Veloso sons, ma and siblings to fly to Indonesia Thursday
MANILA, Philippines – The kin of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, the Filipina maid-turned-death-row convict in Indonesia, are scheduled to leave the country for Indonesia on Thursday, following her dire wish to see her loved ones before the execution.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is arranging the travel of five of Veloso’s relatives — her sons Mark Darren, 6, and Mark Daniel, 11, her mother Celia, and her two siblings.
The DFA, at the initiative of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, will shoulder the costs of the travel.
Migrante International, the militant group assisting Veloso’s family, said her former husband, Michael Candelaria, would like to join the travel to visit her but the DFA could only sponsor five people.
“Arrangements are being made for the family to visit Mary Jane. They will leave for Indonesia tomorrow (Thursday),” Jesus Yabes, foreign affairs undersecretary for migrants’ and workers’ affairs, told reporters.
Yabes said the family would stay in Indonesia for a week. “Hopefully they could stay longer,” he said.
Veloso’s lawyers are working on the second appeal for a judicial review while the suspension of the executions is expected to end on April 24 with the conclusion of the Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference.
Around 50 members of Migrante International, an alliance of overseas Filipino workers group, trooped to the DFA headquarters on Wednesday morning, with Veloso’s mother Celia, to bring to the government’s attention the cases of Filipinos on death row and those languishing in jail.
Joining the protesters carrying placards was Editha, the mother of Rose Policarpio Dacanay who is also facing death in Saudi Arabia for allegedly killing her employer in 2013.
Rose claimed she fled the scene of the crime because the perpetrators were attempting to rape her. When she went to the police to report the attack on her employer and the attempted rape, she was arrested and jailed. Claiming to have been forced to admit guilt to the crime, Rose has been in Malaz jail for 21 months now while awaiting sentence.
“We are here to support Mary Jane. We will fight for this to the very end,” Editha said.
Gary Martinez, chair of Migrante International called on the DFA to act on the cases of the OFWs in distress before the issuance of death sentences.
Martinez said he was able to talk to Veloso over the phone on Wednesday.
“Her voice was calm. She asked if we could do everything to send her family to Indonesia,” Martinez said.
Veloso, a 30-year-old mother of two, went to Indonesia for a job, which a recruiter identified as Kristina Sergio, her god-sister (kinakapatid or the daughter of her godparent) had promised her.
After she was caught smuggling a luggage of heroin at the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010, she was jailed and sentenced to death by firing squad. SFM
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