Nueva Ecija court orders arrest of Veloso's recruiters
MANILA, Philippines – A Nueva Ecija court ordered on Monday, May 18, the arrest of two alleged illegal recruiters who tricked overseas contract worker Mary Jane Veloso into smuggling illegal drugs into Indonesia.
Veloso's execution in Indonesia has been postponed, pending the outcome of a case filed against her recruiters in the Philippines.
Acting on the largescale illegal recruitment case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Judge Nelson Tribiana of Regional Trial Court Branch 37 in Santo Domingo, Nueva Ecija, issued arrest warrants against Ma. Christina P. Sergio (also known as Mary Christine Gulles Pasadilla) and her partner Julius Lacanilao.
Sergio and Lacanilao are currently in the custody of the NBI. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended on May 7 that they be indicted for largescale illegal recruitment, a non-bailable offense, based on the complaints of 3 victims who surfaced other than Veloso.
According to Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, they will present the two suspects before Judge Tribiana, who will decide where they will be jailed during the trial.
“Most likely, they will be committed in the provincial jail of Nueva Ecija,” the prosecutor told reporters in a chance interview on Monday.
The arrest order issued by Tribinia read: “You are hereby commanded to arrest Ma. Christina Sergio alias Mary Christine Gulles Pasadilla and Julius Lacanilao who is/are said to be presently detained at the lock-up cell of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-NHQs), NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Manila, and other John and Jane Does, charged of the crime of large scale illegal recruitment (Violation of Sec. 6, in Relation to Sec. 7(a) of R.A. 8042) and to bring him/her/them before me as soon as possible to be dealt with accordingly to law.”
Other charges studied
The NBI filed human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and estafa complaints against Sergio and Lacanilao. So far, Assistant State Prosecutor Mark Roland Estepa has found probable cause to indict the two suspect for illegal recruiment, and recommended preliminary investigation for the human trafficking and estafa complaints.
“Finally, with the existence of the three (3) complainants filed by Lorna Valino, Ana Marie Gonzales, and Jenalyn Paraiso, it is beyond dispute that the illegal recruitment undertaken by both respondents are committed in large scale. Hence, the charges against them should be qualified,” Estepa's resolution read.
He said Sergio and Lacanilao violated Section 6 of Republic Act 8042 when they recruited the 3 women for work abroad even if they (Sergio and Lacanilao) were not licensed to recruit.
“Given the foregoing, the undersigned hereby rules that respondents are liable for the crime of large-scale illegal recruitment and should be appropriate charged in court with no recommended bail,” the prosecutor said. – Rappler.com