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Bacolod siblings oppose transfer of Ecleo case trial

The Manila Bulletin, Philippines
Oct. 29, 2004
Mars W. Mosqueda Jr. • Friday October 29, 2004

CEBU CITY The surviving siblings of the murdered wife of Ruben Ecleo Jr. have brought to court their opposition to a move to transfer the trial of the parricide case against the cult leader.

Angelito, Ricky and Josebel Bacolod filed an opposition with the Office of the Court Administrator, asking that the trial on the parricide case against Ecleo remains in Cebu.

The opposition of the Bacolod siblings came after Ecleo, supreme master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), requested the Supreme Court to transfer the trial to Manila, claiming that Cebu is a hostile, bias ground for him.

But the Supreme Court had already denied the request of Ecleo after it did not see the danger or threat upon the life of the accused that would merit the transfer of the trial.

The Bacolod siblings, brothers of slain Alona, are the only surviving members of the Bacolod family. Their parents and two other siblings were murdered in an attack by a lone gunman, said to be a member of the Ecleo cult, on the same day Ecleo was captured, at a great cost in human life, in the PBMA enclave on Dinagat Island in Surigao del Norte.

In their opposition, the Bacolods stated that they are the underdogs in the sensational case being the survivors of a horrendous family massacre. The massacre was suspected to be related to the parricide case that Ecleo is facing at the regional trial court in Cebu City.

Ecleo renewed his bid to have the parricide case transferred to Manila in the aftermath of the killing of lawyer Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco who was the private prosecutor in the case.

Ecleo said that the murder spurred hostile public sentiment against him and that his life is in danger because of adverse sentiment implicating him as the mastermind in the Yongco murder.

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