Wednesday, April 29, 2015

All eyes on Bicolana alleged recruiter as Veloso gets reprieve

MANILA—The public's attention has shifted to Maria Cristina Sergio, the Bicolana who is the alleged recruiter of reprieved Mary Jane Veloso.

Maria Cristina Sergio
Screengrab from ABS-CBN News on Youtube
In a text message to the media, Indonesia's attorney general said: "There was a request from the Philippine president regarding the perpetrator who’s suspected of committing human trafficking and surrendered in the Philippines. MJ is needed for her testimony."

Nabua native

Sergio, who hails from Bagasacan, Lourdes Young, Nabua, Camarines Sur, surrendered herself to the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office on April 28 after purportedly receiving death threats.

She is also known as Maria Cristina Gulles Pasadilla.

Presently, she is a resident of Esguerra District, Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

Earlier, the alleged recruiter claimed she was only trying to help Veloso and her husband, who came to them for assistance.

She has also repeatedly maintained her innocence and denied being involved in a drug syndicate in media interviews.

Sergio, along with two other individuals, is currently facing a complaint for illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and estafa before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The preliminary investigation hearings have been set on May 8 and 14.

Joy

Meanwhile, supporters of Veloso in Bicol are rejoicing at the temporary reprieve.

Vigil for Mary Jane Veloso in Naga City
(Photo via Ped Penduko, courtesy of Vince Casilihan)

Yesterday, vigils calling to spare Veloso were held in various places across the region, including Naga City, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, and Sorsogon.

Karapatan Bicol spokesperson Vince Casilihan, who was among those who attended the vigils, stated that Veloso deserves justice, as she is a mere victim of human and drug trafficking.

Thirty-year-old Veloso was apprehended in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2010, after a suitcase with 2.2 kg of heroin was found in her possession.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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