CIDG 7 chief: Place Ecleo in most wanted list

CRIMINAL Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 Director Jose Pante recommended to the Cebu Provincial Government that Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. be placed in the most wanted list to speed up his arrest.

This was discussed yesterday during the regional monthly conference of the law enforcement agency, as part of achieving its goals that include implementing the mandate of Philippine National Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome to arrest individuals with warrants.

Through this proposal, Pante hoped that reward money will finally be offered for the arrest of Ecleo.

It might work

He believed the same ploy played a big part in the arrest of Bella Ruby Santos last month. Santos and her British boyfriend are accused of abducting and killing six-year-old Ellah Joy Pique last February.

However Gov. Gwen Garcia said the Province cannot raise money for the reward because the crime took place in Cebu City and involved Cebu City residents.

Ecleo, supreme master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, is charged with parricide for the death of his wife Alona Bacolod-Ecleo in January 2002.

He has also been convicted of graft by the Sandiganbayan for the anomalous construction of projects when he was still mayor of San Jose, Surigao del Norte from 1991 to 1994.

Not in Cebu?

Ecleo has eluded authorities trying to enforce the warrants for his arrest.

He won as congressman of Dinagat Island during the May 10 elections, while he was out on bail in the parricide case.

However, Pante believes Ecleo is not in Cebu, saying many people here know him.

“Siguradong hindi siya magtatago dito. May pera naman siya. Pwede naman siyang magpatayo ng bahay sa malayong lugar (I’m sure he’s not here. He’s got lots of money.

He can build a house wherever he wants),” he said.

Pante said they will still meet with Capitol officials to discuss Ecleo’s case.

According to earlier reports, Ecleo has not lived in Dinagat Island for a year now.

Operatives of CIDG in Caraga Region were forced to return the arrest warrant to the court after a barangay captain there issued a certification regarding Ecleo’s whereabouts. (Davinci S. Maru/sunstar.com.ph)

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