By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — Recruiters of Filipina on death row Mary Jane Veloso have been convicted of large-scale and syndicated illegal recruitment and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In a decision, Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes of the Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 37 declared Veloso’s recruiters Ma. Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao guilty of violating Republic Act 8042 as amended by Sec. 5 of Republic Act 10022 beyond reasonable doubt. The court also ordered Sergio and Lacanilao to pay a fine of P2 million to Veloso’s fellow victims Lorna Valino, Ana Marie Gonzales and Jenalyn Paraiso.
Veloso is not a complainant in this case but Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), welcomed the decision.
“We look forward to the full achievement of justice when the other case of Mary Jane is resolved and she is herself ultimately and finally sent home free in time,” Olalia said.
Veloso has yet to testify through deposition in the case she filed against her recruiters before the same court.
Veloso was jailed in Yogyakarta, Indonesia since 2010 after the police allegedly seized 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her luggage. She was sentenced to death by firing squad in April 2015 but was put on hold in last minute due to strong protest and support from different groups here and abroad.