Sandiganbayan orders Rep. Ecleo’s arrest for 3rd time

THE Sandiganbayan, for the third time, ordered the arrest of Dinagat Island Representative Robert Ecleo Jr., after it scrapped the latter's motion.

In a resolution, the anti-graft court’s first division junked Ecleo's “very urgent motion for reconsideration” for the withdrawal of the warrant of arrest issued against him for lack of merit.

Ecleo claimed that the arrest order was prematurely issued because of pending actions with the Supreme Court (SC).

The lawmaker was convicted of three graft cases involving three government-funded projects implemented in San Jose, a town in Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, by PBMA Builders as contractor.

The projects — the construction of a public market, a municipal building and the repair and rehabilitation of a building owned by the PBMA Women’s League — were carried out from 1991 to 1994, while Ecleo was municipal mayor.

Ecleo, together with town treasurer Arsenia Orejas and planning officer Anadelia Navarra, allegedly conspired to release a total of P8,257,669 to one Ricardo Santillano, representing PBMA builders for the three projects.

But only two of the three projects were valid, according to government auditors, and only one was complete at the time of the payment. The government should have only paid P5,000,272.13.

Ecleo is no stranger to jail, having been an inmate of the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC) from June 2002 up to April 2004 for his parricide case. (Sunnex)

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