Friday, May 26, 2017

CA extends stay order vs. deposition of Mary Jane Veloso’s testimony indefinitely

Filipino death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso would still not be able to testify against the individuals who allegedly tricked her into transporting illegal drugs in Indonesia in 2010.
This developed after the Court of Appeals (CA) 11th Division issued on May 22 a preliminary injunction which effectively extended for an indefinite period of time the 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) handed down last March on the deposition.
Veloso's testimony was supposed to be gathered on April 27 in Yogyakarta prison before the Filipino death row inmate's lawyers, prosecutors from the Department of Justice, representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, lawyers of Veloso's recruiters, and the trial court judge handling the cases against her recruiters.
The appellate court also rejected the motion for reconsideration on the stay order
filed by Veloso's parents, Celia and Cesar Veloso.
Parties to the case were also directed to  submit their memorandum on the merits within 15 days from notice afterwhich the petition would be submitted for decision.
The Public Attorney's Office (PAO), which represents Veloso's recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, welcomed the CA action.
"Rule of law and truth prevail," PAO chief Persida Acosta said in a text message.
GMA News Online has already asked for comment from the camp of Veloso but they have yet to respond as of posting time.
Sergio and Lacanilao went to the CA after Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes of the Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 88 allowed the deposition last February.
The PAO opposed the deposition, saying it is against the constitutional right of the accused.
The agency cited Section 14 paragraph 2 of the Bill of Rights, which gives, among others, an accused the right to a speedy, impartial, and public trial and meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence.
Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in April 2015, but Indonesian authorities agreed to hold off the execution so she could testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.  — RSJ, GMA News

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