Let Mary Jane Speak The Truth! Allow Her to Testify Against her Traffickers! #SaveMaryJane
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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.
On December 13, 2017, the Philippine Court of Appeals ordered the trial court judge handling Mary Jane’s case not to take her testimony in Indonesia. In its 18-page decision, the appellate court explained their belief that having Mary Jane’s testimony taken via a written deposition inside her prison cell would prejudice the rights of Sergio and Lacanilao to confront her and scrutinize her testimony face-to-face.
We find this recent decision unfair. In recognizing the rights of the accused, the authorities should put into primary consideration the right of the victim who continuously suffers and will inevitably suffer worse and more irreversible damage from the effects of the crimes committed against her. It is a big stumbling block on Mary Jane’s pursuit to prove her innocence. It restrains her sole opportunity to testify in court to tell the events that led to her ordeal.
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 brought her to Indonesia instead. Evidence so far 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.
Deposition in Indonesia jail, therefore, is the only available, allowable and practicable mode to officially get Mary Jane’s testimony as she is in in jail on death row.
Hence, we once again unite and amplify our voices for Mary Jane. We are calling on the Philippine Court of Appeals and other judicial and political authorities to allow her to testify in Indonesia. We are urging President Duterte to do everything in his power to let Mary Jane speak the truth. Through this, we are one step closer in our quest to finally #SaveMaryJane and bring her home.
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