PH, global protests not a factor in Veloso’s deferred execution—DFA
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) maintained that the local and global outrage over the supposed execution of Mary Jane Veloso did not sway the Indonesian government into giving Mary Jane Veloso a reprieve.
READ: Veloso execution stopped
In a press briefing Tuesday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said that the decision of Indonesia led by President Joko Widodo was prompted by the strong case presented by the Philippine government.
“None, it was only purely legal,” Jose said.
However, he said the development that “played a big part” was the report that Maria Kristina Sergio, Veloso’s alleged recruiter, has been placed under police custody.
Jose said that Sergio’s surrender bolstered the country’s case that Veloso was a victim of human trafficking and was duped by an international drug ring.
On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III asked Indonesia to spare Veloso so that she can testify against Sergio and provide information about the drug syndicate which turned her into a drug courier.
Aquino talked with Indonesia foreign minister Retno Marsudi on the possibility of turning Veloso as a witness.
Jose said that with the reprieve, Veloso could both become a complainant and witness in the cases filed by the government against Sergio.
The clamor to save Veloso went global, with Filipinos from various countries staging protests to blast the Indonesian government’s decision to execute Veloso. Indonesians also lamented the decision of their President to pursue the executions.
In the Philippines, various militant groups held a 72-hour vigil in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati City hoping that Veloso would be spared from death. The activists decried harassment and “security overkill” from policemen deployed in the area.
In social media, the Twitter hashtag #SaveMaryJaneVeloso trended worldwide as the 72-hour deadline set by Indonesia expired. On the other hand, a Change.org petition calling for Veloso’s clemency has gathered more than 162,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
With Veloso safe from death for now, she was returned to Wirongunan Prison in Yogyakarta where she was previously detained.
Veloso’s family hailed the Indonesian government’s move as a “miracle.” AC
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