Filipino workers in Hong Kong held a picket last week in front of the Philippine Consulate General to appeal to Manila to allow Mary Jane Veloso to speak the truth through deposition.
Led by the United Filipinos-Migrante Hong Kong, the group held the protest last Thursday to free Veloso — who is on death row in Indonesia over drug trafficking — from imprisonment.
Dolores Balladares, Unifil chairperson, said preventing Veloso from testifying in the case against her alleged recruiters through deposition or being examined from jail was not just a legal matter.
"This is Mary Jane's life we are talking about. Taking her account through deposition could save her life, yet the Philippine governmengt is taking the side of her recruiters, who swore in their counter-affidavit that Mary Jane is innocent," Balladares said.
Besides Filipino migrants, Indonesian workers and local people also joined the protest action.
"Remember, Mary Jane was set to be executed by the Indonesian government, but because of protests worldwide, the Indonesian government was pushed to postpone the execution. Eventually, her recruiters were caught. The outcome of the case against them can make or break Mary Jane's case in Indonesia," Balladares said.
Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in April 2015 after she was found guilty of drug trafficking, but Indonesian authorities agreed to hold off the execution so she could testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling stopping Veloso from testifying against her alleged recruiters in the Philippines.
In a 43-page motion filed on January 16, the OSG asked the CA'S 11th Division to set aside the reversal of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court decision to allow Veloso to testify against Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.
Veloso has accused Sergio and Lacanilao of duping her into bringing heroin to Indonesia, resulting in her arrest and conviction. —KBK, GMA News