DINAGAT ISLANDS – The controversial ‘cult leader’, who was jailed for killing his wife in 2002, died of cardiopulmonary arrest, officials of the country’s biggest penitenciary announced Thursday (May 13).
In a statement, it said that former congressman Ruben Ecleo Jr died at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital. The controversial leader of the Philippine
Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) in Dinagat Islands, Mindanao has been suffering from pulmonary disease until he succumbed to his untimely demise at about noon on Thursday.
The Bureau of Corrections in a statement confirmed the passing of the former congressman and alleged cult leader in Mindanao.
BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag told reporters that Ecleo was a confirmed Covid-19 positive but already recovered a few weeks before his passing.
Aside from his contraction with the killer virus, Chaclag said, Ruben Jr has been suffering from various medical conditions until he died on Thursday noon.
Meanwhile, the Dinagat Island provincial government, where the Ecleo clans gained prominence in decades, has mourned the passing of their beloved leader who became controversial in 2002 when he killed his wife in Cebu City.
Local officials in their social media posts have expressed their sympathy to the bereaved family.
“Pagmamahal at pakikiramay sa pamilya at nagmamahal sa dating kasamahan sa Kongreso… Dinagat Islands Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. (Love and condolences to the family and loved ones of a former colleague in Congress – Dinagat Islands Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr.),” Governor Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao said in a Facebook post.
Lone District of Dinagat Island Rep Alan 1 Ecleo, the brother of deceased Ecleo, also announced Ruben Jr’s passing in his Facebook account.
“With a heavy heart we regret to announce the passing away of our beloved Ruben ‘Master Bobong’ Ecleo Jr.,” said in a statement.
In 2006, the controversial and alleged cult leader was convicted of graft and he was also meted with life imprisonment for killing his wife.
Ruben Ecleo Jr went into hiding to avoid being jailed for his offenses until he was finally arrested in Pampanga in July of 2020 and started serving his jail terms. In August 2020, he was transferred at Muntinlupa prison facility.