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Alona’s brod testifies vs. Rep. Ecleo

THE close-to-a-decade hearing of the parricide case against Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. (Dinagat Island) resumed yesterday, with his late wife’s younger brother taking the witness stand to testify against him.

Josebel Bacolod, the 30-year-old brother of Alona Bacolod-Ecleo, disputed his estranged brother-in-law’s testimonies, and maintained the lawmaker murdered his sister in 2002.

Josebel also insisted that the woman dumped and found at the foot of a ravine in
Dalaguete, Cebu, in 2002 was his sister.

The defense team presented Josebel as its rebuttal witness during the hearing at the 10th Regional Trial Court presided by Judge Soliver Peras.

Defense lawyer Orlando Salatandre, in some instances, opposed the way direct examination on Josebel was done by prosecution lawyer Alfredo Sipalay.

He said some of the witness’ testimonies were already presented in the previous court hearings, so there was no need to present them again.

Sipalay told Peras that the testimony of Josebel would refute Ecleo’s claims that he did not see the witness on Jan. 4 and 5, 2002.

Sipalay said Josebel would also affirm he heard a “thud” followed by a yell for help from Alona at the couple’s room past 9 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2002.

Ecleo had denied murdering his wife in a testimony he made in court.

He said Alona was petite and stood not more than 5’1”.

When a body of a woman was found in Dalaguete in 2002, Ecleo said, he was not convinced it was Alona’s cadaver.

The body, which was placed inside a garbage bag, was at least 5’5”, said Ecleo, quoting medico-legal findings.

In his testimony, Josebel said, he was at the house of the Ecleo couple in Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Jan. 4, 2002.

During that time, he stayed in the house in Banawa while enrolled in a school, as it was the request of Alona.

At 10 p.m. of the same day, Josebel said, Ecleo allegedly asked him to buy shabu. The lawmaker gave him P7,000.

Josebel said he refused because he did not know where to buy the illegal drugs.

Ecleo, however, allegedly insisted and told Josebel to instead give the money to the latter’s brother, Ben. Ben allegedly knew where to buy the drugs.

No guests

Josebel also countered Ecleo’s testimony that the accused entertained many visitors in his residence on Jan. 5.

Josebel said the persons in the house on Jan. 5 were him, Ecleo, Ben, Ecleo’s bodyguard and a household helper.

At 6 p.m. of Jan. 5, Josebel said, the couple ate their dinner. After eating, the couple went inside their room.

Several hours later, Josebel said, he heard a loud noise. He then heard his sister shouting for help.

Josebel said he rushed to the couple’s room and saw Ecleo naked and sweating.


Peras adjourned the hearing and reset this on Friday upon the request of Sipalay, who asked for the transcript of Ecleo’s testimony to confront his rebuttal witness.

Prosecution lawyers Kit Enriquez and Fritz Quinanola also attended yesterday’s hearing. (sunstar)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 09, 2011.


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