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Ecleo’s trial resumes; security up

THE trial of the eight-year-old parricide case against cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. will resume this afternoon.

After being stalled for more than two months, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Soliver Peras of Branch 10 will conduct a hearing to find out whether or not Ecleo has a serious heart ailment.

If proven that Ecleo does not have a heart disease, his P1 million bail may be canceled and he will be sent back to jail.

Security measures at the Palace of Justice in Cebu City will be tightened during the trial.

All court litigants will have to pass through the main door located in front of the building where they will be bodily frisked by the security guards.

Members of the Judicial Security Group, a team composed of court employees trained to secure judges and court documents, have been tapped to beef up the security.

The prosecution is expected to cross-examine Dr. Roberto Anastacio, a cardiologist from the Makati Medical Center, who is recommending that Ecleo undergo surgery for a heart bypass.

Anastacio was presented by the defense during a hearing last March 17.

The doctor said one of Ecleo’s major arteries in the heart has narrowed and may endanger his life.

He said Ecleo needs a coronary bypass operation to improve the flow of blood to the heart where there is severe blockage.

Prosecution lawyers doubt the claim of the defense.

Ecleo, who was accused of killing his wife Alona in Cebu City on Jan. 5, 2002, recently won the congressional race in the lone district of Dinagat Island in Surigao del Norte—a fact which the prosecution wanted to contest.

The prosecution, however, has yet to make formal their arguments in order to bring Ecleo back to jail./REPORTER ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL, Cebu Daily News

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