Convicted ex-congressman Ecleo transferred to Bilibid
Photo shows cult leader and former Dinagat congressman Ruben Ecleo Jr.
Release / PNP PIO
Convicted ex-congressman Ecleo transferred to Bilibid
( - August 5, 2020 - 2:39pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:55 p.m.) — Convict Ruben Ecleo Jr., a former Dinagat Islands congressman, was transferred to the New Bilbid Prison on Wednesday, the Department of Justice said.

Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag confirmed that they received information that Ecleo will be brought to the Bilibid “after lunch.”

DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete cited Chaclag’s statement where the official said that Ecleo “was turned over to the New Bilibid Prisons at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Perete, DOJ’s spokesperson, also said that the commitment order came from the Sandiganbayan.

Law enforcers nabbed Ecleo in Balibago, Angeles in Pamapnga, on July 30, after years of evading arrest since 2011. He was taken to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

The former lawmaker, also cult leader of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, was convicted of parricide, over the killing his wife, Alona, whose body was found wrapped in a garbage bag and was dumped in a ravine in Dalaguete town in Southern Cebu.

The Sandiganbayan also convicted Ecleo on three graft convictions.

The Philippine National Police reported that Ecleo had been living under the name of “Manuel Riberal” at the time of his arrest. He and his driver, Benjie Relacion Fernan, were brought in by agents of the Regional Intelligence Division-Special Operations Group and Metro Manila police’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

Fernan will face a charge for obstructing Ecleo’s arrest.

The PNP said it will investigate the circumstances surrounding the former lawmaker’s years of evading arrest.

The Supreme Court had previously ordered the suspension of transfers of new convicts to Bilibid as a precaution against COVID-19.

"All convicted PDLs (Persons Deprived of Liberty) who should have otherwise been committed to the BuCor shall in the meantime remain and be committed in the BJMP jail units," Court Administrator Midas Marquez said in late July.

 — Kristine Joy Patag with report from Franco Luna

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