Palace clarifies: No statement on Veloso case only means we’re being careful, not inaction | Global News

Palace clarifies: No statement on Veloso case only means we’re being careful, not inaction

/ 12:06 PM September 07, 2022
Mary Jane Veloso

Mary Jane Veloso. (File photo by SURYO WIBOWO / AFP)

ORCHARD ROAD, Singapore — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is still mum on the case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina worker on death row in Indonesia, as the government is being extra careful about the issue of diplomatic relations, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.

During a press briefing here on Wednesday morning, Angeles was asked if Marcos would issue any statement on Veloso’s case, given that the government already confirmed on Tuesday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is seeking executive clemency for the Filipina worker.


In response, Angeles said that Marcos would speak only when there is a concrete development on the issue and after consultations with the DFA to avoid running the risk of diplomatic issues.

“Like we said, and we constantly say it, when it’s a matter of international relations, the President will make a pronouncement only when the policy is already set in place and after recommendations made by the DFA,” Angeles said.


“We’re always very careful about any statement because they have repercussions later on.  We also do not want to transgress the sovereignty of another state.  So definitely the President will make no statement until we have some kind of further development on Ms. Veloso’s case,” she added.

However, Angeles also stressed that silence does not mean that the government is not acting on the issue at hand.

“But it doesn’t mean na hindi siya inaasikaso ha?  Tuloy-tuloy naman ang embassy natin sa kanya at sila nga po nga ‘yong kumuha ng abugado sa kanya,” she noted.

Angeles and the DFA on Tuesday night confirmed that Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo talked to his Indonesian counterpart last Sunday to ask for executive clemency for Veloso.

READ: DFA requests Indonesia’s executive clemency for Mary Jane Veloso  

The meeting happened during Marcos’ stop in the said country, the first leg of his two state visits.

According to the DFA, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told Manalo in Jakarta that they would consult the Ministry of Justice regarding Veloso’s fate.


Veloso has been jailed in Indonesia since she was arrested — and eventually convicted — of drug trafficking in 2010.  However, Veloso and her family have claimed innocence numerous times, blaming her recruiter for the illegal substance found on her luggage when she entered Indonesia.

Veloso was supposed to have been executed via firing squad in 2015, but her family and the Philippine government made a last-minute plea for mercy from Indonesia.  She was spared after being granted a last-minute reprieve by the Indonesian government.

Timeline: The case of Mary Jane Veloso 

While Marcos was in Indonesia, several groups concerned about Veloso’s fate questioned what the government was doing about the issue, as only a few details had been released by the President’s delegation.

Marcos also did not mention Veloso’s case during his talk with the Filipino community in Indonesia.

Angeles meanwhile explained that it took some time for them to release the update about DFA’s talk with their Indonesian counterparts, as they had to vet the sensitive information given to them.

“Other than the fact that the information first is vetted and then discussed, because as I mentioned, when the communication is between two states and about two states that have diplomatic relations, we’re always careful, particularly under the aegis of the President,” she said.

“So if it is about the President’s trip and we are talking about a sensitive matter between two states, then the DFA must study the matter before we give the announcement,” she added.

READ: Mary Jane Veloso case prospects turn iffy in Marcos trip

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TAGS: Bongbong marcos, Indonesia, Mary Jane Veloso, Veloso
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