Lawyers start preparing Veloso deposition
STO. DOMINGO, Nueva Ecija, Philippines — Lawyers of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino sentenced to death for carrying heroin to Indonesia, have started preparing for her testimony following the Supreme Court’s final ruling to allow a local judge to hear her story.
Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said the high court’s decision removed the “final legal stumbling block” in obtaining Veloso’s deposition.
“It is a long journey to freedom but we will get there,” Olalia said.
The lawyers of Veloso’s recruiters earlier sought a reconsideration of the decision allowing her to testify through deposition by written questions.
“The SC resolution denied the motion for reconsideration with finality, and warned no further pleadings and other papers on this issue would be entertained,” the NUPL said in a statement.
But the local court hearing the charges against Veloso’s recruiters has yet to set a day for her testimony that may be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Olalia said.
‘Bring her home’
“We’re on quarantine nowadays so we have a different situation,” he said. “But let Mary Jane speak out now and [let’s] bring her home.”
According to the NUPL, direct and cross-questions will be sent to Veloso through the Philippine consulate in Indonesia. “In this case, the judge will be present and the lawyers may attend but there is no schedule yet for the final arrangements,” it said.
Celia, Veloso’s mother, welcomed the Supreme Court decision allowing the taking of her daughter’s written testimony. “If that’s true, that would be good news to us,” she said, adding that the family has yet to get a court notice about the ruling.
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