AN APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT: Allow Mary Jane to Testify Against Human Traffickers!

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We, the undersigned, concerned citizens of the Philippines and supporters from around the world, stand in solidarity with trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso in her appeal to be allowed to testify against her traffickers. We want Mary Jane to be given the chance to speak the truth once and for all.

In an 8-page resolution dated June 5, 2018, the Philippine Court of Appeals dismissed the motion for reconsideration and affirmed its earlier decision issued on December 13, 2017 prohibiting Mary Jane Veloso from issuing a testimony against her alleged recruiters from her jail cell in Indonesia through a written deposition. According to the appellate court’s explanation, it would prejudice the rights of Sergio and Lacanilao to confront her and scrutinize her testimony face-to-face.

We now find it ironic that a court in Mary Jane’s own country now seems to be the only hurdle in her pursuit of justice and freedom as she still stands to lose her life. For this reason, Mary Jane’s parents Celia and Cesar Veloso submitted a petition to the Supreme Court of the Philippines on September 3, 2018 to reverse the appellate court’s ruling and allow Mary Jane to give her testimony against her wrongdoers.

Moreover, Mary Jane’s deposition in the Indonesian prison will not infringe the constitutional rights of respondents Sergio and Lacanilao since they have the speedy and adequate remedy of proceeding to trial and cross-examining Mary Jane in the form of written interrogatories.

Mary Jane is the principal complainant in the trafficking case against Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, the live-in couple who recruited her supposedly for work in Malaysia but was instead deployed to Indonesia.

Evidence presented in Philippine courts established that, among others, Sergio and Lacanilao have no license to recruit anyone for employment abroad. It is also established that they asked and was paid by the Velosos for Mary Jane’s trip and the job offer. Sergio’s records also showed that she has travelled very often to Asian countries several years prior. Likewise, it was proven that it was Sergio who gave Mary Jane the luggage and plane ticket for her trip to Indonesia.

The only evidence that remains to be presented is the testimony of Mary Jane herself. Deposition in Indonesia jail, therefore, is the only available, allowable and practicable mode to officially get Mary Jane’s testimony as she is in jail on death row.

Hence, we once again unite and amplify our voices for Mary Jane.We are calling on the Supreme Court of the Philippines and other political authorities to allow her to testify in Indonesia.

We are calling on President Duterte to do everything in his power to let Mary Jane speak the truth if he is really serious in pursuing big international drug trafficking syndicates.

Through this, we are one step closer in our quest to finally #SaveMaryJane and bring her home.