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Ex-Congressman, Cult Leader Ruben Ecleo is Arrested

Found guilty of murdering his wife, graft.
Jul 30, 2020
Former congressman and cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr is presented to reporters at a police camp in Manila, following his arrest in San Fernando, Pampanga on July 30, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

A former lawmaker and cult leader who was convicted for murdering his wife was arrested in Pampanga province Thursday, ending nearly a decade in hiding, according to GMA News.

Ruben Ecleo, who was using the alias Manuel Liberal, was arrested in San Fernando City, about an hour from Manila. He was served an arrest warrant for graft, according to the report.

A gaunt Ecleo, his hair white and thinning, was presented to reporters at a police camp in Taguig City. He is the self-styled "supreme master" of the cult Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association in the Dinagat Islands, which he represented in Congress.

Police also arrested Ecleo's driver, identified as  Benjie Fernan Relacion, 35. 

Ecleo made headlines in January 2002 for killing his wife, Alona Bacolod, whose body was found in a ravine. He was convicted of murder 10 years later.  Earlier, in 2006, an anti-graft court sentenced him to 31 and a half years in prison over anomalous construction deals.

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Police posed as garbage collectors to capture Ecleo. He was under surveilance for six months, said Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, the Metro Manila police chief.

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