Veloso manipulators should replace her in execution island, says solon
The people who used and manipulated Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino death convict given a reprieve by the Indonesian government, should take her place on the dreaded execution island, according to an administration lawmaker.
Iloilo Representative Jerry Treñas said Veloso would only attain justice if those responsible for her incarceration and conviction on drug smuggling charges were fully held accountable.
In a statement, the Liberal Party lawmaker said he would support any action by the Philippine government to turn over Maria Kristina Sergio, the alleged recruiter who duped Veloso into smuggling heroin to Indonesia, and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao to Indonesian authorities.
The 30-year-old Veloso was supposed to be executed by firing squad on Wednesday, until last-minute appeals by President Benigno Aquino III and the surrender of Sergio prompted Indonesia to give the former a temporary reprieve.
READ: DFA: Veloso now a witness, complainant vs alleged recruiter
Treñas said the prosecution of the real masterminds would give justice not only to Veloso and many other unsuspecting drug couriers but also for the “millions of young people around the world who destroyed their future because of drug addiction.”
“Mary Jane was victimized by Sergio and Lacanilao because she is naive and she’s poor. Many more like her will fall victims to these drug smuggling rings if the people who use and manipulate people like Mary Jane are not punished,” he said.
“They are a menace to our society and I would not mind if they replaced Mary Jane in Indonesia’s dreaded execution island,” Treñas said.
READ: Veloso’s recruiter travels twice monthly
Treñas said the entire Filipino people would be forever grateful to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for listening to reason and granting reprieve to Veloso.
But he added that this would have not been possible if not for the “relentless appeals made by President Aquino and the solidarity shown by Filipinos in praying that she would be spared from execution.”
Treñas said Veloso’s innocence gave the Indonesian government the right justification for the reprieve but the Philippines should return the favor by surrendering Sergio and Lacanilao to the Indonesian justice system.
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