Mary Jane to testify on April 27, nearly 2 years since reprieve

Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina in death row in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Migrante International)
Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina in death row in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Migrante International)
“Finally, after protracted and tedious legal wrangling over quite novel circumstances, Mary Jane will be able to freely tell her whole story and cruel ordeal which will be officially considered by the Philippine trial court.

By JONAS ALPASAN
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Two years since her temporary reprieve, Filipina in death row Mary Jane Veloso will finally be able to narrate her ordeal on April 27.

In a four-page resolution dated Feb. 13, Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes of the Sto. Domingo Regional Trial Court Branch 88 said the taking of written interrogatories in the Yogyakarta prison, where Mary Jane is currently detained, will proceed on April 27. The taking of the written interrogatories will be conducted by a Philippine consular official in Indonesia while Judge Reyes will serve as an observer.

Judge Reyes added that she has not yet received any temporary restraining order from the Appellate court, where the accused sought an appeal, questioning the Nueva Ecija court’s earlier decision to allow Mary Jane’s testimony.

Mary Jane and her family’s lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) lauded the court’s decision, saying that this is “another legal vindication for Mary Jane and the Veloso family.”

“Finally, after protracted and tedious legal wrangling over quite novel circumstances, Mary Jane will be able to freely tell her whole story and cruel ordeal which will be officially considered by the Philippine trial court,” the NUPL said in a statement.

The lawyers added that Mary Jane, being the victim, is the “most credible and competent witness” that can prove the allegations against the accused, her recruiters and neighbors Maria Cristina Sergio and live-in partner Julius Lacanilao. They said that only Mary Jane can provide the “full and unabbreviated circumstances that led to her conviction in Indonesia.”

Mary Jane was scheduled to be executed at dawn of April 29, 2015. The Indonesian government granted her a temporary reprieve due to strong public outcry regarding her being a victim of human trafficking.

The NUPL said, “the Veloso family prays that no further delays or impediments shall come along the way. To them, justice that is delayed is, much more in fact than in law, justice that is denied.” ()

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