EXCLUSIVE: Clemency for Veloso depends on Indonesian laws, says Widodo

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2017 09:27 AM | Updated as of Apr 27 2017 09:34 AM

Mary Jane Veloso. File Photo

MANILA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo was not ruling out clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker on death row, but said it would depend on prevailing laws in his country and how the court would rule on the case.

"I respect the prevailing laws and regulations in Indonesia. Same thing goes for Mary Jane Veloso's case," he said in Bahasa.

In an interview with ANC Headstart's Karen Davila, Widodo also stressed the need to protect migrant workers while not compromising ties of Southeast Asian countries.

"Indonesia respects the rights of Mary Jane and I know, Mary Jane is also facing cases in the Philippines. Therefore, the cooperation between the governments of the Indonesia and the Philippines is very important in resolving this issue," Widodo said.

Last year, Widodo ordered a review or temporary stay in some cases, including that of Veloso.

On Wednesday, Veloso's mother Celia went to Malacanang to seek President Rodrigo Duterte's help.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Celia asked Duterte and Widodo to spare the OFW'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.

In the past two years, capital punishment has been handed down on drug dealers in Indonesia.

Widodo said, drug addiction currently affects 4.5 million people in Indonesia, 40 to 50 of whom die from drugs each day.

Catch Karen Davila's full interview with President Widodo on Friday on Headstart.