‘Pakikisama’ enabled Ecleo Jr evade arrest for years
MANILA, Philippines — As former Dinagat Islands Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. was arrested Thursday after almost a decade of eluding arrest, many — including law enforcement officials — were curious about how he managed to hide for so long without leaving the country.
In a press briefing at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Ecleo revealed his secret:
“Simple as that, ‘yon bang tinatawag na pakisama ba,” Ecleo told reporters after PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa translated into Cebuano questions on how he managed to slip through authorities.
(Simple as that, it’s what we call fellowship.)
“Tapos siyempre kapag hindi mo na gawin, hindi ka naman gumawa ng masama (they won’t squeal) laro lang naman ‘yon,” he added, referring to how he was able to still play golf, as he was arrested near a golf course in Angeles City.
(Of course, if you do not do, or if you refrain from doing anything bad, they won’t tell anything, golf is just a game.)
Authorities earlier announced the arrest of Ecleo, who also used to be the “supreme master” of cult group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), and presented him to the public through the media in a press conference,
Ecleo was a subject of outstanding warrants of arrest from anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, in connection to graft convictions in 2006 after favoring a construction firm — PBMA Builders — as he disbursed payments even if the projects were not completed.
In 2012, Ecleo was also sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his former wife in Cebu in 2002 — an act that he still denies up to this day.
“Hindi ako ang gumawa, pero kasi inakusahan ako at na-prove na, kaya aminin ko na,” Ecleo said during the press briefing, as translated by Gamboa. “Hindi ko alam kung sino ‘yong (gumawa).”
(I am not the one who did it, but since they accuse me and they have already proven it, I would accept it anyway. But I don’t know who did it.)
READ: Who is Ruben Ecleo Jr.?
Ecleo admitted during the interview that there were times he wanted to surrender, as he has been tired of running and hiding from authorities. He also said he had left the ministry of PBMA to her sister and son.
“Palagi ‘yan,” Ecleo said when asked if he ever thought of surrendering. “I don’t know, I was just so foolish though. Pero matagal na akong gustong sumuko talaga kasi pagod na ako eh.”
(It always crosses my mind. I don’t know why I kept on evading, I was just so foolish though. But I really wanted to surrender a long time ago because I am already tired.)
“Matagal na akong hindi nag-ano sa pagka-Supremo na. In fact, pinaubaya ko na ‘yon sa sister ko, tapos sa anak ko, sila na lang, kasi wala naman akong kuwan,” he added.
(It’s been a long time since I have been the Supreme Master. In fact, I have handed over responsibilities to my sister and my son, they would be the ones to handle it.)