Ecleo Jr. attends House seminar with GMA, Imelda et al

A homicide suspect, who is out on bail, was also a head turner in the neophytes' seminar at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

A radio dzMM report said on-lookers were surprised when Ruben Ecleo Jr. attended the seminar for neophyte congressmen, which included former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Ecleo Jr. was allowed to post bail after the parricide case filed against him was demoted to homicide. He is charged with allegedly killing his own wife, Alona, in Mandaue City, Cebu province.

The new congressman is the leader of the controversial Philippine Benevolent Missionary Association (PBMA), which was founded by his father, Ecleo Sr.

Ecleo Jr. replaced his mother as representative of the lone congressional district of Dinagat Island. His mother, Glenda, ran unopposed as governor.

Other members of the Ecleo political clan, who ran last May 10, won because of the strong support of PBMA members.

The Commission on Elections allowed Ecleo Jr. to run for Congress because only those who have been convicted with finality lose their right to run for public office.

A motion to transfer the homicide case from Cebu to Manila is pending at the Court of Appeals.

Other head turners

Earlier reports said former President Arroyo, who was as Pampanga 2nd District's representaive, was also a head turner at the seminar.

Sporting a maroon terno, Arroyo arrived at the Batasang Pambansa Complex an hour into the lecture of Mandaluyong Rep. and incoming House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II.

She sat at the right side of the plenary hall while Gonzales continued his lecture without acknowledging the former president.

Other celebrities who attended the seminar were boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, representative of Sarangani Province, Ilocos Norte Rep. and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, wife of actor Richard Gomez.

The orientation seminar is meant to familiarize new congressmen about various parliamentary procedures at the House of Representatives. -- Report from Jun Lingcoran, radio dzMM

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