Ecleo "elucidates" contradictions in his testimonies

Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) supreme master and now Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. arrived very early yesterday to testify in the hearing for his parricide case for the death of his wife Alona.

Ecleo, however, took the witness stand only for few minutes for his legal counsel Orlando Salatandre to clarify some important dates in his previous testimonies.

The clarifications were mainly focused on the dates which Ecleo learned of his wife’s disappearance.

Ecleo said he first knew of his wife’s disappearance from Alona’s brother, Ben Bacolod.

Bacolod was reportedly the last person to be with Alona before she was missing nine years ago. Ecleo said that he only knew of Alona’s disappearance in the evening of January 9, 2002 after he traveled to several PBMA clusters in the southern part of Cebu for his visits.

He also clarified that in his earlier statements, he failed to cite dates to coincide with his claims adding that he can only think of January 8 while he was being questioned. Clarification for his whereabouts during the day of his wife disappearance was also done.

Salatandre was supposedly followed by a cross-examination of the prosecution. But this did not push through due to the absence of prosecutor Fritz Quiñanola.

Co-prosecutor Alfredo Sipalay told Regional Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras that Quiñanola received an urgent call for an urgent meeting in Manila.

Sipalay added that the invitation was so sudden, so they failed to inform the court ahead of time of their colleague’s absence.

Meanwhile, Salatandre also said that their witnesses are ready but they have yet to decide who to present first and when.

The next hearing for the case will be on February 23, wherein the prosecution will cross examine Ecleo.

Ecleo’s wife, Alona, was killed on January 5, 2002. Her body was discovered inside a black plastic bag thrown down a cliff in Dalaguete. — (FREEMAN)

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