Mary Jane’s recruiters’ conflicting positions
On May 22, 2017, the Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction preventing the taking of Mary Jane Veloso’s testimony via written interrogatories in Indonesia. How in heaven’s name can we get to hear the side of a fellow compatriot who is behind bars, waiting in death row in a foreign land, but who cannot come home for the purpose?
Stripped of legalese and legal fiction that may be ideal at another place, time and circumstance, how can the accused illegal recruiters (who profess innocence) be able to controvert Veloso’s whole narrative (already well-known publicly all over the world) if she is doggedly gagged from officially telling her story by invoking what may be deemed esoteric and archaic legal argumentation given the peculiarities of the case?
The recruiters assert that they want to confront her in person, yet they themselves oppose and put all roadblocks every step of the way to make this happen.
Veloso’s situation is unique in that it calls for judicial equity, if not flexibility. Indeed, it warrants common sense—or basic empathy.
Whatever happens in the meantime to the fate of distressed overseas workers like her, may in large measure be attributable to a fixation with legal gobbledygook, abstracting lofty legal principles and procedures that are open to serious impressions, such that they are bereft of reality, compassion and a sincere search for justice in a case where time is of the essence.
EDRE U. OLALIA, president, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, firstname.lastname@example.org
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