Ecleo's son questioned for refusing DNA testing

() - July 13, 2005 - 12:00am
The son of Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association supreme master and parricide suspect Ruben Ecleo Jr. was questioned by the court yesterday why he refused to undergo DNA test as written in his letter to Regional Trial Court branch 9 judge Geraldine Econg.

The 12-year-old Ludwig Van, in his letter dated July 8, said that he did not want to take part in the case as he was "scared" and that he might be subject to "bad talks and publicity".

Econg, after the private meeting, said the questioning was also meant to check whether Ludwig's refusal was his own decision which the child affirmed, explaining that his father had even asked him to submit to the test.

But Econg said the child does not like the media and that he wants to live a normal life as he must have been traumatized by all that has been happening which involved his parents. Ludwig told Econg that he had already suffered ridicule from his classmates and he did not want more of that.

"It's clear from all his answers that he's traumatized," Econg told reporters.

But the prosecution is still set to make a motion next week to request the court to direct Ludwig to undergo DNA testing.

"While we may want to respect the welfare of the child it should not be overlooked that the evidence is needed," prosecution lawyer Agustine Vestil Jr. said, adding that the process would ridicule the child.

Prosecution lawyer Kit Enriquez added that Ludwig's DNA can be used as evidence by both sides. If the test would prove negative then it would be advantageous to the defense, he explained.

Meanwhile, Econg will be basing her ruling, whether she will compel the child to take the test or not, from the motions from both parties.

National Bureau Investigation forensic expert Idabelle Pagulayan earlier said the DNA samples from one of Ecleo's children are necessary to determine whether they match with those of a female corpse found in barangay Coro, Dalaguete town, three years ago.

The body, which was stuffed in a black garbage bag, is thought to be that of Ecleo's wife, Alona Bacolod, who was killed in January 2002.

AGUSTINE VESTIL JR. ALONA BACOLOD BUT ECONG ECLEO ECONG GERALDINE ECONG IDABELLE PAGULAYAN KIT ENRIQUEZ LUDWIG VAN NATIONAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION
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