DFA requests Indonesia’s executive clemency for Mary Jane Veloso
NUS, Singapore —The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has sought executive clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina worker in Indonesia who was convicted of drug smuggling and condemned to death row.
Information from the DFA on Tuesday stated that Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo met with his counterpart, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, in Jakarta on Sunday with the hope of obtaining executive clemency for Veloso.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also confirmed on Tuesday that Manalo asked for executive clemency or pardon for Veloso.
“Hiningi ng ating Foreign Affairs Secretary si Enrique Manalo ang executive clemency para kay Ms. Mary Jane Veloso. Inihain niya itong no’ng September 4, sa kanyang counterpart, (Indonesian) Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi sa sidelines ng pagdalaw ng ating pangulo sa kanyang state visit kay President Joko Widodo,” Angeles said.
(Our Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has asked for executive clemency for Ms. Mary Jane Veloso. On September 4, he requested his counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, on the sidelines of our President’s state visit to President Joko Widodo.)
“Samantala naman tuloy-tuloy ang pagbigay ng consular services ng ating embahada kay Ms. Veloso. At ayon sa kanila ay nasa mabuting kalagayan siya sa Wonosari Women’s Penitentiary in Yogyakarta. Ikinuha din siya ng abogado ng ayon sa batas ng Indonesia ng tuluyang maprotektahan si Ms. Veloso,” she added.
(Meanwhile, our Embassy in Indonesia continues to provide consular services to Ms. Veloso. And according to them, Veloso is in good condition at the Wonosari Women’s Penitentiary in Yogyakarta. They also got Ms. Veloso a lawyer following Indonesian laws to continue giving her protection.)
Since her arrest and subsequent conviction for drug trafficking in 2010, Veloso has been imprisoned in Indonesia. However, Veloso and her family members have repeatedly maintained their innocence, placing the blame on her recruiter for the presence of the banned substance in her luggage upon entry to Indonesia.
According to the DFA, Marsudi told Enrique that the Indonesian foreign affairs would consult the Ministry of Justice over Veloso’s predicament.
“Foreign Minister Marsudi said she would consult the Ministry of Justice on the matter,” the DFA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The agency said it has been providing consular assistance to Veloso since the time of her arrest in 2010,” DFA added.
It was unclear what the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would do about Veloso’s case, as few details have been released about whether the Filipino’s case was brought up during his meeting with Widodo during the recently concluded visit.
Marcos also did not mention Veloso’s case during his talk with the Filipino community in Indonesia.
However, it appears that the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta were apparently monitoring Veloso’s status inside the detention facility.
“Based on the last communication of the Philippine Embassy officials, Ms. Veloso was in relatively good health at the Wonosari Women’s Penitentiary in Yogyakarta, where she is currently detained,” DFA said.
Veloso was supposed to have been executed via firing squad in 2015, but her family and the Philippine government made a last-ditch plea for mercy from the Indonesian government. As a result, she was spared after being granted a last-minute reprieve.
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