Since they are too far to personally challenge the statements Mary Jane Veloso would make, the convicted Filipino drug mule’s alleged illegal recruiters have opposed the plans of a local trial court judge to get the woman’s testimony in Indonesia.
Respondents Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in-partner Julius Lacanilao have filed a manifestation through their lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) headed by Persida Acosta to assail the decision of Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes to go to Indonesia.
Reyes is the judge hearing their human trafficking case.
Reyes apparently intends to observe the deposition that will be made by Veloso before government prosecutors in Indonesia. A deposition is a statement which will be used during the trial against the two suspected recruiters.
The PAO said that it wants to “avoid the highly improper and unlawful goal of the prosecution in misusing the court and the herein presiding judge in taking ‘deposition’, which is contrary to the Section 14, paragraph 2 of Article III, Bill of Rights, 1987 Constitution, and established law and jurisprudence on criminal cases.”
“The accused’s basic constitutional right to confrontation and meeting the witnesses against them face to face shall be violated if the court will let itself be wrongfully used as a tool to conduct the deposition proceedings that may expose the entire judiciary into mockery of justice and judicial processes,” read the manifestation.
Veloso, who claimed she was unwittingly used as a drug mule, got convicted of drug charges and sentenced to die by firing squad.
She was caught in April 2010 at Yogyakarta Airport, Indonesia with 2.6 kilograms of heroin.