NBI sues Mary Jane Veloso's recruiters

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2015 02:52 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2015 10:52 PM

MANILA - Mary Jane Veloso, through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), filed human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and estafa charges against her reported recruiter, Maria Kristina P. Sergio, also known as Mary Christine Gulles Pasadilla, and two others, with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Veloso is currently on death row in Indonesia with her execution to take place anytime soon after she was arrested for attempting to smuggle 2.6 kilos of heroin into the country in 2010. The Philippine government is making last-ditch efforts to stay her execution.

In a 4-page transmittal letter to Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, the NBI Anti-Human Trafficking Division identified Pasadilla as the one who recruited Veloso sometime in April 2010. The NBI said Veloso "unwittingly" transported the contraband, "exploited" by Pasadilla and the latter's cohorts.

"Christine offered Mary Jane a job as domestic helper in Malaysia... Christine told Mary Jane that she is a frequent traveler to Malaysia and she knows a lot of people there who can employ the latter. Mary Jane became convinced of the job offer and both of them went to Malaysia," the complaint read.

The complaint stated that Pasadilla instructed Veloso to go to Indonesia; and it was Pasadilla, along with a male of African descent, who instructed her to bring to Indonesia a travel bag that later turned out to be containing the illegal substance.

"Victim Mary Jane does not know that there were illegal drugs in the luggage she was carrying and that she was a victim of deception and manipulation by her illegal recruiters. Victim, in her statement, stated that her purposes of going to Malaysia is to work as a domestic helper in order to earn money to support her family.

"Facts surrounding the circumstances of her recruitment, transportation, and stay at a foreign country, also shows that she is a victim of Human Trafficking owing to the fact that her vulnerability (in dire need of a job in order to support her family) was exploited by her recruiters thru manipulation and deception, in order for her to unwittingly transport a contraband (illegal drugs) without her knowledge," the complaint read.

The NBI said Pasadilla and the other respondents "have no license or authority to recruit persons for overseas employment," based on information obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said the respondents may be placed under the immigration look-out bulletin.

"Yes, we can always do that," De Lima said.