DOJ wraps up probe on Mary Jane Veloso’s recruiters
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday wrapped up its probe on the criminal case filed against the recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina sentenced to death in Indonesia.
State Prosecutor Susan Azarcon said the case is now submitted for resolution after Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao submitted their rejoinder.
In their 17-page rejoinder, Sergio and Lacanilao said the case against them should be dismissed because Veloso’s affidavit failed to subscribe her affidavit before a government prosecutor.
“Hindi ito [affidavit ni Veloso] na-sertipika ni Fiscal Azarcon na personal niyang binusisi si Mary Jane Veloso at ang nasabing salaysay niya lubusang naintindihan ni Mary Jane Veloso at boluntaryo niya itong ginawa,” the respondents stressed.
(Veloso’s affidavit was not certified by Fiscal Azarcon that he personally quizzed Mary Jane Veloso and that Veloso fully understood what was narrated there and that she voluntarily executed it.)
“Labag sa aming karapatan sa ilalim ng saligang batas na nakasaad sa Article 3, section 14 (right to meet witnesses face to face) kung bibigyang halaga ang salaysay ni Mary Jane Veloso laban sa amin, kahit hindi namin siya makakaharap sa pagdinig ng preliminary investigation,” they added.
(It’s a violation of our constitutional right provided under Article 3, Section 14 if Veloso’s affidavit is given credence even if we may not be able to meet her during the preliminary investigation.)
Still, the two respondents are standing by with their earlier statements that Veloso is innocent and that
suspected members of the West African Drug Syndicate (WADS) exploited her ignorance, duping her into carrying a bag containing 2.6 kg of heroin.
“Wala mang utang na loob ang pamilyang Veloso ay buo pa rin ang aming pananaw na igiit na inosente si Mary Jane Veloso sa kasong pagbitbit ng illegal na droga mula Malaysia patungo sa Indonesia,” they said.
Sergio and Lacanilao are facing a case for illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa with swindling. The complaint was based on Veloso’s affidavit which was obtained by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) last March 31 when they visited Veloso in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said they have already submitted their Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request to Malaysia.
Sergio and Veloso were in Malaysia when they met a certain “Ike” who handed Veloso the luggage containing 2.6 kilograms of heroin. AU
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