Veloso family urges DOJ to study evidence well

Mary Jane's five-year-old son takes comfort on his grandpa's lap a few minutes before the preliminary investigation at the DOJ. (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)
Mary Jane’s five-year-old son takes comfort on his grandpa’s lap a few minutes before the preliminary investigation at the DOJ. (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)

The case against Mary Jane Veloso’s recruiters Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao has been submitted for resolution to determine if there is probable cause on the charges of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and estafa.

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Mary Jane Veloso’s family hopes that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would carefully look into the evidence filed on Mary Jane’s case as the preliminary investigation against her recruiters ended today, June 1.

“I really hope that the DOJ would carefully look into the evidence filed. Our family hopes that justice would be served and that it can help us bring my daughter back to her children, who needs her love and guidance,” Mary Jane’s mother, Celia Veloso, told Bulatlat.com after the preliminary investigation.

Josalee Deinla, one of the lawyers of the Veloso family and National Union of Peoples’ lawyers assistant secretary general for education, told the media that the case against Mary Jane’s recruiters Ma. Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao has been submitted for resolution to determine if there is probable cause on the charges of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and estafa.

Sergio and Lacanilao are also facing the same charges from other complainants who surfaced after Indonesian President Joko Widodo temporarily stayed Mary Jane’s execution at dawn of April 29.

Technicalities

Lawyer Areza of PAO raises validity of Mary Jane's affidavit, which she sworn in before a Philippine consul in Indonesia (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)
Lawyer Areza of PAO raises validity of Mary Jane’s affidavit, which she sworn in before a Philippine consul in Indonesia (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)

Sergio’s lawyer, Howard Areza of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), reiterated during the preliminary investigation that the public prosecutor should not accept Mary Jane’s sworn affidavit, which she subscribed before a Philippine consul official in Indonesia. He said affidavits should be subscribed before a Philippine prosecutor.

Areza later told the media that allowing such would set a bad precedent, as anyone who “claims” to be incarcerated abroad can send anyone to jail.

Edre Olalia, lead counsel of the Veloso family, approached Areza after the media interview and said, “We never claimed she was in prison. She is in prison. She is on death row. Everybody knows that. Even you should know that.”

Deinla, during the preliminary investigation, said PAO lawyers seem to be obsessed over technicalities to obstruct the case from prospering.

She said Sergio’s camp questioned the legality of Sergio and Lacanilao’s arrest during the first hearing of the preliminary investigation. They kept Mary Jane’s former husband Michael Candelaria, from swearing in his affidavit because he forgot to bring an identification card. The defense counsels had also asked the prosecutor to submit as evidence the English translation of Indonesian court decisions on Mary Jane’s case. The latest they raised was the issue of admissibility of Mary Jane’s sworn affidavit.

Deinla said the law provides that in the absence of a prosecutor, one may subscribe his or her sworn affidavit before any public official or any notary public.

Public Prosecutor Susan Azarcon said she will note the issue on the admissibility of Mary Jane’s affidavit, and rule on this in her resolution. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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