NUPL seeks reversal of CA’s ruling on Veloso testimony
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) on Friday urged the Court of Appeals (CA) to reverse its earlier ruling disallowing a local court from getting the testimony of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia.
Veloso’s alleged illegal recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao questioned the resolution of Sto. Domingo Nueva Ecija Branch 88, saying that the deposition will violate their constitutional right to confront witnesses against them.
“Contrary to their claims, however, Sergio and Lacanilao will not suffer the imagined evil that such constitutional right verily seeks to prevent because they will be given a meaningful and reasonable opportunity to participate in the deposition-taking, which will also be attended by the presiding judge,” NUPL through its President Atty. Edre Olalia said.
“Without the proceeding, moreover, all relevant and material facts from the key witness who perceived and suffered from the crime will be suppressed, debilitating the court from rendering complete justice,” Olalia said.
Veloso’s deposition was supposed to take place on April 27 at the Yogyakarta prison where she is detained.
Veloso was arrested on her arrival in Jakarta in 2010 with 2.6 kilos of heroin in her luggage and subsequently sentenced to death later that year. Spared by a moratorium on executions by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhiyono, she was scheduled for execution in January 2015 after the election of President Joko Widodo but earned the last-minute reprieve.
Veloso maintains her innocence, insisting that she was a victim after she was tricked by Sergio and Lacanilao to bring drugs to Indonesia.
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