Marcos urged: Seek clemency for Mary Jane Veloso
Posted at Sep 05 2022 12:33 PM
MANILA – A migrants rights group on Monday called on Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to seek clemency for alleged drug mule Mary Jane Veloso, who has been detained in Indonesia for 12 years now.
Marcos Jr. is in Indonesia for his first official state visit since assuming office on June 30. He is expected to meet with his counterpart, President Joko Widodo.
His spokesperson has said he won’t be able to visit Veloso in the course of his 3-day visit.
Speaking with TeleRadyo, Migrante International spokesperson Joanna Concepcion said Marcos Jr. can ask for clemency for the Filipina death row convict.
“Gumugulong po ang kanyang legal case laban sa kanyang traffickers dito po sa Regional Trial Court sa Nueva Ecija pero po hindi po natin alam kung kalian po ito matatapos ‘no, kaya po ang hiling po ng magulang na gumawa po ng ibang paraan ang ating pangulo, meron po naman po siyang kapangyarihan na humingi ng clemency o pardon doon sa pangulo po ng Indonesia,” she said.
(Her case against her traffickers is moving but we don't know when a decision will come, so we are calling on the president to find another way, he can ask for a clemency from the Indonesia president.)
Concepcion said Veloso’s case should be treated as an “urgent issue” in the Philippine president’s state visit.
“Malaking bagay kung hihingi po, mag-a-apela po ng clemency or pardon or di kaya amnesty si Pangulong Marcos kay President Widodo, kasi po dito po mas mapapabilis po yung kanyang paglaya,” she said.
(This is a big deal, because it will speed up Mary Jane's release.)
“Marami po biktima ng human trafficking sa buong mundo at pati na din dito sa Pilipinas, ito po’y isang pamamaraan na, dahil matagal umusad yung mga kaso sa korte, ito’y po isang mekanismo na pwedeng gamitin po ng ating administrasyon. Para maprotektahan, mabigyan ng hustisya din po yung ating mga kababayang biktima ng human trafficking,” she added.
(There are many human trafficking victims in the world and in the Philippines, and cases move slowly in court. This is a way the administration can give justice to human trafficking victims.)
Veloso’s parents have written Marcos Jr. to ask him to speak with Widodo about Veloso’s freedom.
Cesar Veloso said the president is now their only hope for his daughter’s freedom.
“Talagang pinaglalaban po namin ‘yan, sana huwag naman niya po pababayaan dahil pangatlong presidente na po siya. Ang dalawa walang nagawa. Ang pag-asa na lang namin, siya,” he had said.
(We are fighting for that, I hope he doesn't abandon us because he is the third president. The last 2 presidents didn't do anything. He is our only hope.)
Former Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, however, noted that former President Benigno Aquino III broke protocol to save Veloso’s life before she was almost executed by firing squad in 2015.
“Doubtful that PNoy expected gratitude in return, but most certainly not lies. He broke protocol to get that reprieve for Mary Jane Veloso. Ask the Indonesian government,” she wrote in a tweet.
--TeleRadyo, 5 September 2022
Mary Jane Veloso, Bongbong Marcos, Indonesia, state visit, Joko Widodo