Marcos asks Indonesian President Joko Widodo to 'reexamine' Mary Jane Veloso’s case

Job Manahan and Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2023 07:03 PM

Suryo, Wibowo, AFP Photo
Philippine convicted drug smuggler on death row Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, is escorted by Indonesian police as she arrives at the court in Sleman in central Java island for a hearing of judicial review on March 3, 2015 after a plea for clemency was rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Suryo, Wibowo, AFP Photo

MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said he had brought up with Indonesian President Joko Widodo the case of Filipina death row convict Mary Jane Veloso and the possibility of "reexamining" it.

In a chance interview with reporters en route to Manila from Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, Marcos said he was not able to discuss the matter thoroughly with the Indonesian leader. 

“I mentioned it pero hindi namin napag-usapan because as you can imagine the president was very busy but at some point kapag nagkalapit kami, I was able to say we’re still trying to work hard on that case and ganun din yung sagot nya,” Marcos told reporters. 

Widodo supposedly told him on the sidelines that there were laws to follow in Indonesia, prompting the Philippine president to respond: “The best that we can do I suppose is for the Indonesian authorities to reexamine the case para as a favor to the Philippines.” 

‘“Yun lang yun lang ang napag-usapan namin, not more than that,” Marcos said. 

Veloso was convicted of drug trafficking and was sentenced to death in 2015 after authorities found 2.6 kilograms of heroin sewn into the lining of her luggage in 2010.

She had pleaded her innocence and told the court that the luggage she used was only given to her by her recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.

During Marcos Jr.’s three-day state visit to Indonesia in September of last year, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo formally requested to his counterpart that an executive clemency be granted to Veloso.

Marcos was in Indonesia until Thursday to attend the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. 

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