MANILA - The mother of Filipino death row convict Mary Jane Veloso and relatives of other overseas Filipino workers lined up for execution abroad trooped to Malacañang Wednesday and asked President Rodrigo Duterte to save their loved ones.
Veloso's mother Celia was accommodated by Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns Abdullah Mamao.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Veloso asked Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is set to come to the Philippines on a state visit this week, to spare Veloso's life.
She asked that the Indonesian government wait for the Philippines to finish proceedings on the case Veloso had filed against her alleged illegal recruiters.
"Ako po’y nananawagan sa ating mahal na Pangulo, sana po kausapin nya po ang Presidente ng Indonesia, na sana mahintay niya pong matapos 'yung paghehearing namin. At nakikiusap din po ako sa kanya na sana tulungan nya rin po si Mary Jane at alamin niya ang buong katotohanan, at sana matulungan niya pong makalaya na si Mary Jane," said Veloso in an exclusive interview.
She also made an appeal directly to Widodo:
"Ang hinihiling ko po sa Pangulong Widodo po, sana po bigyan niya po ng pagkakataon 'yung anak ko na matapos po ung hearing para malaman po ung buong katotohanan. At sana po maawa siya at palayain niya si Mary Jane."
With Veloso were Alicia Dalquez and Editha Dacanay, mothers also anxious of their daughters' fate. Dalquez's daughter Jennifer and Dacanay's daughter Rose are also on death row.
Veloso was sentenced to death in October 2010 after she was caught with 2.6 kilograms of heroin at a Jakarta airport.
Indonesia stopped her execution in 2015 after the Philippine government said her testimony would be vital in the case against her alleged illegal recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.
But in a recent development in Veloso's case, the Court of Appeals, in a resolution dated March 24, granted the petition of her recruiters, who argued that securing Veloso's written deposition would be prejudicial to their rights to confront witnesses face to face.