THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called anew on President Rodrigo Duterte to save the life of overseas worker Mary Jane Veloso who is on death row after she was convicted of drug smuggling in Indonesia.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, made the appeal over the weekend following a decision by the appellate court disallowing Veloso’s testimony against her recruiters, who allegedly tricked her into transporting illegal drugs to Indonesia in 2010.
The prelate argued that Veloso should be allowed to testify instead of the CA giving her recruiters “leeway”.
“The President, through Solicitor General Jose Calida, could question the decision of the CA not to allow Mary Jane’s deposition. Through the Solicitor General, it should be elevated to the Supreme Court,” Santos said.
Insisting that she was tricked by her recruiters, Veloso was given a last-minute reprieve by Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo on April 2015.
Veloso’s recruiters were identified as Maria Kristina Sergio, also known as Mary Christine Gulles Pasadilla, and Julius Lacanilao, Sergio’s live-in partner.
Veloso and Sergio live in the same neighborhood in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said that Veloso’s recruiters have no authority to recruit.
Charges of illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa have been filed against Sergio and Lacanilao and their cohorts. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL