The National Capital Region Police Chief, PMGEN DEBOLD M SINAS announced the successful arrest of the “supreme master” of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), the subject of intensified and massive manhunt operations by police and military authorities for years and also tagged as the Top 1 Most Wanted Person of DILG on July 30, 2020 at about 5:00 AM in San Fernando City, Pampanga.
Subject was identified as Ruben Ecleo Jr, a.k.a “Manuel Riberal”, Top 1 National Level Most Wanted Person, male, 60 years old, a resident of Lot 6, Blk 8 by Orosa Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga and a native of Dinagat Island, Surigao Del Norte.
Records show that Ecleo went into hiding for years and was monitored to leave Dinagat Island. Thereafter, intelligence operatives were able to locate him in Metro Manila in his short stay at Quezon City during the Enhanced Community Quarantine before going back to his residence at Diamond Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Angeles City. He physically changed his appearance and identity in order to hide from the authorities. Accordingly, he was also being protected by his followers. However, persistent intelligence build up, casing, monitoring and operational research conducted by the operatives for almost six months led to a positive validation, which resulted in his arrest.
Investigation disclosed that operatives of National Capital Region Police Office – Regional Intelligence Division-Regional Special Operations Group together with the Regional Mobile Force Battalion accosted in coordination with Police Regional Office 3, the accused on board a vehicle near a golf course where he regularly plays.
During the arrest, Ecleo was accompanied by his driver identified as BENJIE RELACION FERNA a.k.a. “Smile”, male, 35 years old, a resident of Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga and a native of San Jose Dinagat Island, Surigao Del Norte.
Seized from him were one (1) Toyota Grandia color white; Php 173, 150.00 cash; one golf club set; fake ID’s, three (3) cellphones and pieces of jewelry.
Ecleo has a standing Warrant of Arrest for Parricide issued by HON. SOLIVER C. PERAS, Judge, Regional Trial Court – Cebu, 7th Judicial Region, Branch 10, Cebu City docketed under Criminal Case No. 62307 dated May 10, 2012 and Alias Warrant of Arrest from Sandiganbayan, Quezon City, First Division for Violation of Sec 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 docketed under Criminal Case Nos. 24467 to 24469.
While Ferna, his driver, will be filed with Violation of Section 1 (c) of PD 1829 “Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders”.
A Search Warrant will also be prepared to search his residence and recover other pieces of evidence.
The suspects were apprised of their constitutional rights and right to Medico Legal Examination and were brought to NCRPO, Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila for investigation and proper disposition.
“We are very happy for the successful arrest of Ecleo who has been hiding from his criminal activities for years. The long arm of the law will always catch up with criminals. No matter how long they try to elude, justice shall prevail,” PMGEN SINAS underscored.