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Mary Jane Veloso pleads for help from Duterte

/ 06:45 PM September 01, 2016
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao (R) listens to Mary Jane Veloso (L), a Philippine death row inmate, during his visit to Wirogunan prison in Yogyakarta on July 10, 2015.  Veloso was set to face the firing squad in April with several other foreign drug convicts but was granted an 11th hour reprieve by Indonesian President Joko Widodo after a woman suspected of recruiting her was arrested in the Philippines. Veloso was arrested in 2009 with 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin sewn into the lining of her suitcase and was sentenced to death. AFP PHOTO / SURYO WIBOWO / AFP PHOTO / SURYO WIBOWO

Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao (R) listens to Mary Jane Veloso (L), a Philippine death row inmate, during his visit to Wirogunan prison in Yogyakarta on July 10, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / SURYO WIBOWO / AFP PHOTO / SURYO WIBOWO

Alam ko po na meroon kayong puso. Isa rin po kayong magulang. Kahit na mahirap ang buhay ng aking pamilya, pero hinding hindi ko po gagawin ang illegal na droga. Kahit po kinulong nila ako. Hindi ko matatanggap ang ibinibintang nila sa akin dahli wala po akong kasalan. Wala po akong kasalanan. Wala po akong kasalanan.

(I know you have a good heart. You are a parent as well. Even if my family is poor, I will not be involved in illegal drugs. Even if they put me behind bars. I cannot accept these accusations because I am innocent. I am innocent. I am innocent.)

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These were the words of Mary Jane Veloso as she begged for the assistance of President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday through a recorded voice message from her family on July 31.

The 31-year-old Cabanatuan native is currently in death row in Indonesia on drug trafficking charges. She was scheduled to be executed in April last year but was granted a reprieve following an international outcry to spare her life.

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As evidenced by her cracking voice, the sobbing Veloso pleaded for her freedom from the  President, who is notorious for his approach in eradicating the illegal drug trade in the country.

Mahal na Pangulo ng Pilipinas. Si Mary Jane po ito (Beloved President of the Philippines. This is Mary Jane),” the former domestic helper said at the beginning of her plea.

Matagal na po akong nagtitiis dito sa Indonesia. Kailangan kong pamarisan lahat ng nangyayari sa buhay ko. Kahit na mahirap lang kami may takot po ako sa Panginoong Diyos.

(I’ve been suffering here in Indonesia for too long. I’ve had to endure a lot in my life and despite being poor, I am a God-fearing person.)

The past administration’s efforts to bargain for Veloso’s freedom have remained futile, and she hopes to  be free with  Duterte’s help.

Kayo lang po ang pag-asa ko, mahal na Pangulo. Alam ko po na kayo lamang ang makakatulong sa akin ( You’re my only hope, dear President. I know you’re the only one who could help me,”) she said.

Alam ko po na maraming tao ang naniniwala sa akin at sumusuporta sa akin, pero alam niyo naman po kung paano po ang hustisya dito. Kailangan ko po ng katarungan at kailangang kailangan ko na po ngayon, parang awa niyo na po.

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(I know a lot of people still believe and support me, but you know it works differently here. I need justice, and I badly need it now. I’m begging you.)

Despite being captive since 2010, Veloso remained hopeful that she would receive pardon for a crime she said she didn’t commit.

Kahit na po lahat ng tao hindi naniniwala sa akin na wala along kasalanan, ang Panginoong Diyos hindi po siya natutulog at nakikita niya po lahat ng ginagawa ko at alam po niya na wala akong ginagawang kasalanan.”

(Even if many doubt my innocence, God does not sleep. He sees everything I’m doing; He knows I’ve done no wrong.)

The President has yet to release a statement on Veloso’s plea./rga

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TAGS: audio recording, freedom, Indonesia, innocence, Mary Jane Veloso, plea, President Rodrigo Duterte
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