MANILA – Celia Veloso, the mother of Mary Jane Veloso, on Wednesday thanked the Aquino administration for its efforts to obtain a last-minute reprieve for the Filipina on death row, but she said she won't apologize for her remarks against the president.
In an interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda, Celia said she has no plans of taking back her fierce words for the Aquino administration after the latter supposedly dragged its feet for five years while her daughter languished in an Indonesian jail.
''Hindi po muna siguro,'' Celia said when asked whether she will apologize for her remarks against President Benigno Aquino III.
Celia lamented how the Aquino government supposedly failed to provide Mary Jane with proper legal assistance and court interpreter.
Nonetheless, she said she is thanking everyone, including President Aquino, for the successful appeal for a reprieve for Mary Jane.
''Nagpapaslamat kaming lahat. Nandoon pa lang kami sa Indonesia, iniisa-isa na ng mga anak ko, kami lahat ay nagpasalamat sa lahat ng sumuporta sa aming anak, si [Vice President] Binay, President [Aquino], at president ng Indonesia,'' Celia said.
Celia's husband, meanwhile, appealed for understanding, saying his family is going through some tough times.
Mary Jane was caught with 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin at Yogyakarta airport five years ago. She claims the drugs were sewn into her suitcase lining without her knowledge.
Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo granted a stay on Veloso's execution after Aquino asked that she be made a witness against a human trafficking ring that duped her into smuggling drugs.
Upon arriving in the Philippines, Celia told reporters that Aquino should not be solely credited for the last-minute suspension on Mary Jane's execution. She told Aquino she and her family and supporters will fight him.
Celia's remarks, however, did not sit well with some netizens, calling the former ungrateful.
In the same program, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government understands the Veloso family given the hardships that they are going through.
He said the president is not harboring any ill feelings towards Celia and her family.