Ecleo case resumes trial next month

THE seven-year-old parricide case against cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. would have to wait for a couple of weeks more before the court resumes trial.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Soliver Peras of branch-10 yesterday moved for the resumption of the Ecleo's case from Sept. 23 to Oct. 14.

Peras, the seventh judge to handle the case, wanted to rule on the prosecution's motion for Ecleo's cancellation of bail before trial on the case starts.

Lawyer Kit Enriquez, one of the six prosecutors, welcomed the judge's decision.

“It's okay. All we want is for the court to rule on our motion for the cancellation of Ecleo's bail,” Enriquez said after a conference with Peras at branch 10 yesterday.

Prosecution lawyers sought the cancellation of Ecleo's bail in order to return the cult leader to jail.

The judge gave the lawyer Orlando Salatandre 10 days to comment on the motion filed the prosecution.

The court originally scheduled the hearing on Ecleo's case on September 23 and on October 7.

But due to the unresolved motion, Peras sought for time to resolve the motion.

Last week, the prosecution requested the court to decide on their motion which was left unresolved for three years.

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

On March 1, 2004, RTC Judge Generosa Labra of RTC branch 23 earlier granted a P1-million bail on Ecleo after being informed by the cult leader's doctors about his critical heart condition.

The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in a decision dated last July 27.

In a previous court testimony Dr. Generoso Matiga, a cardiologist of Perpetual Soccour Hospital said Ecleo had no significant coronary disease which would endanger his life if he was sent back to jail.

However in his testimony last July 13 Matiga told RTC Judge Geraldine Faith Econg of branch 9 that his examination was inconclusive.

Defense lawyers insisted that the medical, echocardiographic, treadmill stress test and cardiac catherization report of Dr. Matiga were all “baseless.”

They said there was no allegation of the reports that “re-commitment to the jail will not endanger the life of the accused.”

Alona, Ecleo's wife, was killed by strangulation in her house in sitio Banawa, barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Jan. 5, 2002.

Her remains were found inside a plastic bag dumped in a ravine in Daluguete town three days later. (Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol, inquirer.net)

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