Mary Jane Veloso gets new lease; lawyer relieved
The private counsel of Mary Jane Veloso welcomed her reported exclusion from the third round of executions in Indonesia a year after she was granted reprieve while the court case against her recruiter is ongoing in the Philippines.
“It is with a sigh of relief to know her life is rightfully spared again even as we will leave no stone unturned to legally vindicate her or work harder for her clemency, or both,” lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said on Friday.
The NUPL is appealing to the government “to reopen official channels and strongly appeal for clemency based on humanitarian grounds and considering that she has been in prison for six years already.”
Veloso was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia. She was granted reprieve on April 29, 2015, minutes away from being executed following international clamor to spare her life and after her recruiter surrendered to authorities.
Jakarta Post recently reported that Veloso was excluded from the third round of executions as Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said they respect the legal process taking place in the Philippines.
Veloso will testify against her recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio in the human trafficking complaint she filed in the Department of Justice. Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao are also facing large-scale illegal recruitment and estafa.
Considering the developments, Olalia said there are now better chances for obtaining executive clemency.
“The option of clemency is stronger from our point of view. Of course, the decision is at the hands of the Indonesian government and we ask the Philippine government to strongly push for it. It is without prejudice to the resolution of the cases in the Philippines,” Olalia said.
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