DOJ turns two of nine suspects in Boniel slay into state witnesses
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Regional Trial Court (RTC) to admit as state witnesses two of the nine suspects in the slay of Bien Unido, Bohol Mayor Gisela Boniel.
Assistant Regional Prosecutor Llena Ipong-Avila, Central Visayas implementor of the Witness Protection Program (WPP), argued the testimonies of Riolito Boniel and Randel Lupas were “absolutely necessary” to prove the guilt of Gisela’s husband, former Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel.
In a motion before Branch 65 Judge Ferdinand Collantes, she explained “there is no other direct evidence available for the state for the proper prosecution of the instant cases,” since the perpetrators were either detained or at large.
Ipong-Avila said Riolito and Lucas could be dropped from the case as they were not the “most guilty” among the suspects.
“The two merely acceded and carried out the orders and plans of the main conspirator,” she said.
Riolito, a casual employee of Bien Unido town and a close relative of Niño, claimed to have witnessed the actual killing of Gisela. He said he saw Niño cursing before shooting Gisela while on board a pump boat on the dawn of June 7, 2017.