Prosecutors handling Ecleo case suffer big blow as PNP fails to identify cadaver
CEBU CITY — In what was seen as a big blow to the prosecutors handling the parricide case against Ruben Ecleo Jr., the medico-legal officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) told the court that the samples taken from the alleged cadaver of Ecleo’s wife did not yield any DNA profile.
Chief Inspector Francisco Supe Jr. said the taking of blood samples from a minor son of Ecleo may no longer be necessary in light of the successive and continuous failure to yield DNA profile from the samples taken from the alleged cadaver of Alona Bacolod-Ecleo.
In a letter addressed to Judge Geraldine Faith Econg, Supe stated his office exerted “all possible efforts” but failed to make a DNA profile of the body found in Dalaguete in 2002.
Alona’s husband, Ruben Ecleo Jr., the principal suspect in the murder, has asked the court to identify the cadaver.
Aside from the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and forensic experts of the University of the Philippines are also trying to make a DNA profile out of the cadaver to determine if it is indeed Alona’s remains.
Without any DNA profile record of Alona, the experts are taking samples from her siblings and son to compare with the profile of the cadaver.
Supe said he would not issue an official result on the study because he and other personnel failed to make the DNA profile.
Judge Econg had earlier issued an order compelling a son of cult leader Ecleo Jr. to submit DNA samples to the court to help identify the body of a woman found at a ravine in Dalaguete town, believed to be that of his wife.
In a three-page order, Econg granted a motion of the prosecution panel and compelled Ludwig Van Ecleo to submit DNA samples for analysis.
The prosecution had earlier filed the motion to have Ludwig undergo a DNA test to help determine the identity of the dead woman whom they claimed was Ecleo’s wife. However, Econg set two conditions before Ecleo’s son is subjected to the DNA test.
First, the lady judge said, the National Bureau of Investigation, University of the Philippines forensic experts, and the PNP Crime Laboratory should submit a categorical declaration that they could identify the body of the woman.
Another condition is that the court must be assured that the DNA testing will not cause negative emotional or psychological effect on Ecleo’s son.
Econg assigned RTC social worker Romeo Capampangan to interview Ecleo’s son and further make a study to determine if there is any negative emotional or psychological effect.
The prosecution team handling the case of Ecleo had earlier petitioned the court to compel Ecleo’s son to obey the court order and give DNA samples.
In its motion, the prosecution panel stated that the child’s discomfort should not supersede the interest of justice. The panel also said that allowing the child to forego the giving of DNA samples just because he is not comfortable doing it would give other persons a reason to refuse a valid court order.