International lawyers group to PH: save Mary Jane Veloso

Feb. 12, 2016

DAVAO CITY – The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) has called on the Philippine government to ensure that overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso will come home alive.

Veloso was sentenced to die in Indonesia on April 26 last year after being victimized in human trafficking as a drug courier. She was granted reprieve by the Indonesian government prior to the case hearing of her alleged recruiter who also surrendered to the authorities.

In an open letter addressed to the Philippine government on Thursday, February 11, the IADL said it should ensure “that Mary Jane Veloso’s cry will not drown in all the fanfare of the upcoming Philippine national elections, or trifled with, as it has done in the past years.”

“A few months from today, Mary Jane will have suffered six long years of injustice and not too long ago was almost executed for a crime she was unwittingly set up, all while those who wronged her are yet to plead before the court and face the bars of justice,” the group said.

The lawyers, who have been advocating for Veloso’s life and liberty also said that they are dismayed with the snail pace development of her cases “due mainly to the high-handed dilatory legal tactics that the defense lawyers of Mary Jane’s human traffickers have overzealously resorted before the court.”

“We at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) thus call on the Philippine government to exert all efforts to expedite the prosecution of Mary Jane’s traffickers in the Philippines.  Likewise we respectfully entreat the Indonesian government to keep Mary Jane’s reprieve in effect for as long as the legal proceedings in the Philippines are going on, and/or to magnanimously grant her clemency on both legal and humanitarian grounds,” the group said.

Meanwhile, Veloso’s recruiters has refused to enter a plea during their arraignment on charges on human trafficking on Thursday, February 11.

Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao refused to enter plea before the Sto. Domingo Regional Trial Court Branch 37.

The suspects are also facing charges of estafa and illegal recruitment. (

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