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NE judge sets arraignment of Mary Jane’s recruiters

A Nueva Ecija court has set the arraignment of the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso, who is still on Death Row in Indonesia, on November 11.

In a four-page order dated October 23, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 37 Judge Nelson Tribiana ordered the arraignment of Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in-partner Julius Lacanilao and one alias “Ike” after he threw out the motion for Bill of Particulars filed by the respondents through their counsel, Howard Areza.

The lawyer filed the motion as he faulted the prosecution for allegedly “failing to state with particularity the details of the alleged incarceration of complainant Mary Jane Veloso.”

“With regards to the accused-movants’ fourth item in their Motion for Bill of Particulars, the same is hereby denied. Accordingly, the arraignment of the accused already set on November 11, 2015 at 10 a.m. shall proceed accordingly,” Tribiana said in his order.

The Department of Justice earlier said Ike was the reported man of African descent who gave to Veloso the bag containing 2.6 kilos of heroin seized by Indonesian authorities from her at the Yogyakarta airport, which led to the drug trafficking conviction and death penalty against her.

He is still on the run with authorities, saying he is a member of the West African drug syndicate that specializes in using human mules to carry drugs across borders.

Sergio and Lacanilao were originally set to be arraigned last September 18 but the respondents asked the court for deferment, citing the fact that their Motion for Bill Particulars has yet to be resolved by the court.