MANILA – Former Dinagat Island congressman and cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. has been returned to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City three days after he was taken to a private hospital in Taguig City due to liver complications.
NBP spokesman Gabriel Chaclag said Ecleo, who is serving a life term for killing his wife in 2002, stayed for “three days and three nights at the Dr. Sabili General Hospital in Taguig,”
“He has recovered,” Chaclag added.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the normal procedure would have been to secure his authorization prior to a person deprived of liberty’s (PDL) transfer to a hospital outside the NBP, “unless in cases of extreme emergency or life-threatening situations, in which case the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) shall submit to the DOJ a post-treatment report instead.”
Under the rules, Guevarra said the hospital where the PDL may be transferred should be a nearby government hospital, in this case, Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun), is full or without the necessary facility, in which case the PDL may be brought to a private hospital at his own expense and subject to strict security measures.
“In the case of PDL Ecleo, I have been informed today that he was indeed brought out of the NBP sometime last month due to some Covid-related and pre-existing illnesses, but OsMun and other public hospitals were full; hence, the need to bring him to a private hospital instead,” Guevarra said.
The “supreme master” of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) was arrested in Pampanga in July last year.
He was convicted by the Cebu City regional trial court for three counts of graft and parricide — for killing his wife, Alona Bacolod-Ecleo in their home in Sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Jan. 5, 2002. (PNA)