De Lima names special task force to handle cases involving Veloso
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima has formally created the special task forces that would handle the investigation, case buildup and prosecution of cases against recruiters of convicted drug mule Mary Jane Veloso, whose execution by firing squad was suspended by Indonesia last April 28.
The task force, according to De Lima’s order released on Tuesday, are composed of personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation, DOJ-National Prosecution Service and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, as well as DOJ legal staff.
The NBI last week filed cases of illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa against Veloso’s alleged recruiters, Ma. Kristina Sergio and Julio Lacanilao, who earlier sought police protection.
The cases, which are set for preliminary investigation at the DOJ on May 8 and 14, stemmed from Veloso’s sworn statement obtained by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives who visited her in Indonesia last March 31.
The task force’s NBI component will be led by Eric Nuqui, chief of the agency’s anti-human trafficking division and Joel Tovera, chief of the anti-illegal drug unit. Also part of the task force are NBI lawyers Basset Sarip, Giselle Dumlao, Gertrude Gay Manandeg, Joel Bomediano, Eduardo Ramos and Henry Canapi; and special investigators Danilo Garay, Roy Rufino Sunega and Joel Otic.
Senior assistant state prosecutor Susan Dacanay will lead the NPS component, together with assistant state prosecutors Mark Ronald Estepa, Olive Torrevillas and Niven Canlapan; while the IACAT component is composed of senior assistant city prosecutors Jonathan Lledo and Ralph Michael Cataquiz, who are both members of the National Inter-Agency Task Forces Against Trafficking.
DOJ legal staff — state counsels Mildred Bernadette Alvor, Nancy Lozano and Richelle Mari Marders — will also join task force.
De Lima said she would directly supervise the task force with the assistance of Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, the official in charge of the IACAT.
De Lima also instructed the task force to “closely coordinate” with other government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Department of Foreign Affairs. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.