Press Release
October 12, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 624:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision Allowing Mary Jane Veloso to Testify versus Recruiters


I welcome the Supreme Court's decision to allow Mary Jane Veloso to testify by way of deposition against her illegal recruiters, who used her as a drug mule in Indonesia.

It was during my term as Justice Secretary when the DOJ task force designated to review Mary Jane's case recommended to convince the Indonesian Government that Mary Jane is a crucial witness against Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, the illegal recruiters who duped Mary Jane into becoming a drug mule.

The decision also sustains and is consistent with the country's Tier 1 status under the Human Trafficking Victims Protection Act which the country achieved in June 2016. Allowing Mary Jane's testimony is not only crucial in the successful prosecution of Sergio and Lacanilao, but also sets a precedent in the overall fight against human trafficking and other crimes of similar nature.

With this crucial decision of the Supreme Court, President Duterte - who has not lifted a finger to save her life despite the obvious victim status of Mary Jane - should now be put to task to prevent the execution of Mary Jane.

I laud the efforts as well of Atty. Edre Olalia, who has served as private counsel to Mary Jane in achieving this victory, and the Task Force who reviewed her case. It is my hope that the successful prosecution of Sergio and Lacanilao before our local courts would pave the way for another review of Mary Jane's case in Indonesia.

Nawa'y gumulong na ang hustisya para kay Mary Jane nang makasama na niya ang kanyang pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay. ###

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 624 here:

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