MANILA – Former Dinagat Islands congressman and cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. was transferred to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City on Wednesday.
“He was turned over to the New Bilibid (Prison) at 2 p.m. today (Wednesday),” Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete told newsmen in a message, citing Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag.
Perete, meanwhile, said Ecleo’s transfer pushed through because “it appears that the Sandiganbayan is not covered” by the order of the Supreme Court which temporarily suspends the transfer of prisoners to BuCor facilities.
The high court’s order which is in effect until August 31 aims to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease among persons deprived of liberty in jail facilities across the country.
In 2006, the anti-graft court sentenced Ecleo to 31 years in jail for three counts of graft over anomalous construction deals he entered into when he was town mayor of San Jose, Surigao del Norte between 1991 to 1994.
Before his arrest, Ecleo topped the Most Wanted Persons list of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
His father, Ruben Sr. was the founder of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA).
Ecleo, 60, evaded capture for years before he was arrested in Pampanga on July 30, after being under surveillance for months by the National Capital Regional Police Office.
In 2012, the Cebu City Regional Trial Court also sentenced Ecleo to life imprisonment for parricide for killing his own wife, Alona Bacolod-Ecleo in their home in 2002. Benjamin Pulta /PNA – northboundasia.com