Robredo: We must keep Veloso’s welfare in mind
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Monday said it was the responsibility of the Philippine government to keep in mind the welfare of Filipina drug convict Mary Jane Veloso, who remains on death row for drug smuggling in Indonesia.
“Mary Jane’s case is emblematic of the hardships faced by millions of our overseas Filipino workers. We must keep her welfare in mind, along with the welfare of all OFWs, as they remain under our government’s protection and support despite working overseas,” Robredo said in a statement.
Robredo was reacting to reports citing Indonesian President Joko Widodo that President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly “gave the go-ahead” for Veloso’s execution, which she said came as a “terrible shock.”
According to media in Indonesia, Widodo shared his version of his conversation with Duterte to reporters outside the grand mosque in Serang, Banten for the Eid al-Adha.
The Vice President said she was hoping that the administration would shed light on the said issue “to address the understandable concern of so many Filipinos.”
“A year ago, the Filipino nation came together in prayer and unity to appeal to the Indonesian government to spare Mary Jane’s life. Our prayers were answered when she was given a reprieve, and as one nation, we rejoiced,” Robredo added.
The Philippine presidential palace on Monday said Duterte only told Widodo to “follow your own law” and “I will not interfere.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also claimed that Duterte only said that “he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case.”
Veloso, who was arrested at Adisucipto Airport in Yogkayarta in April 2010, was temporarily spared the firing squad in April last year. RAM/rga
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