MANILA – The lone tipster who provided information that led to the arrest of former Dinagat Islands congressman and cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr., will get a PHP2-million reward, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, said on Thursday.
“The said informant came from the Dinagat Islands and proceeded to Manila and coordinated to our operatives and gave us an idea where Ecleo is residing,” Sinas said in a press briefing.
He, however, refused to disclose the identity of the informant, particularly whether he or she is a member of the Philippine Benevolent Missionary Association (PBMA) headed by Ecleo as its supreme master, for security reasons.
Ecleo, who tops the Most Wanted Persons list of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), carries a PHP2-million bounty.
Sinas said their six months surveillance on Ecleo, who has been a fugitive from justice for 14 years, paid off as past operations to capture him resulted in bloody encounters between the police and some of his loyal followers.
The former lawmaker was sentenced to 31 years in prison by the Sandiganbayan for three counts of graft in 2006. He was also convicted by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court in 2012 for parricide over the killing of his wife, Alona Bacolod-Ecleo, in 2002.
Sinas said that after his conviction, Ecleo stayed in Davao for two years before he went to Luzon. He said Ecleo has been staying with his wife and daughter in Balibago in Angeles City for the past four years.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, said at least four policemen will receive meritorious promotion due to Ecleo’s successful arrest.
“May mga mapo-promote dito (In this case, there will be cops who will be promoted) meritoriously because it is not an easy thing to track a fugitive who is wanted for 14 years,” he said.
He said the NCRPO will make the necessary recommendations.
Ecleo was arrested by police operatives in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga early Thursday.
Seized from the suspect were three short firearms, one M-16 rifle, fake IDs, one golf set, a Grandia van registered under his fake name “Marcos Macapagal Garcia”, PHP173,000 cash, three cellphones, and pieces of jewelry. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan /PNA – northboundasia.com