(L-R) Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III attend the opening ceremony of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 27, 2015. Malaysia is hosting the summit from April 26 to 27, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
MANILA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo and President Benigno Aquino III will resume their discussions today on the case of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, who faces death via firing squad after being convicted of drug trafficking in 2010.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Widodo showed sympathy when Aquino first raised the issue in a five-minute meeting this morning on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
“President Aquino appealed for humanitarian consideration for Mary Jane Veloso who was apparently duped into being an unwitting carrier of illegal drugs. He said President Widodo was sympathetic and was consulting with the Indonesian Attorney General on the legal issues. President Widodo promised to resume the conversation with President Aquino later today,” Coloma said.
The government is doing a combined legal and diplomatic tack to save the life of Veloso.
In a separate press conference, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose expressed hope the ASEAN connection will somehow provide a leeway for Veloso. “That’s what we are hoping for in the diplomatic approach that we are initiating.”
Veloso may be executed on April 28, at the earliest. - with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News