Court orders arrest of Mary Jane Veloso’s recruiters
A Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court on Monday ordered the arrest of the recruiters of Mary jane Veloso, the Filipina sentenced to death in Indonesia.
Ordered arrested by RTC Branch 37 of Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, were Ma. Christina Sergio alias Mary Christine Gulles Pasadilla, and Julius Lacanilao. The two are facing a case for large-scale illegal recruitment.
Sergio and Lacanilao are currently detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said the court is yet to issue a separate order on whether the two can stay at the NBI or be transferred to a jail near Nueva Ecija.
The case stemmed from the complaints of Lorna Valino, Ana Maria Gonzales and Jenalyn Paraiso. Like Veloso, all three come from Nueva Ecija.
Based on the sworn statement of Valino, Sergio is a known recruiter in Talavera, Nueva Ecija. She said Sergio first recruited her when she was only 16 years old. In September 2014, Valino said Sergio returned and recruited her again but her mother did not allow her to leave. She said they later learned that she was the one who recruited Veloso.
Gonzales, on the other hand, said she was enticed by Sergio to work abroad saying she would shoulder all her expenses for deployment. But she backed out after learning of Veloso’s case.
Paraiso, in her testimony, said she was recruited by Sergio sometime between 2010 and 2011 to work as entertainer either in Malaysia, Indonesia or Japan. However, she said Sergio told her she should first work at a “club” in Manila before sending her abroad. She said she then backed out.
The DOJ, in its resolution, explained that it is not necessary that the victim is actually deployed abroad before a person is slapped with a case for illegal recruitment.
“The crime of illegal recruitment is already committed when an offender promises to a person employment abroad without the necessary license or authority from the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration),” the resolution stated.
Sergio and Lacanilao, based on POEA records, are not licensed recruiters.
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