Ecleo to cite ‘heart ailment’ again

Accused cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. will attend today’s court hearing in Cebu City where a motion to cancel his P1- million bail will be tackled.

His lawyer in the parricide case said Ecleo is still suffering from serious heart disease.

Defense lawyer Orlando Salatandre told CEBU DAILY NEWS that Ecleo recently underwent a medical examination which showed that the divine master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) has not recovered from a heart ailment.

Dr. Roberto Anastacio of the Makati Medical Center made the medical examination as ordered by the court. The result will be presented this afternoon.

Salantandre said his client is expected to attend the proceedings today.

Ecleo’s mother, Rep. Glenda Ecleo of Surigao del Norte, may also attend the hearing with some PBMA members.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Soliver Peras of Branch 10 will hear the arguments of the prosecution and the defense whether Ecleo should be sent back to jail.

Ecleo posted P1 million bail in March 1, 2004 before RTC Judge Generosa Labraafter after his lawyer presented a doctor’s finding that Ecleo’s health was so delicate he was a “walking time-bomb” because of his coronary heart disease.

In July 2006, however, Dr. Generoso Matiga, a cardiologist of the Perpetual Soccour Hospital, gave a contrary finding.

Prosecution lawyer Alfredo Sipalay yesterday said the government panel will make a formal motion for the cancellation of Ecleo's bail, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on July 27, 2009.

The court noted that the prosecution never filed a motion for cancellation of Ecleo’s bail. Judge Peras said he can only resolve the issue once a motion is filed in court.

Sipalay said the accused is not actually suffering from a serious heart ailment as he is even seeking a congressional seat in Surigao del Norte in the May 10 election.

Ecleo is accused of killing his wife Alona in her house in Banawa, Cebu City last Jan. 5, 2002. Her remains were placed in a sack dumped in a ravine in Dalaguete town, southern Cebu. Reporter ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL, Cebu Daily News

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