One of 3 complainants vs Veloso recruiters backs out
ONE of the alleged victims of the recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso withdrew her complaint, claiming she was only tricked into signing her affidavit that was used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in filing a case against Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.
Sergio and Lacanilao were charged with large scale illegal recruitment before the Baloc Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court (RTC) based on affidavits of complainants Lorna Valino, Ana Maria Gonzales and Jenalyn Paraiso.
Ana Maria Gonzales, however, issued an affidavit of desistance withdrawing her complaint against the two.
Atty. Howard Areza, counsel for Sergio and Lacanilao, said Gonzales personally went to their office and expressed her intent to withdraw the complaint.
“One of the relatives of Veloso fetched her at her house to attend a rally for Mary Jane at that time. Then, she was accompanied at the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) in Cabanatuan…So, hindi nya akalain, hindi niya alam na mauuwi sa asunto,” Areza told reporters.
“In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), sinasabi naming boluntaryo habang sinasagawa ito (affidavit of desistance). Hindi ka namin kilala, ikaw ang nagpunta sa opisina. So, dumating sya doon (PAO), talagang hindi na sya interesadong i-pursue itong kasong ito,” he added.
Once the court accepted the affidavit of desistance, the case against the two will be downgraded to simple illegal recruitment, a bailable offense. An illegal recruitment case can only become large scale if there are at least three or more complainants.
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