Ferro: PRO-7 ready for Ecleo transfer to Cebu City
Ruben Ecleo, considered the supreme master of the religious group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), was arrested at a golf course in San Fernando, Pampanga Thursday morning, eight years after he was convicted in 2012 for the death of his wife, Alona, in 2002.
Release / PNP PIO
Ferro: PRO-7 ready for Ecleo transfer to Cebu City
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - August 1, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Police Regional Office (PRO) - 7 assured it will have security measures in place in for the possible transfer of detention of former congressman Ruben Ecleo, Jr. to Cebu.

Ecleo, considered the supreme master of the religious group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), was arrested at a golf course in San Fernando, Pampanga Thursday morning, eight years after he was convicted in 2012 for the death of his wife, Alona, in 2002.

PRO-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro explained that the legal process requires that an accused in a case be brought to the court that issued the warrant of arrest.

In Ecleo’s case, it was Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City.

“Actually, the legal process of that is you have to return to the originating court that issued the warrant of arrest… the usual procedure man gud is you have to bring leading person in front of that particular court,” Ferro said.

Out of bail for health reasons, Ecleo did not show up in court during his sentencing in April 2012. He was never found until the police operation in Pampanga on July 30, 2020.

Until his arrest, Ecleo was considered the most wanted person of the PNP.

Ferro said they are eyeing at utilizing the Special Action Force (SAFT) and intelligence unit of PRO-7 for the security plan.

“That is a high profile and number one national most wanted person so we need to secure him na di makatakas, di makalupad, because that guy is a very influential person. I think he is a rich man here in Visayas… we really need to secure so the proper justice will be served,” Ferro said.

Ecleo is detained temporarily at the National Capital Region Police Office in Manila.

NCRPO chief Debold Sinas said it took them six months of surveillance before pinning Ecleo down finally dawn on Thursday.

The arresting team seized a white Toyota Grandia with plate number DAJ6642, P173,150 cash, golf club set, fake IDs, three cell phones, and pieces of jewelry from Ecleo.

Arrested with Ecleo was his 35-year-old driver identified as Benjie Fernan Relacion. He is facing charges for violating Presidential Decree 1829 or Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders.

Ecleo said he really wanted to surrender because he misses his family.

"Pagod na ako, eh," he said during the press conference Thursday afternoon.

But even before his conviction in Cebu in 2012, the Sandiganbayan sentenced Ecleo to 31 and a half years in prison over anomalous construction deals he entered into between 1991 to 1994 when he was mayor of San Jose in Surigao del Norte, the stronghold of PBMA.

It was in San Jose where at least 23 of Ecleo’s followers in PBMA died when they shot it out with authorities who were serving a warrant for Ecleo’s arrest for Alona’s death.

Five months after Alona’s body was found down a ravine in Dalaguete, Cebu, her parents and two siblings were killed at the house in Mandaue City by an alleged Ecleo supporter. The suspect died in a shootout with police.

The private prosecutor in the parricide case, Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco, was also shot dead inside her house. —  JMO (FREEMAN)

RUBEN ECLEO JR
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with