Ecleo wants to appeal conviction
FUGITIVE Ruben Ecleo Jr. is asking the court to give him a chance to appeal his parricide conviction.
Defense lawyer Jose Ventura Aspiras said in a hearing yesterday that there were flaws in the court decision which found Ecleo guilty of killing his wife Alona in 2002.
“There are good grounds to appeal. We asked the court to set aside technicalities,” said Aspiras.
He said the notice for the promulgation was sent to lawyer Orlando Salatandre and not to Ecleo himself.
Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras of Branch 10 said they sent the notice to Ecleo’s address in Banawa, Cebu City.
“If you want to take technicalities in your favor, you want us to be lenient and liberal in the aspect of technicality?” the judge said.
Prosecution lawyer Kit Enriquez said legal remedies are not available for the accused who fails to attend the promulgation of his case.
Enriquez said Ecleo is one of the country’s top four most wanted persons and failed to justify his absence.
Ecleo’s defense counsel told the court that Ecleo was “tried by publicity.”
“Referring to Ecleo as the most wanted person does not apply in this court. This is media propaganda,” said Aspiras.
“Ecleo is still in the country and he is hoping that he will be given a chance,” said Aspiras.
The court gave both parties 15 days to submit their comments.
Ecleo was sentenced to a prison term of 20 to 40 years for killing his wife Alona.
He was earlier convicted and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for a graft case by the Sandiganbayan. Because of the conviction, Ecleo was expelled from Congress where he represented the lone district of Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte.
The graft case was filed during Ecleo’s stint as Dinagat mayor./PIT INTERN JESSA P. OMEGA
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