By Eddie Barrita
Philippine News Agency
A regional trial court (RTC) in Cebu City late Friday afternoon found Dinagat island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. guilty of the crime of parricide for the death of his wife, Alona Bacolod-Ecleo, a third-year medical student.
Judge Soliver Peras of RTC Branch 10 meted on Ecleo the penalty of reclusion perpetua or imprisonment of from 20 years and one day to 40 years.
He also awarded more than P25 million in damages to the victim’s family.
After four postponements since December last year, Peras handed down the guilty verdict at past 5 p.m. Friday.
Ecleo, the supreme master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), was indicted for the death of his wife, Alona Bacolod Ecleo, in 2002.
Ecleo did not attend the promulgation of the judgment in his case.
A team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) was deployed at the Marcelo Fernan Palace for the promulgation.
CIDG 7 Chief Jose Pante said if Ecleo was present, they would have arrested him since he has a warrant of arrest.
Ecleo was elected congressman of Dinagat Island in the May 2010 election.
He has eluded authorities trying to enforce the warrants for his arrest issued by the Sandiganbayan, following his conviction on two graft cases.