The prosecution received a copy of Orceo’s resolution, dated Jan. 29, 2018, on Friday.

The prosecution panel--composed of lawyers Ligutan, Sunshine Enriquez, and Florleane Sacares--has 10 days to submit its motion for reconsideration, or until April 2.

In the press conference, Ligutan pointed out the undersecretary did not dwell on the merit of the case, but on a mere technicality, in resolving Niño’s petition for review.

“What he (Orceo) is saying in his resolution is that it should be the Office of the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor that must take cognizance of the complaint,” said Ligutan.

“Utterly frustrated”

He said the prosecution will raise “solid legal grounds” in their motion for reconsideration.

Ligutan also said that the family of slain Bien Unido mayor Gisela Boniel is “utterly frustrated” with the DOJ’s resolution.

In fact, Ligutan said, that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has created a panel of prosecutors that will investigate the parricide case against Niño as well as the murder case against Reolito “Etad” Boniel and other cohorts.

Aguirre appointed Assistant Regional Prosecutor Llena Ipong-Avila and Manila-based Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera as members of the panel.

The DOJ also took into custody the two witnesses--Reolito and Randel Lupas--while the case is ongoing.

“The family could not understand why it is the same DOJ, through its undersecretary, that will have this resolution,” said Ligutan.

The fact that the undersecretary did not find probable cause is an implied finding that there is evidence to file the case, the lawyer said.

The prosecution also plans to seek the voluntary inhibition of Orceo from resolving its motion for reconsideration.

“The dispositive portion of the resolution does not jive with the body of the resolution,” said Ligutan.
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