After backlash, Aguirre revives parricide case vs Bohol official
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II signed a resolution on Tuesday, March 27, that overturned his undersecretary's decision to clear a Bohol official of parricide charges in the killing of his wife, former Bien Unido mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel.
"The instant motion for reconsideration is granted and the assailed resolution dated January 29, 2018 is hereby reversed and set aside. Consequently, the directive to the Office of the City Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu to withdraw the information for parricide against Niño Rey Boniel and the information for murder against Willy Hoylar and Restituto Magoncia Jr is similarly reversed," states the resolution signed by Aguirre on Tuesday.
This followed the backlash against the Department of Justice (DOJ) after it was revealed that last January, Undersecretary Reynante Orceo ordered the withdrawal of charges against Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel for the kidnapping and death of his wife Gisela.
Orceo granted Boniel's petition for review, on a technical flaw that it was the Office of the City Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu which filed the charges. Orceo said it should have been the Office of the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor.
Gisela was abducted from a resort in the Bohol municipality of Bien Unido on June 7, 2017. Witnesses claimed she was shot dead at sea by her own husband near Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Her body was dumped at sea, according to a witness who said he was in a boat with Boniel when the latter shot his wife. (READ: Police not yet giving up on finding Bohol mayor's dead body)
JUST IN: Aguirre signed a resolution today that overturns the dismissal of parricide charges against Bohol board member Rey Niño Boniel for the kidnapping and killing of his wife former Bien-Unido, Bohol Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/fK553zQ3wy— Lian Buan (@lianbuan) March 27, 2018
Aguirre stepped in and overturned the January decision a day after he told media that he wasn't aware of Orceo's resolution.
"To clarify, an information for parricide has already been filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City. In effect, it already took cognizance of the case of parricide. To rule that the information for parricide should be withdrawn because of an alleged lack of jurisdiction would be violative of the rule on adherence to jurisdiction," Aguirre wrote in his resolution.
He added: "Since the jurisdiction to try the case for parricide has already been vested in the competent court of Lapu-Lapu City, we deem it proper and prudent to not interfere with the judicial powers if only to show courtesy to the courts and uphold the rule of law."
Before this move, the lead police investigator in the murder-kidnapping case came out to slam Orceo's dismissal of charges as "another DOJ blunder."
"I'm saddened by that resolution issued by Usec Orceo. Very disturbing to say the least," said Senior Superintendent Jonathan Cabal, former intelligence chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) in Central Visayas.
Aguirre said his decision to overturn Orceo's ruling "clearly manifests that the Office of the Secretary of Justice will not be a party to any perceived miscarriage of justice."
"We will apply the law and the pertinent rule without fear or favor to any case," he added. – Rappler.com
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