Workers’ group: Allow Veloso testimony vs recruiters
A progressive alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families rallied the government to let Mary Jane Veloso speak the truth after the Court of Appeals (CA) barred her to testify against her recruiters.
Last Friday, the CA ruled to reverse a Regional Trial Court’s decision allowing the deposition of Veloso against Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, who were facing human trafficking charges after they duped Veloso into smuggling illegal drugs to Indonesia in 2010.
Veloso’s life remains in limbo on death row after the Indonesian government approved her temporary reprieve, just hours before she was set to be executed in April 2015.
“This is a very unfortunate development. Let us all be reminded that the basis for Mary Jane’s temporary reprieve in 2015 was to give way to legal proceedings here in the Philippines. The cases filed against Sergio et al. were on the basis of complaints filed by Mary Jane herself, her family and other witnesses,” Migrante-Philippines Chair Arman Hernando said in a statement on Friday.
“Mary Jane remains a principal complainant in the trafficking case and therefore should be granted due process and allowed to speak the truth once and for all,” he added.
Migrante said Veloso’s public prosecutors and private counsels from the National Union of the People’s Lawyers (NUPL) are currently preparing a plea for reconsideration.
“The latest information that we got from our Indonesian colleagues is that the Attorney General has reiterated that Mary Jane’s reprieve is but temporary and they are still waiting for developments on the legal case here in the Philippines,” Hernando said.
“They are still waiting for Mary Jane to testify as a witness against her traffickers. Please, let us not abuse the Indonesian government’s patience and tolerance. Every minute still counts,” he added.
The group also expressed their hope that Veloso, who is set to celebrate her 33rd birthday on January 10, would finally be allowed to testify against her illegal recruiters so her name would be cleared.
“We continue to hope for the day when Mary Jane will be able to celebrate her second life with her family back home,” Hernando said. /cbb