Mary Jane Veloso's husband testifies in court, identifies wife's recruiters
The husband of Mary Jane Veloso faced a Nueva Ecija court on Thursday and positively identified the recruiters accused of duping his wife into bringing heroin to Indonesia in 2010, which resulted in her arrest.
Michael Candelaria, a witness prosecution, told the Baloc Regional Trial Court Branch 88 how Maria Cristina Sergio and her live in partner, Julius Lacanilao, recruited Veloso to work as a domestic helper in Malaysia.
Candelaria said they paid Sergio and Lacanilao P20,000 for plane tickets for Veloso, whose execution via firing squad was put on hold last year to allow her to testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.
He also said that on April 22, 2010, he brought Veloso, Sergio and Lacanilao to the bus station in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, for a bus ride to Manila on their way to Malaysia.
Based on Veloso's affidavit, when they reached Malaysia and the job was no longer available, Sergio asked her to bring a suitcase to Indonesia.
Veloso was arrested upon her arrival at the Yogyakarta Airport in April 2010 after authorities found 2.6 kilograms of heroin in the suitcase. She said she did not know about the drugs in the bag.
Candelaria is set to continue his testimony when the hearing resumes on December 15.
Meanwhile, also on Thursday, the court, through Judge Anerica Castillo-Reyes, released its resolution dated November 3, 2016 denying the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the Public Attorneys Office on behalf of Sergio and Lacanilao.
A statement from the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), the group helping the Veloso family in the case, said the accused sought a reconsideration of the August 16 court resolution allowing the taking of the testimony of Veloso in Indonesia through deposition by written interrogatories.
In its Resolution, the court ruled that it find "no compelling reason" to reverse its earlier ruling allowing the deposition of Veloso.
"With the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration, Mary Jane will finally be given the opportunity to testify and tell her story," the NUPL said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News