THE Catholic Bishops’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) again urged President Rodrigo Duterte to take action to save the life of overseas worker Mary Jane Veloso who was convicted earlier of drug smuggling in Indonesia.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, made the appeal over the weekend following the decision of the appellate court disallowing Veloso’s testimony against her recruiters, who allegedly tricked her into transporting illegal drugs to Indonesia in 2010.
The prelate said Veloso should be allowed to testify.
“The President, through Solicitor General Jose Calida, could question the decision of the CA not to allow Mary Jane deposition. Through the Solicitor General, it should be elevated to the Supreme Court,” Santos said.
Veloso was given a last-minute reprieve by Indonesia President Jokowi Widodo in 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.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) earlier 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.