DESPITE diligent efforts, the manhunt for fugitive former Dinagat Islands Rep. Ruben Ecleo has failed, the National Bureau of Investigation reported to the Sandiganbayan.
After one year, NBI Anti-Illegal Drugs Division senior agent Eduardo F. Ramos Jr. said they cannot locate Ecleo to serve his arrest warrant.
The NBI-AIDD is one of the several units tasked to arrest Ecleo following his conviction on thee counts of graft in 2006 where he was sentenced to 18 to 31 years of imprisonment.
The October 13, 2006 Sandiganbayan ruling found Ecleo guilty of three counts of graft that stemmed from alleged fund disbursement anomalies in three construction projects undertaken during his term as San Jose, Surigao del Norte municipal mayor between 1991 to 1994.
His two co-accused, former municipal planning and development coordinator Anadelia Navarra and private contractor Ricardo Santillano of PBMA Builders were also found guilty for alleged connivance in the fraudulent transactions and were sentenced to 12 to 21-years jail terms each.
They were also asked to jointly indemnify the municipal government the amount of P2.86 million equivalent to the unlawful payments made to the contractor.
In the case of another accused former municipal treasurer Arsenia Orejas, his case was archived after the court failed to acquire jurisdiction over her person.
In September 2015, Navarra was arrested by the Surigao City PNP and was committed to the Correctional Institution for Women as the court denied her request to be imprisoned instead at the Surigao Provincial Jail.
Meanwhile, it was learned from a certification from the National Statistics Office that was submitted to the Sandiganbayan that Orejas died.