It’s final: SC allows Veloso to testify vs alleged recruiters
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld its previous ruling allowing Mary Jane Veloso, the overseas Filipino worker on death row in Indonesia, to testify against her alleged illegal recruiters.

In a March 4 ruling released yesterday, the SC’s Special Third Division denied with finality a motion filed by Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, represented by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), asking the high tribunal to reconsider its Oct. 9, 2019 ruling.

The SC said the motion for reconsideration raised issues that had already been “duly considered and passed upon by the court.”

The SC also denied PAO’s motion to set the case for oral arguments.

In October 2019, the SC reversed the Court of Appeals’ Dec. 13, 2017 decision barring Veloso from testifying against her alleged recruiters, citing constitutional grounds and procedural rules.

The CA had reversed the Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 88 decision in August 2016 granting the prosecution’s motion to take Veloso’s testimony by way of writing interrogatories.

Preventing Veloso from testifying would violate her right to due process, the SC said in its previous decision.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers, which represents Veloso, said the Nueva Ecija court hearing the charges of qualified human trafficking, illegal recruitment and estafa against Sergio and Lacanilao can now schedule the hearing of Veloso’s testimony.

Veloso was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death  in October 2010 after she was caught with 2.6 kilos of heroin at the Jakarta airport.

Her execution was stopped by the Indonesian government in 2015 after the Philippine government said her testimony would be vital in the charges filed against her recruiters.

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