DOJ files raps vs Veloso ‘recruiters’ in Nueva Ecija
STO. DOMINGO, Nueva Ecija—For offenses against death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso, her alleged recruiters were charged on Friday by the Department of Justice (DOJ) with trafficking, illegal recruitment and estafa.
The DOJ cited Veloso as state witness in the charges against Ma. Cristina Sergio and her common-law husband, Julius Lacanilao.
Veloso was convicted for bringing 2.6 kilos of heroin into Indonesia in April 2010. Her April 29 execution was postponed at the behest of President Aquino.
Mr. Aquino had asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to allow her participation in the prosecution of people who allegedly used her as a drug courier.
Sergio and Lacanilao are detained at a provincial jail in Nueva Ecija and are facing trial for large-scale illegal recruitment charges filed in May by three residents in the province.
The new charges filed against them in a local court here by the DOJ’s National Prosecution Service were the first to deal with Veloso’s case.
The trafficking complaint also implicated the accused’s alleged cohort, who went by the name “Ike.”
The DOJ accused Sergio, Lacanilao and Ike of exploiting Veloso by “taking advantage of the vulnerability of the victim, under the pretext of a legitimate overseas employment as domestic helper in Malaysia.”
According to the complaint, the three recruited and transported the victim from Nueva Ecija to Malaysia through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. “But once in Malaysia, the accused did not provide the victim the promised job,” it said.
“Rather, the accused then and there duped, deceived, manipulated and prevailed upon the victim through a scheme to go to Indonesia with a suitcase provided by the accused and which contained illegal drugs, thereby deceiving and manipulating the victim to carry and transport the illegal drugs to Indonesia, without the consent and against the will of the victim…”
The DOJ said this offense “resulted in Veloso’s incarceration to the damage and prejudice of the victim.”
Sergio and Lacanilao recruited Veloso to work overseas without first securing any license or authority from government agencies, the DOJ said.
The estafa complaint asserted that the couple and Ike “falsely represented themselves” as people who could grant Veloso a job as a domestic helper in Malaysia. They allegedly made Veloso pay them P7,000 in cash.
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