Judge readmits junked evidence in murder case vs cult leader Ecleo

CEBU CITY – A lady Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge handling the parricide case against cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. readmitted last Tuesday three of the pieces of evidence she had earlier junked as they were deemed “inadmissible as evidence.”

RTC Judge Geraldine Faith Econg said the three items were important to the prosecution’s effort to identify the cadaver found in Dalaguete town in southern Cebu.

The prosecution panel is establishing that the cadaver was that of Ecleo’s wife, Alona.

The three items included a shower curtain with bloodstains, one bloodied black garbage bag, and a big plastic garbage bag.

“In admitting the evidence abovementioned, it simply means that the court will consider these in determining if the identity of the victim was established by the accused,” the court said.

The defense panel was not as lucky because the court denied its motion to reject previously accepted pieces of evidence.

The defense insisted that the identity of the cadaver “is not yet properly established” by the pieces of evidence in question.

The prosecution team earlier asked the court to readmit the 36 junked pieces of evidence.

The prosecution claimed that the pieces of evidence are all admissible and that their admission would help in obtaining justice for both the prosecution and the accused.

Private Prosecutors Democrito Barcenas, Fritz Quin~anola, and Alfredo Sipalay argued that some of the photocopied exhibits rejected by Regional Trial Court judge Geraldine Faith Econg are admissible even without the authentication of the person who issued it.

The argument of the private prosecutors is that since the excerpts or the police blotter, certifications from the police are public documents, “therefore its authentication by the person who issued it is no longer necessary for its admissibility.”

Judge Econg had earlier rejected 36 of the over 100 pieces of evidence submitted by the prosecutors.

Econg said in a 30-page order that the 36 pieces of evidence, including those items found in the place where Alona was allegedly killed, are “inadmissible as evidence” in the parricide case against Ecleo Jr., supreme leader of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA).

They were part of the 140 markings and submarkings of the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution as part of their formal offer of exhibits to the court.

Among the pieces of evidence that were deemed “inadmissible as evidence” include the following: Excerpts of the police blotter of Dalaguete town that was intended to prove the description of the woman’s body and the jewelry she wore, because there is no testimony by any of the witnesses identifying the evidence in open court thereby depriving the accused the opportunity to cross-examine this evidence; the matting of a car baggage compartment; one set of doorknob from the bathroom door of Ecleo’s bedroom; and a shower curtain.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Manilla Bulletin, Philippines
May 4, 2006
Mars W. Mosqueda Jr.
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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday May 4, 2006.
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