Boniel couple’s marriage shaky since start
Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - June 9, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - The marriage of Bien Unido Mayor Gisela Boniel and her husband, Bohol Provincial Board Member Niño Rey Boniel, was shaky since the beginning, at least according to Gisela’s best friend and confidante, Angela Leyson.

“She would always tell me that the kasal is a joke, she just signed a paper,” Leyson told The Freeman.

Gisela, a licensed pilot, was believed to have been kidnapped, killed, and her remains dumped underwater.

Last Thursday, Niño Rey was arrested as alleged mastermind.

It was in February this year when Gisela reportedly started hinting she wanted to get out of her marriage.

Leyson quoted her friend, “I’m falling out of love, I’m getting out of this marriage. I’m not a trophy wife, I’m not a politician, I’m not happy about what I’m doing, It’s like I’m an instrument, I’m a robot.”

Gisela reportedly already had a psychologist ready to attest to her mental state as ground for the annulment case she wanted to file.

Leyson also recalled Gisela telling her that Niño Rey was hurting her physically, but Gisela reportedly chose not to file charges because no one would believe her.

“Gilabay-labay sya. Gamay lang gyud to sya, naa sya pasa diri (pointing to her right shoulder),” Leyson said.

Leyson’s place in Manila reportedly became Gisela’s place of refuge.

“She was crying at that time when she goes to Manila. Maliit lang place ko but it’s home for her. She has been crying ever since nagkita mi,” Leyson said.

The past four years

Leyson said Gisela and Niño Rey met through common friends and, two months later in 2012, decided to get married after learning Gisela was carrying a child.

The wedding was reportedly very exclusive that not even the couple’s close friends, Leyson included, were invited.

Yet even from that time, Leyson said Gisela would start confiding in her about her problems, marital and financial.

When Gisela won as mayor of Bien Unido, she reportedly had a difficult time coping with her responsibilities and problems, both in the town and with her buy and sell business.

“She is really asking legal advices, and there are some projects that are hanging right now; there are some deficit sa COA that she has to fix,” Leyson said.


Leyson is pleading for Gisela’s family to help her seek for justice.

Authorities have yet to recover Gisela’s body that Niño Rey’s cousin and co-accused, Reolito “Etad” Boniel, disclosed was thrown into the water off Lapu-Lapu City.

Gisela’s body was reportedly wrapped with a fish net embedded with two rocks that weighed 30 kilos.

“I’m begging you, if you really care for your sister, please, I can’t do this alone… kailangan nako ang tabang. If I will just hide, what will happen to her?” Leyson said.


Leyson and Gisela met in Iligan City National High School where Gisela was the captain of the school’s softball team.

“Pag-una, dili ko ganahan niya kay maldita pero later on, nagka-close mi kay ganahan siya nako, kay lambing,” Leyson recalled.

They were inseparable and parted ways only after high school.

In 2009, with Leyson based in Manila and Gisela in Cebu as a pilot, they reconnected on social media and, since then, maintained their communication through chats and texts.

Leyson saw Gisela the last time on Wednesday dawn in a room at the Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Drive Camp in Bohol where they were taken by their captors.

It was also there that Leyson, despite slowly losing consciousness due to electric shock allegedly applied on her neck, recalled hearing and seeing Gisela begging Niño Rey to spare her. (FREEMAN)

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