Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II grants Motion for Reconsideration in the case of P/SSupt. Jonathan A. Cabal vs. Provincial Board Member Nino Rey Boniel (OSEC-PR-LLC-2-220917-00)

28 March 2018

In a Resolution dated March 27, 2018, Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II granted the Motion for Reconsideration filed in the case of PSSUPT Jonathan A. Cabal vs. Provincial Board Member Nino Rey Boniel (OSEC-PR-LLC-2-220917-00, NPS Docket No. VII-12-INQ-17F00876), a case for parricide. The deceased victim, Gisela Boniel, is the wife of the respondent Nino Rey Boniel.

The dispositive portion of the RESOLUTION states:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, 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 Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu to withdraw the information for Parricide against Nino Rey  Boniel and the Information for Murder against Willy Hoylar and Restituto Magoncia, Jr. is similarly REVERSED.

In granting the Motion for Reconsideration  and reinstating and affirming  the June 28, 2017 Resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu City, the Resolution stated, among others:

We therefore find that the Information for Parricide sufficiently alleges that the offense was committed  within the waters of Lapu-Lapu City where Nino Boniel killed her wife and thereafter dumped the body thereat.  To rule that there is multiplicity of actions  would run counter to that fundamental rule that venue is jurisdictional in criminal cases. As such, the complaint was properly filed with and the case must rightly be tried in the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-lapu City.

The fact that the kidnapping transpired in Bohol is of no moment. There is no multiplicity of actions because of the difference in territorial jurisdictions of the two separate and distinct crimes. 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 To rule that the information  for Parricide should be withdrawn  because of an alleged lack of jurisdiction would be violative of the rule on Adherence to Jurisdiction.

We are mindful that we have duty to determine whether or not there is probable cause to indict Nino Boniel of the crime of parricide. This is an executive determination of probable cause which is entirely different from the judicial determination of probable cause.

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.

“Our resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration in this case 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,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II said.

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