Mary Jane Veloso, a mother of two, claims that she was duped into carrying a suitcase lined with heroin into Indonesia. She was sentenced to death by the government of Indonesia.
AP/Aaron Favila
Court upholds ruling, blocks Veloso's testimony in case vs recruiters
Kristine Joy Patag ( - June 8, 2018 - 3:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — Convicted drug mule Mary Jane Veloso has yet to tell her story in court as the Court of Appeals junked the government’s appeal to allow a local judge to observe the deposition of her testimony.

The Former Eleventh Division of the appellate court junked the Office of the Solicitor General’s motion for reconsideration in a bid to overturn the CA’s issuance of a preliminary injunction on the local court’s decision to allow Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes to take Veloso’s testimony through a deposition.

The court junked the appeal of the government, through the OSG, as it said that it could not ignore the right of the accused—Veloso’s recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao—to “confront and cross-examine” the witness in their case.

READ: CA blocks Mary Jane Veloso's testimony in case vs recruiters

“By insisting that we should reconsider our decision dated Dec. 13, 2017 and allow the taking of the testimony of [Veloso] by deposition upon written interrogatories in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in effect, the OSG would want us to disregard Section 14, of the 1987 Constitution,” the ruling penned by Associate Justice Ramon Bato Jr. read.

The said provision laid down the mandate to allow the accused to meet witnesses face to face.

Sergio and Lacanilao are represented by the Public Attorney's Office, while lawyer Edre Olalia of the National Union of People's Lawyers represents Veloso as a private prosecutor in the case.

The appellate court said the Philippine government might cite Article 15 of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, to which both Indonesia and the Philippines are signatories of.

“[T]he Philippine government can request with consent of Indonesia to temporarily transfer the custody of [Veloso] to the Philippine government to allow her for a limited period to testify in the Philippine Courts with the express undertaking to return immediately to Indonesia after termination of her testimony in court,” the ruling read.

Veloso, a mother of two, claims that she was duped into carrying a suitcase lined with heroin into Indonesia. She was sentenced to death by the government of Indonesia for drug offenses.

Following an appeal from President Benigno Aquino III and the surrender of her alleged recruiters in the Philippines, she was granted a last-minute reprieve before her scheduled execution on April 29, 2015.

Sergio and Lacanilao are currently facing human trafficking charges and are in police custody.

READ: Veloso to 'father of nation': Help your child duped by crooks

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