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Editorial: Ecleo’s predicament

JUST when things turned bright for Ruben Ecleo Jr. with his election in May to the House of Representatives and his parricide case in Cebu not going anywhere, in came the Sandiganbayan exploding a bomb.

The supreme master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) has, for years, succeeded in parrying moves to successfully prosecute him for the killing of his wife, Alona Bacolod---or at the very least to lock him up in jail again.

There was no escaping, however, his conviction by the Sandiganbayan in 2006 for his involvement in anomalous construction deals when he was still mayor of San Jose town in Surigao del Norte from 1991 to 1994.

On Jan. 28, 2011, the Sandiganbayan issued a new warrant of arrest against Ecleo after the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction for graft, together with two other local officials.

Like what he always does, Ecleo is availing of all the legal avenues available to him to escape incarceration (in the parricide case, his lawyers labeled him a “walking time bomb” for his supposed problematic heart just so he could post bail).

Yesterday, his lawyers rushed to the Supreme Court to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the warrant of arrest, using as argument the two motions for reconsideration filed earlier and which the High Tribunal still has to resolve relative to the graft case.

Considering the kind of Supreme Court we have, it is possible Ecleo will get a reprieve and remain a free man despite the affirmation of his earlier conviction for graft.

The issuance of a TRO may also prevent moves to kick him out of the House following the affirmation of his conviction.

Then again, he knows?

Still, Ecleo’s recent woes are not the kind of resolution to the quest for justice that relatives of Alona want. His conviction in the parricide case will be far sweeter for them.

But considering the kind of criminal justice system we have and the difficulty of convicting an influential personality with seemingly unlimited resources at his disposal, Ecleo’s incarceration for graft should be a welcome development for those who feel he is guilty of killing his wife.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2011.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Predicament?...yeah, but moment of impending absolute trepidation is now catching up, better for him to sing "My Way"...hehehe.

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