Mary Jane’s family, groups ask CA: Allow her to testify
Supporters of Mary Jane Veloso on Thursday picketed the Court of Appeals (CA) to demand that the jailed overseas Filipino worker (OFW) be allowed to give her testimony from inside an Indonesian prison.
The Save Mary Jane Alliance and Migrante International joined Veloso’s family in marching to the appeals court to submit a petition urging it to reverse its earlier ruling and allow Veloso to testify.
“We call on the Court of Appeals to seriously reconsider its unfortunate decision,” said Arman Hernando, chairperson of Migrante Philippines.
The campaign, which began in Jan. 10, has gathered around 3,000 signatures, as well as 1,600 online signatures on the website www.change.org.
In December last year, the appeals court issued a preliminary injunction against the Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court’s decision, effectively barring the taking of Veloso’s deposition while she is in jail.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), however, filed a plea earlier this month to urge the court to reconsider its ruling.
Veloso was sentenced to death by the Indonesian government after she was convicted of smuggling heroin into the country.
‘Duped’ by recruiters
But she claimed she was duped into doing so by her two alleged recruiters, live-in partners Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.
Veloso was granted a last-minute reprieve before her execution in April 2015 following an appeal from then President Benigno Aquino III and the surrender of her alleged recruiters.
Migrante Philippines welcomed the OSG’s move, saying it was consistent with their own call to allow the jailed OFW to speak the truth.
“Mary Jane remains a principal complainant in the trafficking case (against Sergio and Lacanilao) and therefore should be granted due process and allowed to speak the truth once and for all,” Hernando said.
Celia Veloso, the OFW’s mother, maintained her daughter’s innocence, saying the truth would only be revealed if she were allowed to testify through a deposition.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.