Ecleo guilty of parricide

CEBU CITY -- The court on Friday found Dinagat Island Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. guilty of parricide for the death of his wife in January 2002.

In a 200-page decision, Judge Soliver Peras of the Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in Cebu City found Ecleo guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Ecleo, who was not present in the promulgation of the case, was sentenced to life in prison or reclusion perpetua. The court awards the family of Ecleo’s wife at least P25 million in damages.

The supreme master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) was indicted for the death of his wife, Alona Bacolod-Ecleo, whose body was thrown into a ravine in Dalaguete town in 2002.

The couple, at that time, lived with their three children in sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City. Alona was a third-year medical student the last time she was seen alive.

Part of the decision stated P200,000 as exemplary damages to Alona's family, P25.550 million as compensatory damages, P200,000 moral damages, P200,000 as attorney's fees, and P50,000 as temperate damages.

Ecleo is no stranger to jail, having been an inmate of the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC) from June 2002 up to April 2004 for his parricide case.

He was arrested in late June 2002, after a bloody shootout between his arresting officers and PBMA loyalists in Dinagat Island on the basis of a warrant of arrest issued in Cebu City by now retired judge Galicano Arriesgado.

In 2004, the court allowed Ecleo to post a P1-million bail so he could undergo treatment for his heart ailment. Peras canceled the bail on April 6, 2011 of Ecleo and issued warrant of arrest for failing to attend three hearings in a row last year.

In Friday’s promulgation of the case, security was tight inside and outside the Palace of Justice in Cebu City.

Judge Peras allowed 20 PBMA members to enter the courtroom Friday.

Josebil and Angelito Bacolod, brothers of Ecleo's slain wife, also attended the promulgation.

Josebil testified in June 2011 that he heard a thud from the couple’s room on January 5, 2002.

He said he pretended to get drinking water and went inside the couple’s house and saw Ecleo half-naked and furiously staring at him.

Aside from the thud, Josebil said he also heard his sister shouting for help. Alona did not leave their house at 7 p.m. on January 5, contrary to Ecleo’s claim.

But Ecleo has denied killing his wife.

The lawmaker claimed that the body of a woman found at the foot of a ravine in Dalaguete was not his wife’s.

Alona, he said, was petite and stood not more than five feet and one inch. Since the woman’s body placed inside a garbage bag was at least 5’5”, Ecleo said it was not his wife’s.

Members of the Bacolod family were the ones who identified the body as that of Alona.

Part of Judge Peras's decision said Ecleo's alibi is easy to fabricate.

"For alibi to prosper, there must be showing of the accused in another time and place," the decision stated.

Ecleo also told the court that during Alona’s disappearance, her brother Ben was the last person with her.

Ben was killed along with his father, mother, sister and neighbor by an alleged PBMA member in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City in June 2002, the same night Ecleo was arrested in Dinagat.

Aside from the parricide case, Ecleo was also convicted of three graft cases.

The three cases correspond to three government-funded projects implemented in San Jose, a town in Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, by PBMA Builders as contractor.

The projects -- the construction of a public market, a municipal building and the repair and rehabilitation of a building owned by the PBMA Women’s League -- were carried out from 1991 to 1994, while Ecleo was municipal mayor. (Sunnex)

For more local stories, visit www.sunstar.com.ph

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options