MANILA - What were the circumstances that led to the arrest of Filipino Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia in April 2010?
In an interview on radio DZMM, Darling Veloso, older sister of Mary Jane, gave a detailed narration of the events leading to Mary Jane's arrest in Yogyakarta airport.
The older Veloso said recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio first told Mary Jane that she could find work as a domestic helper in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
When Mary Jane arrived in Malaysia in April 2010, she was told the employment opportunity in Kuala Lumpur was no longer available.
Instead, Sergio told Mary Jane that she had friends who could find her another job in Indonesia.
Mary Jane stayed at a hotel in Malaysia for three days while waiting for her ticket to Indonesia.
Darling said Mary Jane called her up and told her that Sergio and two others had brought her to a mall to buy her clothes.
"Ang pagkaka-ayon po sa kapatid ko, meron daw pong pinakilala si Maria Cristina kay Mary Jane na isang maitim daw pong tao at isang maputi. At ang pagkaka-alam po niya, isa po doon ay boyfriend ni Maria Cristina."
"Noon pong araw na iyon, ililibot daw po nilang tatlo si Mary Jane sa mall. At ipinag-shopping daw po ng magagandang damit, mamahal na damit."
Darling said Mary Jane was very happy that she got brand new clothes. Sergio also gave Mary Jane an additional $500 cash, Darling recalled.
"Alam niyo po ba 'yung saya sa boses niya naramdaman ko... sabi niya, 'Ate, ang babait nila. Alam mo bang ibinili nila ako ng magagandang damit at [ang] mamahal tapos binigyan pa nila ako ng 500 US dollars.' Na yung pakiramdam niya, sobrang ang saya-saya," she recalled.
Little did they know that this happiness will be short-lived.
HEAVY BAG, HIDDEN STASH
Darling said that after Mary Jane was arrested, she was able to make another call to her. This was when she explained in detail what happened the night prior to her flight to Indonesia.
"Nakatawag po siya sakin, ang sabi po niya sa akin, 'Ate yung huling gabi namin sa hotel, dahil marami na nga akong damit, binigyan ako ni Maria Cristina ng bag na galing daw po ito sa lalaking maitim na sinasabi niya. At noong binigay daw po sa kanya yung maleta na 'yon, ay ang sabi daw niya ay mabigat," she said.
She said Mary Jane checked all the compartments of the bag but found nothing inside. She said Sergio told Mary Jane that new bags were naturally heavy.
"Pinuntahan po niya ulit si Maria Cristina [at] sinabi daw po niya, 'Ate, bakit ang bigat-bigat nung bag?' Ang sinagot daw po ni Maria Cristina ay 'talagang ganyan ang bag dito sa Malaysia. 'Pag bago ay mabigat.'''
Sergio told Mary Jane that her friends would be meeting Mary Jane at Yogyakarta Airport when she arrives. She told Mary Jane not to bring too many clothes since she could get more in Indonesia.
Because she trusted Sergio, Mary Jane pushed through with her trip and arrived at Yogyakarta Airport on April 25, 2010.
Before boarding the flight to Yogyakarta, another person took Mary Jane's luggage and then gave it back to her before boarding.
"'Yun lang ang hindi namin maintindihan kung bakit hindi siya nakaramdam, hindi siya nakaramdam ng kakaiba," Darling said.
Upon arrival at Yogyakarta, the airport scanner detected something unusual inside the lining of Mary Jane's bag.
"Pagdating ng airport ng Indonesia, noong tumunog-tunog po, tapos inilabas na raw po lahat ng gamit niya, wala daw pong nakita... yung pulis daw pong nagdesisyon na lalaslasin na," Darling narrated.
"Nung ikinut po, tumambag na po yung heroin po na hindi pa raw po nakibo yung kapatid ko. Sabi daw po niya sa isip-isip niya, ano raw po iyon..."
Darling said she chooses to believe that there is still hope for her sister even if the execution date is near.
She said she hopes Indonesian President Joko Widodo will see that Mary Jane is innocent and is just a victim of drug traffickers.