CEBU CITY — Cult leader and parricide suspect Ruben Ecleo Jr. snubbed the resumption of his seven-year controversial parricide case in Cebu, citing health reasons for his failure to show up in court on Wednesday.
Security was tight and additional security men were fielded at the Palace of Justice grounds in preparation for the arrival of Ecleo, Supreme Master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), for the October 14 resumption of his hearing.
Ecleo is charged for the brutal death of his wife Alona Bacolod-Ecleo and has put up a P1 million bail for his temporary liberty, citing his worsening health condition as a reason.
Prosecution lawyers sought the cancellation of Ecleo’s bail in order to return the cult leader to jail.
Lawyer Fritz Quinanola, who leads the prosecution panel, has earlier submitted its formal motion asking Judge Peras to act on the motion that seeks to cancel the bail of Ecleo, the prime suspect in the slay of his wife Alona Bacolod-Ecleo.
Last March 1, 2004, Judge Generosa Labra approved the P1-million bail that set Ecleo temporarily free, to the surprise of the prosecutors and the family of the victim considering that parricide is a non-bailable offense.
Ecleo claimed he was suffering from various illnesses and was already a “walking time bomb” and his condition could worsen if he remains in jail.
After being stalled for more than a year, the seven-year-old parricide case against cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. resumed yesterday amid tight security.
Local media had to contend with interviewing the prosecution and deffense lawyers at the end of the hearing on Ecleo’s bail.