Witness tags brod of Ecleo’s wife in her killing

CEBU CITY — Surviving members of the slain wife of cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. have kept their cool and were hardly surprised when a new witness surfaced this week and implicated one of her brothers in her killing last year.

The new witness, 32-year-old Cedric Divinadera, was described to be soft-spoken, quiet and unassuming.

Divinadera surfaced at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in General Santos City last Wednesday and accused Ben Bacolod, brother of Ecleo’s wife Alona, of having masterminded her killing.

Ben died almost a year ago when his family was massacred in Mandaue City.

But police and the Bacolod family believe that Divinadera’s sudden appearance was meant to confuse prosecutors in the ongoing trial of Ecleo on parricide charges.

That Divinadera testified after Ecleo’s request for bail was denied, only heightened suspicions that his appearance was part of alleged desperate moves to “free” the supreme leader of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), said CIDG chief Edwin Diocos.

Granting that Divinadera’s allegations were true, Diocos said he should have surfaced when Ben was still alive so that Ecleo could not have been charged.


Diocos challenged Divinadera to come to Cebu to execute a sworn statement before the CIDG or any other unit to prove his claims.

“Masyadong scripted yung statements niya (His statements were ‘scripted’ well),” he said.

Divinadera alleged that Ben mauled and strangled Alona because she failed to give him the money that he had demanded from her.

He said Ben fetched him at a billiard joint along Sanciangko street on Jan. 5 last year and they proceeded to the Ecleos’ residence in Banawa where they fetched Alona.

He said they boarded a white van driven by a man identified only as “Part.” Alona reportedly got money from her store in D. Jakosalem and gave it to Ben.

But Divinadera said the siblings had a quarrel because the cash fell short of what Ben had wanted. Ben then allegedly strangled Alona to death, he claimed.

He said they then stuffed Alona’s body in a plastic bag and dumped it in Dalaguete town.

He said Ben paid him P30,000 for his participation and that since then, he had been on the run until he surrendered to the CIDG in General Santos, claiming he was bothered by his conscience.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Freeman News Service, Philippines
Dec. 20, 2003

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday December 22, 2003.
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