Congress removes Ecleo from its roster
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Friday has ordered that Dinagat Islands Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. be dropped from the roster of the House of Representatives.
Belmonte said the order took effect May 31 and was based on the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Ecleo’s plea to overturn the 2006 guilty verdict handed down by the Sandiganbayan First Division on Ecleo’s three counts of anti-graft charges.
“The final appeal in the third case looked pro forma to us with scant chance of being granted.”
House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II said the decision need not be announced on the floor and it was up to the secretary general to strike out Ecleo’s name from the list of members.
The “supreme master” of the cult group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), Ecleo faces from18 up to 31 years imprisonment and a fine of P2.8 million for irregularities in his construction projects as mayor for San Jose town in Surigao del Norte back in the 90’s.
He was also found guilty of parricide for the death of his wife, Alona, in 2002 and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
A special task force was formed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to catch Ecleo and other known fugitives – former army general Jovito Palparan Jr., Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and Corona Mayor Mario Reyes.
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