Senators weigh in on ‘go-signal’ to Veloso execution
“Heartbreaking” was how Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan described on Monday President Rodrigo Duterte’s reported statements allowing the execution of convicted Filipino drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso.
Media reports have quoted Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as saying that Duterte had given the green light for the execution of Veloso, who was arrested at Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta in April 2010 for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin.
“President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution,” Widodo reportedly said.
“I have explained to [Duterte] about Mary Jane’s situation and I told him that Mary Jane [has been found guilty] for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. I also told him about the delay in the execution during the meeting,” the Indonesian leader added.
READ: Duterte okayed Mary Jane’s execution, says Indonesian president
Sought for comment, Pangilinan said in a text message: “This is heartbreaking. I am at a loss for words to describe how it has come to this.”
If the report was indeed true, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said it would convey a “stronger” message on the Duterte administration’s fight against illegal drugs.
“Perhaps the Indonesian government thinks that PDU30 (President Duterte) no longer interposes any objection having been apprised with the situation by the Indonesian President, but that is only if the report is accurate and not taken out of context,” Sotto said in a separate text message.
But Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto expressed doubts Duterte would allow Veloso’s execution.
“The President would not do that,” Recto said in a separate text message.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri opted not to comment on the issue “until I can get the full story.”
Malacañang has since clarified that Duterte did not give the “go-signal” to the Filipina’s execution. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte only told Widodo to “follow your own laws” and that he “will not interfere” regarding Veloso. JE/rga
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