A mother's plea: Weeping Celia Veloso seeks Duterte's help

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2016 06:17 PM

MANILA – A heartbroken Celia Veloso called on President Rodrigo Duterte to help her save the life of her daughter Mary Jane Veloso, following Indonesian President Joko Widodo's reported claim that Duterte himself has given a 'go-ahead' for the execution. 

"Nagmamakaawa po ako sa inyo. Nananawagan po ako sa mga taong sumuporta noon kay Mary Jane, sana suportahan niyo pa rin si Mary Jane ngayon (I am begging you. I am calling on those who supported Mary Jane, I hope you will still support her now)," a weeping Veloso said during a candle lighting ceremony led by women’s rights group Gabriela along Taft Avenue Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Celia also had to reassure her daughter that she will plead with Duterte to help in her release, after the younger Veloso saw an Indonesian news report quoting Widodo. 

Celia said she told her daughter to keep the faith, as reports are conflicting.

"Mahal na pangulo, narito ako nagmamakawa sa inyo. Marami po nakakaalam na si Mary Jane [ay] inosente. Gusto ko ipaglaban niyo ang karapatan ni Mary Jane (Dear president, I am here pleading with you. There are many who know that Mary Jane is innocent. I want you to fight for Mary Jane’s rights)," she said.

Duterte has admitted that he told Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to "go ahead and implement the law," but clarified that this was not in reference to the younger Veloso.

READ: Duterte: 'Go ahead' not in reference to Veloso's execution

However, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also said in an interview on ANC that the president may seek clemency for the Filipina on Indonesia’s death row if Philippine courts have proven that her recruiters tricked her into smuggling heroin.

Read: Duterte may seek clemency for Veloso if PH court says she's a 'victim'

-- With reports from Primy Cane and Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News