Rep. Ecleo faces arrest, House expulsion

Dinagat Islands lone representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. will lose his seat in Congress after the Sandiganbayan issued a warrant of arrest on him.

House Majority Leader and Representative Neptali Gonzales said Ecleo is facing expulsion after the Sandiganbayan First Division dismissed the latter’s petition to junk the graft charges against him.

Ecleo, who won in the May 2010 national and local elections, is currently on bail after he filed the motion for reconsideration before the anti-graft court.

"If the penalty imposed includes the accessory penalty of perpetual and absolute disqualification to hold any public office, and I think it does, his name will be deleted from the roll as soon as House receives the certificate of finality of judgment just like what happened to Jalosjos," said Gonzales referring to convicted rapist and former Zamboanga del Norte Representative Romeo Jalosjos.

Ecleo was sentenced in 2006 to at least 31 years of jail time for three counts of graft for his involvement in anomalous construction projects in his capacity as mayor of San Jose town in Surigao del Norte.

Ecleo is the “supreme master" of religious group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association.

A separate parricide case against Ecleo is still pending before a Cebu court in connection with the death of his wife, Alona Bacolod, whose decomposing body was found on January 2002. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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