Listen to us too, Sergio tells Aquino

Bea Cupin

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Listen to us too, Sergio tells Aquino
The affidavit of Maria Cristina Sergio and her partner Julius Lacanilao will be submitted by her lawyers on Wednesday, May 20

INNOCENT? Maria Cristina Sergio, alleged recruiter of OFW Mary Jane Veloso, faces the media after arriving at the Camp Crame in Quezon City. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – “Ang tanging kasalanan lamang namin ay ang tumulong sa mga taong walang utang na loob.” (Our only fault here is helping someone who turned out to be ungrateful.)

Maria Cristina Sergio, the alleged recruiter of Indonesian death row convict Mary Jane Veloso, again insisted on her innocence, and called on President Benigno Aquino III to also “listen to them… as Filipinos.”

In a waiver signed on May 18, Sergio and her partner, Julius Lacanilao, said they did not commit estafa, illegal recruitment, or human trafficking, contrary to reports and statements from the justice department.

The waiver is an attachment to her affidavit, as well as that of Lacanilao’s, which will be submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday, May 20.

Nagawa na namin ang aming mga sinumpaang salaysay, nilagay na namin ang lahat na mga tunay na pangyayari,” the two wrote in the waiver, which was prepared by their lawyers from the Public Attorneys Office.

(We’ve executed our sworn statements where we wrote down what really happened.)


The couple said they merely bought Veloso’s ticket for Malaysia “bilang kabahagi ng utang niya sa amin (and it’s part of her debt to us).”

Ipinararating namin sa lahat ang nilalaman ng aming sinumpaang salaysay… na iparating sa inyong lahat, maging sa buong mundo na kami ay hindi mga taong gusto ninyong palabasin sa publiko na mga masasama sapagka’t kami ay maka-Diyos at makatao at ang tanging naging kasalanan namin ang tumulong sa mga taong walang utang na loob,” the two wrote.

(We want everyone to know, through our sworn statements that we are not the bad people the public perceives us to be because we are God-fearing and compassionate. Our only fault is that we helped someone who turned out to be ungrateful.)

Sergio, who supposedly duped Veloso into acting as a drug mule, turned herself over to Nueva Ecija police because she feared for her life. She was immediately placed under the protection of the police the same day Veloso was supposed to be executed via firing squad in Indonesia.

It was Sergio’s “surrender” and Aquino’s pleas before the Indonesian government, among other things, that put a temporary stop to Veloso’s execution.

But Sergio and her lawyers insist she is innocent, refuting Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s claims that Sergio was actually part of an international drug ring.

From Nueva Ecija, Sergio was turned over to the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force for her protection. She was eventually turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation, which is building the case against her.

Sergio and Lacanilao were ordered arrested by a Nueva Ecija court on Monday, May 18, over an large-scale illegal recruitment case filed against them. The two, alongside an certain “Ike”, also face illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking raps. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.