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Court sets arraignment of alleged Veloso recruiters on Nov. 11

/ 04:57 PM November 04, 2015
‘SHE’S INNOCENT’  Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso, are handcuffed to each other during their appearance before the Department of Justice Wednesday. JOAN BONDOC

Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso, are handcuffed to each other during their appearance before the Department of Justice in May. JOAN BONDOC

The Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, Regional Trial Court Branch 37 has turned down the attempts of the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso to delay the proceedings on the criminal case filed against them.

In a four-page order made public on Wednesday, the Nueva Ecija RTC Judge  Nelson Tribiana set the arraignment of Maria Cristina Sergio, her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, and one alias “Ike” for qualified human trafficking on Nov. 11.

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The court set the arraignment of the three after it denied the motion for bill of particulars filed by the accused.

A bill of particulars is filed to make the allegations more specific. It is filed if a defendant in a criminal case believes he is not sufficiently informed of the crime with which he is charged and is not in a position to defend himself properly and adequately.

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“With regard to the accused-movants’ fourth item in their Motion for Bill of Particulars, the same is hereby denied. Accordingly, the arraignment of the accused already set on November 11, 2015 at 10 a.m. shall proceed accordingly,” Tribiana said in his order.

Sergio and Lacanilao were originally set to be arraigned last Sept. 18 but the respondents asked the court for deferment citing the fact that their Motion for Bill Particulars had yet to be resolved by the court.

But Tribiana said that while he agreed with the respondents that the prosecution should particularize the exploitative purpose they allegedly employed on Veloso, the “same is considered complied” with the comment and opposition filed by the prosecution panel.

The DOJ previously said that the three elements of trafficking—acts, means and exploitative purpose—were all present in Veloso’s case.

The DOJ resolution which led to the filing of charges against Sergio and Lacanilao earlier said the “evidence speaks of fraud and deception as the means employed by respondents in recruiting complainant.”

The resolution also pointed to the affidavit of Veloso taken from Wirongunan prison in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and supporting statements of her relatives.

The two earlier entered not guilty pleas during their arraignment on the charges of estafa and large-scale illegal recruitment filed by Veloso. Tetch Torres-Tupas/RC

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TAGS: arraignment, Death Penalty, Indonesia, Julius Lacanilao, Maria Cristina Sergio, Mary Jane Veloso, Veloso recruiters
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