PBMA adviser: Ecleo looking at all remedies to prove his innocence

PARRICIDE convict Ruben Ecleo Jr. will “face the public in the right place and at the right time,” his supporters said.

In a press conference yesterday, retired police official Atilano Fabella, one of Ecleo’s group leaders, said their “supreme master’s” legal team is “looking for some legal remedies to prove his innocence.”

“Until and unless all the legal remedies are already exhausted, Master Ruben is still presumed innocent. Like any ordinary citizen, (Master Ruben) has the right to defend his liberty,” said Fabella in a statement.

Abella, of Palo town, Leyte, served as adviser of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) in his hometown from 1987 to 2003.

In his complaint filed in 2014, Fabella accused the two former lawyers of Ecleo, namely, Orlando Salatandre and Giovanni Mata of violating provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers.

Fabella, former team leader of the police’s Regional Crime Laboratory in Central Visayas, alleged that Salatandre and Mata mishandled the case against Ecleo, which led to his parricide conviction in 2012.


Fabella said that the two violated their oath as lawyers when they withdrew as Ecleo’s counsels after his conviction.

He also said the respondents also refused to present in court the report of Insp. Edmar dela Torre, who found negative the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) examination on the cadaver and that of Alona.

In May this year, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has junked for lack of evidence the disbarment complaints against Salatandre and Mata.

“We have not found any evidence that respondents failed to observe candor, fairness or loyalty in their dealings and transactions with their client,” read the IBP report penned by Commissioner Peter Bantilan.

Eduardo Ang, Jr., IBP Board of Governors commissioner, ruled the respondents “should be given wide latitude in the manner in which he handles his client’s defense.”

In yesterday’s press conference, Fabella said that they filed a manifestation for automatic review before the Supreme Court, which sought to reverse the IBP’s recommendation report.

Fabella also said that Ecleo respects the ruling of the court.

“But out master was so helpless like a lamb that was slaughtered by his own lawyers. Instead of presenting evidence to prove the innocence, they were instruments of maneuvering laws and misguided the courts to make a decision of conviction,” said Fabella. (GMD)
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