PH to file another appeal for Filipina in Indonesia’s death row
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will exhaust all legal remedies to save the 30-year-old Filipina migrant worker on Indonesia’s death row.
In a statement, Presidential adviser on OFW (overseas Filipino worker) concerns and Vice President Jejomar Binay said that the DFA office of Asia and the Pacific Affairs has assured him that the government would file a second petition for judicial review to possibly stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso.
Binay also renewed his appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to help lift Veloso’s death sentence. Veloso is a widow with two young children who has not been involved in any crime until she was accused of drug trafficking.
The Vice President met on Palm Sunday with Veloso’s parents, Celia and Cesar, at the Makati City hall where he discussed the government’s next move to save their daughter.
During the meeting, he spoke with DFA assistant secretary Minda Calaguian-Cruz who assured him of the plan to file another appeal for the review of Veloso’s case with the Indonesian Supreme Court.
While the Indonesian Supreme Court has denied the Philippine government’s initial request for a judicial review, where Veloso’s lawyers had raised the absence of a capable translator during her trial, it had said it would wait for the conclusion of any outstanding legal appeal before executing 10 foreigners – including Veloso – who were convicted of drug offenses.
Veloso, along with nine other persons, were sentenced to die by firing squad. The OFW was convicted for allegedly trafficking 2.6 kilos of heroin in her luggage at Java’s Yogyakarta Airport in April 2010.
According to Binay, Veloso’s parents sought a meeting with him to ask for the government’s help in saving their daughter from execution. They claimed that their daughter had been used as a drug mule by a person she mistakenly trusted.
The presidential adviser on OFW concerns assured them that the government would exhaust all legal options to save her.
Apart from legal remedies, Binay wrote early this month the Indonesian President to express the Filipinos’ hope for Veloso’s life to be spared. He conveyed in his letter the country’s “hope and prayer that the Supreme Court of Indonesia will look kindly and with compassion on the circumstances surrounding the case.” SFM
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