Convicted cult leader and former San Jose, Dinagat Islands Rep. Ruben B. Ecleo Jr. passed away at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City on Thursday, May 13, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said.
“He died of cardio pulmonary arrest at 12:20 pm today,” said BuCor Deputy Director General Gabriel P. Chaclag.
“Other medical conditions include obstructive jaundice and chronic kidney disease secondary to obstructive uropathy,” Chaclag said.
He also said that Ecleo got infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but had “recovered over a week ago.”
Ecleo had been confined for three days at the Dr. Sabili General Hospital last month. Chaclag said it was due to liver problems and other complications.
The former legislator is the second high-profile BuCor inmate who passed away this week. Last Tuesday, May 11, convicted so-called “drug queen” Yu Yuk Lai died at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City of heart attack due to COVID-19 complications.
Ecleo was the “supreme leader” of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) which was founded by his father in 1965. Ecleo Jr. took over in 1987 after the death of his father.
He was arrested by operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) last July 30, 2020 in San Fernando City, Pampanga after having been on the run due to his convictions for various crimes.
The NCRPO served an arrest warrant issued by the Sandiganbayan which convicted him of graft charges in 2006 and sentenced him to 31 years in prison.
The case concerns the illegal disbursement of funds involving three construction projects when he was still the mayor of San Jose from 1991 to 1994.
Ecleo was also convicted in 2012 for parricide for killing his wife Alona and was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to pay more than ₱25 million in damages.