MANILA – The Philippines has again appealed for executive clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino worker who has been on death row for 12 years in Indonesia over drug-related charges, Malacañang announced Tuesday.
In a video message, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles made the announcement following President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s “productive” three-day state visit to Indonesia from Sept. 4 to 6.
“Hiningi ng ating Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo ang executive clemency para kay Ms. Mary Jane Veloso (Our Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo appealed for executive clemency for Ms. Mary Jane Veloso),” Cruz-Angeles said.
She said Manalo filed the appeal during the sidelines of Marcos’ state visit.
“Ayon kay Minister Marsudi, ihahain nila at isasanguni sa kanilang Ministry of Justice (According to Minister Marsudi, they will file and refer their appeal to their Ministry of Justice),” she added.
Meanwhile, she also assured that the Department of Foreign Affairs has been providing consular assistance to Veloso since the time of her arrest in 2010.
“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 sa Yogyakarta. Ikinuha din siya ng abogado nang ayon sa batas ng Indonesia nang tuluyang maprotektahan si Ms. Veloso (Our embassy continues to provide consular services to Ms. Veloso. According to them, she is in good condition at the Wonosari Women's Penitentiary in Yogyakarta. She was also provided with a lawyer according to Indonesian law for the protection of Ms. Veloso),” she said.
Cruz-Angeles earlier emphasized the need to “proceed with deliberation” on Veloso’s case due to its sensitive nature.
On Friday, Veloso’s father, Cesar, traveled from their home province Nueva Ecija to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in Mandaluyong City to personally deliver a letter of appeal addressed to Marcos.
In the letter, Cesar and his wife Celia said they were grateful that the Indonesian government suspended her execution, but would be "more thankful" if their daughter is brought home "in the soonest possible time".
They maintained that Mary Jane was innocent, and her only intention was to go abroad to give her children a decent life.
The Philippines has sought clemency for Veloso twice–in 2010 and 2015.
Her execution in April 2015 was postponed following the arrest of her recruiters in the Philippines.
However, she has remained behind bars in Indonesia for 12 years. (PNA)