Binay to make final appeal to spare Veloso’s life
VICE President Jejomar Binay on Monday said he would make a last-ditch appeal to President Joko Widodo to spare the life of Filipina worker Mary Jane Veloso.
Binay is set to fly to Indonesia to attend the Asian–African Summit in Bandung on April 22.
Veloso was convicted of drug charges and is now on death row.
“I am hoping that we will be given the opportunity to personally appeal to His Excellency’s kind heart for the commutation of the sentence of Mary Jane,” Binay said in a statement on Monday.
While saddened that the Indonesian Supreme Court has chosen not to grant Veloso’s first request for a judicial review of her case, the Vice President said, the Philippine government reiterates its respect for Indonesia’s laws and legal system.
He remained hopeful that Indonesia would look on Veloso with compassion since she was not part of any organized drug syndicate.
“She, too, was a victim,” Binay said, adding that a person whom Veloso trusted and knew personally only “took advantage of her trust when she asked Veloso to hand carry a luggage containing illegal drugs.”
“I intend to bring to His Excellency our people’s hope for compassion, given the circumstances surrounding the case,” he added.
Binay noted that just recently, President Widodo had appealed to the King of Saudi Arabia not to execute an Indonesian domestic worker.
“I am certain His Excellency understands why we in government are doing all we can to save the life of our kababayan. It is the responsibility of governments to come to the aid of their countrymen, especially those in difficult circumstances,” he said.
While in Indonesia, the Vice President will hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on issues concerning the Philippine-Indonesian relations. He is also set to attend activities hosted by Indonesian President Widodo, including a 20-minute historical walk from Savoy Homann Hotel to Gedung Merdeka.
Binay, who concurrently serves as Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, is also scheduled to hold a dialogue with the Filipino community in Indonesia.
The summit will gather leaders from 29 countries to discuss peace, security, and economic development in the midst of emerging problems in many parts of the world. AC
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