Petition update

More women victimized by Mary Jane's illegal recruiter surface

church response
quezon city, Philippines

May 14, 2015 — Dear friends around the world,
 
With the Philippine Department of Justice reporting an admission by Mary Jane’s alleged illegal recruiters that they are part of an international drug syndicate, justice for Mary Jane may be close at hand.
 
A preliminary investigation hearing of the case of the family of Mary Jane Veloso against Maria Cristina “Tintin” Sergio and Julius Lacanilao and a certain “Ike” (believed to be a Nigerian national) for illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking was held in Manila on May 8, 2015. 
 
This is not the only case that Sergio and Lacanilao are facing. A charge of large-scale illegal recruitment that includes three other alleged victims of the couple has been filed in the province of Nueva Ecija. The Department of Justice also indicates at least seven other alleged victims’ cases are in the process of preliminary investigation. Philippine authorities have even connected Sergio’s alleged trafficking to another maid Judy Tosi detained for heroin found in the bag that Sergio allegedly sent her to deliver to a friend in Hong Kong; Tosi was promised employment as a maid in Thailand.
 
According to Atty. Edre Olalia, the Veloso family's private (volunteer) counsel from the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), they are currently discussing the case status, updates, plans, and prospects with Mary Jane's Indonesian lawyers in Manila. This is an expression of their mutual cooperation and active collaboration with Indonesian counterparts and reaffirms the principled engagement with Philippine government agencies and entities.
 
The Veloso family continues to articulate deep appreciation for all of your valuable efforts for Mary Jane that contributed to the reprieve from execution on April 29, 2015. These have brought great joy and comfort to the family, who throughout the last five years suffered injustice, neglect and dismissive responses from those they approached for help. As we continue to journey with them, we fervently pray that people will understand that the Veloso family sought to move heaven and earth to save the life of Mary Jane, who had been duped into unknowingly carrying drugs in a suitcase that was gifted to her. 
 
Our Church task force together with the Veloso family as well as with their volunteer lawyers, various Church institutions, international migrant groups, and other civil society organizations (including those in Indonesia) appeal for your continued participation in spreading the word of our online petition and calling for Mary Jane’s release.  
 
We are grateful that our collective efforts and answered prayers changed the course of Mary Jane’s life. We will continue to keep you updated on developments.  We sincerely thank everyone who is supporting this petition and actively sharing their views in our online discussion. Taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyo (Our heartfelt thanks to you)! #FreeMaryJane
 
Mr. Nardy Sabino
Spokesperson

Church Task Force to Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso


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