By JEFFREY DAMICOG
The lawyers of jailed overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing death sentence for illegal drug trafficking in Indonesia, have expressed relief that she can finally be allowed to narrate what happened to her through a deposition.
“It is a long and tortuous journey but we will get there,” the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said in a statement.
The NUPL, which is the legal counsel of Veloso and her family, said it received this Friday, Aug. 14, the Supreme Court (SC) resolution which affirmed with finality the order of Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 88 of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija to get the deposition of Veloso inside her detention cell in Indonesia.
The SC resolved the motion for reconsideration of her alleged illegal recruiters, Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, who sought to stop the RTC order which allowed the deposition.
“The SC Resolution denied the Motion for Reconsideration with finality and warned no further pleadings and other papers on this issue will be entertained,” the NUPL said.
“In effect, this means that the Nueva Ecija trial court hearing the qualified human trafficking, illegal recruitment and estafa against her illegal recruiters Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacalinao can now schedule the dates for the taking of Mary Jane’s testimony,” it explained.
The RTC will use the deposition in the trial of Veloso’s alleged illegal recruiters.
“In time, not only will the illegal recruiters be held to account but her innocence will eventually be judicially established and we look forward to her coming home free as a logical consequence,” the NUPL said.
Malacañang also welcomed the decision of the SC to let the detained OFW testify against her alleged illegal recruiters and prove that she was a victim.
“Nagagalak po kami diyan dahil at least makikita natin na si Ms. Veloso po ay naging biktima kung tatanggapin ang kanyang testimonya,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque he said.
Veloso was arrested in 2010 upon her arrival at the Yogyakarta Airport in Indonesia for attempting to bring in 2.6 kilos of heroin.
She was sentenced to death by firing squad but received reprieve in 2015 after then President Benigno Aquino III appealed her case to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (with a report from Argyll Geducos)