Veloso taken off death row ‘indefinitely’–Yasay
JAKARTA—President Duterte took up the case of convicted Filipino drug mule Mary Jane Veloso in his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Friday, but the details, he said, were “not for public consumption.”
The President was expected to appeal Veloso’s death sentence, which was scheduled for May 2015, but she was saved by a last-minute reprieve after an appeal by then President Benigno Aquino III.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said both governments felt no urgency to take action in the Veloso case as she had been taken off the execution schedule indefinitely.
“This is not an urgent issue as of now, let’s finish the process,” Yasay said. “Her scheduled execution had been deferred because she would be testifying in the deposition case against her illegal recruiter. After prosecuting the illegal recruiter who (is one of) the main principals here, and if it turns out in the trial in the Philippines that Mary Jane (was) a victim, then at that point we can ask for clemency soon,” he added.
Pressed to comment on whether he exchanged notes on antidrug measures with Widodo, Mr. Duterte said, “No, I said that we will continue to respect each others’ judicial processes. The rule of law is what matters; (it) gives order to the community.”
Yasay said he was hopeful that the case against the illegal recruiter of Veloso, who was caught with 2.5 kilograms of cocaine inside the lining of her luggage at the Indonesian airport in 2010, would be resolved in a year’s time.
In the meantime, Yasay said Veloso had been allowed to give her deposition in the case pending with the Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court.
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