PH court sets tentative date for Veloso testimony

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2019 08:07 PM

MANILA - A Philippine court has set a tentative schedule for the deposition of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia.

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia said the court tentatively set Veloso's deposition on Dec. 12, 2019.

"Philippine trial court tentatively set on Dec. 12, 2019 the taking of Mary Jane’s testimony as the last prosecution witness by way of deposition through written interrogatories in Indonesia," Olalia said in a statement.

The Supreme Court earlier this month allowed Veloso to testify through deposition in the human trafficking case against her alleged recruiters in Nueva Ecija.

The decision came as the Nueva Ecija court gave the prosecution a final chance to present its last witness on October 28.

The prosecution wanted to present Veloso’s side because she claimed she was duped by her recruiters, Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, who were her neighbors in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

Veloso said Sergio and Lacanilao offered her a job as a domestic helper in Malaysia but when she arrived there, she was told the job was no longer available. She was sent to Indonesia instead, with a plane ticket and a luggage provided by Sergio.

Upon arrival at the airport in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, however, Indonesian authorities arrested her for allegedly carrying 2.5 kilograms of heroin inside her luggage.

In October 2010, an Indonesian court sentenced her to death by firing squad and she was supposed to be executed on April 29, 2015, but a last-minute reprieve spared her life, following the surrender of Sergio and Lacanilao.

Meanwhile, Olalia said another case for qualified illegal recruitment against Lacanilao and Sergio filed by 3 other Filipinas is concluded and submitted for decision.

The promulgation of the verdict on this case is scheduled on Jan. 30, 2020. - report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News