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Mary Jane Veloso’s recruiter surfaces, now in police custody

April 29, 2015

The recruiter who allegedly tricked Mary Jane Veloso into bringing 2.6 kilos of heroin in Indonesia has reportedly turned herself in to authorities on Tuesday.

According to a report on radio dzBB, the recruiter, Christine Pasadilla alias Kristina Sergio, went to the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office.

A News TV Live report, meanwhile, Pasadilla presented herself to authorities together with her live-in partner and fellow suspect Julius Lacanilao due to supposed threats to their lives.

Pasadilla said their neighbors in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, had told them that Veloso’s family will take revenge on them if Mary Jane’s execution pushes through.

Philippine labor unions stand behind Veloso. Members of associated labor unions in the Philippines stand vigil for Mary Jane Veloso on International Workers's Memorial Day on Tuesday, April 28. Analy Labor

Philippine labor unions stand behind Veloso. Members of associated labor unions in the Philippines stand vigil for Mary Jane Veloso on International Workers’s Memorial Day on Tuesday, April 28. Analy Labor

In a phone interview, Nueva Ecija police Deputy Provincial Director for Operations Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz said Sergio arrived a the police station at around 11 a.m.
He also clarified that Sergio did not surrender, but rather voluntarily turned herself in after receiving several threats.
“Hindi naman siya sumuko, voluntary ‘yan,” he said. “Basta na lang siya pumunta rito e, natatakot nga raw siya kasi may threats na dumarating sa kanya.”
A police report, meanwhile, said Sergio has been receiving death threats through cellphone and Facebook.
“She further averred that crank callers are frequently received uttering bad words against her and the members of her family,” the report said.

Radio dzBB also reported that PNP-Nueva Ecija got the service of a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office to serve as counsel for Pasadilla and Lacanilao.

The National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) will charge both with illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking.

However, since neither were given arrest warrants, Pasadilla and Lacanilao are under the protective custody of the Nueva Ecija until the NBI finishes its investigations, the report said.

The NBI said in an earlier report that Veloso was a victim of deception by an African man identified only as “Ike.”

Veloso, along with eight other drug traffickers, on Tuesday are being held in isolation cells at an Indonesian maximum security prison awaiting execution by firing squad.

Earlier, Malacañang said Indonesia informed the Philippines that Veloso’s execution will push through despite the personal appeal made by President Benigno Aquino III to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday.

“Following the meeting this (Monday) morning between the two presidents, President Widodo this evening instructed his Foreign Minister to convey to the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs the final view of the Indonesian Attorney General that there is no basis to reconsider the death sentence; that the execution will need to be enforced,” the Palace said in a statement released minutes after midnight Tuesday.

Veloso was arrested in April 2010 at the Yogyakarta Airport and was sentenced to death for possession of the huge amount of heroin in her luggage.

She denied being a drug courier, saying she was tricked into bringing the luggage to Indonesia by a Filipino friend who was also her recruiter. Amanda Fernandez and Rie Takumi/NB/KBK, GMA News

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