Lawyers can’t get Veloso testimony in Indonesia–CA
The Court of Appeals (CA) has completely thwarted the attempt of state lawyers to secure the deposition of convicted drug mule, Mary Jane Veloso, from her detention cell in Indonesia in connection with the trial of her alleged recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.
Edre Olalia, Veloso’s lawyer, lamented the decision of the appeals court’s former 11th Division to uphold its December 2017 ruling that prohibited state prosecutors and a Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court judge from flying to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to take Veloso’s written deposition.
“It is regrettable that our own courts could not adapt or be responsive to unique situations such as the peculiar circumstances of the case in order to satisfy the more compelling interests of justice,” Olalia said in a statement.
“We shall legally intervene as private prosecutors and [we] will raise it to the Supreme Court,” he added.
In its June 5 resolution, the appeals court said granting the petition, filed by the Office of the Solicitor General, would disregard Section 14 (2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
It refers to the constitutional guarantee for the accused facing criminal trial to “meet the witnesses face-to-face and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf.”
Veloso was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court after she was arrested for carrying 2.2 kilograms of heroin at an airport in Yogyakarta in 2010.
“In our jurisdiction, in criminal cases, there is no law or rule which expressly allows the taking of deposition upon written interrogatories,” the appeals court said in a decision penned by Associate Justice Ramon Bato Jr. —MARLON RAMOS
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.