Mary Jane Veloso the only Pinay on Indonesia death row, embassy says

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2018 03:52 PM | Updated as of Oct 11 2018 12:46 AM

BALI, Indonesia (UPDATED) - The Philippine Embassy in Indonesia on Wednesday night said Mary Jane Veloso is the only Filipina on death row here.

This, after Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee earlier said that another Filipina, incarcerated in Semarang in Central Java, is on death row for drug charges.

“I'm not really aware of the details. I just learned about it last week,” Wee told reporters earlier Wednesday.

The embassy, in a statement, later clarified that the Filipina was sentenced to life imprisonment.

“The Filipino in Semarang was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011. The embassy has been assisting to reduce her sentence to fixed term imprisonment,” the statement read.

Veloso was sentenced to death in October 2010 after she was caught with 2.6 kilograms of heroin at the Yogyakarta airport.

She said she did not know that her recruiters planted illegal drugs in the suitcase they gave her.

In 2015, Jakarta gave her a last-minute reprieve after authorities in Manila said her testimony would be vital in criminal proceedings against her alleged illegal recruiters.

“The Embassy is doing other things to help her out. We have lawyers to help her on the legal side," Wee said.

"Every three or four months, the Embassy sends people to see her. In the next week or two, I will also be going there,” he added.

The ambassador added that 48 Filipino fishermen were also recently jailed in Manado and Bitung, Indonesia after they were caught illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.

“We went to the jail, we gave them food, we gave them [a] basketball for them to play. Recently there are 20 that were released,” he said.

“Every now and then the consul general goes to the jail to visit them,” he added.