Ecleo case to get new judge today

THE prosecution in the seven-year-old parricide case against Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association divine master Ruben Ecleo Jr. is hoping that the new judge who would be assigned today to the case would be able to resolve the motion to cancel Ecleo's bail.

The Supreme Court in a resolution dated April 15, directed Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Meinrado Paredes to “immediately raffle” Ecleo's case to one of Cebu City's judges after granting the motion for inhibition of Judge Geraldine Faith Econg of Branch 9.

Paredes of Branch 13 will preside over the regular raffling of cases this 3 p.m.

Among those who might be able to handle the Ecleo case are RTC Judges Raphael Yrastorza, Silvestre Maamo, Gabriel Ingles, Simeon Dumdum, Sylva Paderanga and Soliver Peras.

Drugs, family and commercial courts are excluded from handling Ecleo's case as well as Judges Estela Alma Singco and Douglas Marigomen because they are already loaded with cases.

Ecleo was accused of killing his wife Alona Bacolod by strangulation inside their home in Banawa, barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Jan. 5, 2002.

Her remains were found inside a plastic bag dumped in a ravine in Dalaguete town, Cebu three days later.

Six judges including Econg have inhibited from handling the parricide case against Ecleo, a former mayor of San Jose town, Dinagat Island in Surigao del Norte.

Other judges who have inhibited from the case were Galicano Arriesgado, Olegario Sarmiento, Generosa Labra, Anacleto Caminade and Ireneo Lee-Gako.

Labra of Branch 23 granted a P1 million bail on Ecleo who was described to be a “walking time bomb that might drop dead anytime,” referring to Ecleo's heart condition.

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter President Michael Yu said he is hoping the truth will finally come out and justice will be served.

“I hope the case will be moving after it will be re-raffled,” Yu said.

He said the IBP will continue supporting the prosecutors of the case. (Cebu Daily News/Reporter Ador Vincent S. Mayol)

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