Robredo asks admin to shed light on Veloso's case


Posted at Sep 12 2016 07:59 PM

Robredo asks admin to shed light on Veloso's case 1
Vice President Leni Robredo and Mary Jane Veloso. Composite Image

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday asked the Duterte administration to shed light on the issue of the execution of convicted drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia.

In a statement, Robredo said she shares the concern of the Filipino people following reports saying President Rodrigo Duterte gave Indonesian President Joko Widodo his "go-ahead' for the execution of Veloso, a Filipino domestic helper convicted for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin. 

She also asked the administration to "immediately shed light" on the report.

"We trust that the Administration will immediately shed light on this report to address the understandable concern of so many of us Filipinos," Robredo said.

Robredo, likewise, expressed hope that the government can explain the issue and "take the appropriate action."

"In this light, the report comes as a terrible shock, and we hope the government can issue the necessary clarification and take the appropriate action."

The English publication, Jakarta Post, citing state-owned Antara News, quoted Widodo as having said: "President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution." 

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, on the other hand, said what Duterte told Widodo was that he would not interfere in Indonesia's legal processes. 

He said what Duterte told Widodo was "to follow your own laws" and that "I will not interfere."

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., meanwhile, described as "erroneous" a headline in Jakarta Post, which claimed “Duterte has given green light for Mary Jane’s execution.”

Yasay maintained Veloso's execution has been "indefinitely deferred."

For Robredo, Veloso's case mirrors the situation of millions of Filipinos working abroad.

"Mary Jane's case is emblematic of the hardships faced by millions of our OFWs. We must keep her welfare in mind, along with the welfare of all OFWs, as they remain under our government's protection and support despite working overseas," Robredo said.

Veloso was due to be executed last year by firing squad but she was given a last-minute reprieve by Widodo.

READ: Why Mary Jane Veloso got last-minute reprieve

The reprieve was given after Manila told Jakarta that it had in its custody Veloso's recruiter who allegedly planted the illegal drugs in the Filipina's luggage.

Veloso maintains she is innocent and was only tricked by her alleged recruiter into smuggling heroin, and that she was a victim of human trafficking.