"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Friday, July 10, 2015

Philippines: Veloso's recruiters indicted for trafficking, estafa

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
A government prosecutor has found basis to file cases in a Nueva Ecija court against the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina death row inmate in Indonesia.

Set to face cases of qualified trafficking, illegal recruitment, and estafa* are Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, and their alleged African cohort, alias "Ike," according to a resolution issued on Thursday by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Azarcon.

"Certainly good news. About time. Quite a long road to justice but we are getting there. The lull will come after this storm," said Edre Olalia, legal counsel for Veloso's family.

Azarcon said the 3 are liable for "simple illegal recruitment" because they transported Veloso to Malaysia in 2010 without a valid license.

On estafa, the prosecutor said the respondents "falsely pretended and misrepresented" that Sergio had the capacity to deploy Veloso as domestic helper in Malaysia in exchange for P20,000.

"Clearly, complainant (Veloso) suffered damage as the promised job abroad was inexistent as well as the cash and the monetary value of the cellular phone and the tricycle pawned to respondents," the resolution read.

The respondents were indicted for qualified trafficking for exploiting Veloso, who was caught in Yogyakarta airport in 2010 carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin.

"This exploitative purpose of using complainant (Veloso) in transporting illegal drugs resulted to the incarceration of (Veloso). Worse, complainant, who was referred and considered by respondents as 'victim' will eventually suffer the penalty of death," the resolution said.

Veloso was spared from execution in April after the last minute appeal of the Aquino administration to the Indonesian government, which gave way to the Philippine investigation on the drug syndicate that allegedly victimized her.

Sergio and Lacanilao also have a pending large-scale illegal recruitment case before the Baloc, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court branch 37 for allegedly recruiting Lorna Valino, Ana Marie Gonzales and Jenalyn Paraiso.

* Estafa refers to the criminal offense of swindling; the use of fraud or deceit that causes loss to another.

Source: Sun Star, July 9, 2015

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