Celia Veloso, mother of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling, has accused Consul General Roberto Manalo of manipulating her daughter to go against her family and Filipino legal counsel.
Celia emotionally aired her grievances during a hearing at the House of Representatives earlier this week, according to a report on "Balitanghali" on Friday. Manalo was also present during the hearing.
"Nagalit po si Mary Jane sa akin sa amin. Bakit daw po namin kinakalaban ang gobyerno, bakit daw po ganun. Nanay, nanay, pwede po ba, ngayon na lang ngayon, hayaan na lang natin yung nakaraan. Ayaw po talagang pumayag ni Mary Jane. Ang gusto po niyang mangyari kung anong sinabi ni Manalo," Celia said.
The "Balitanghali" report also said Edre Olalia, Veloso's Filipino lawyer, blamed Manalo for the Philippine Embassy's alleged reluctance to let him confer with Mary Jane regarding her case.
"We were taken out of the loop. We were being isolated from our client. There were clandestine meetings without our knowledge. We were never linked to the Indonesian private lawyers. Tine-threaten pa niya yung pamilya na 'pag kayo magsasalita sa media, bibitayin daw ng tuluyan si Mary Jane," Olalia said.
Manalo defended himself by explaining that only Veloso's Indonesian lawyers can meet her in accordance with prison rules in Yogyakarta. He became emotional as he narrated his efforts to help Veloso, whose execution last April was suspended on the last minute.
"Wala po akong pagkukulang kay Mary Jane. Natulungan ko po siya sa lahat ng makakayanan ko po. Kung meron po akong nasabi, kung meron po akong nagawa na hindi po kinatuwa ng pamilya Veloso at ni Atty. Edre Olalia, buong puso po akong nagpapaumanhin," Manalo, who last visited Veloso in Indonesia on July 31, said.
The House committee on overseas workers affairs approved a motion asking Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to recall Manalo from his post.
Veloso, a single mother, was slated for execution last April for bringing 2.6 kilograms of heroin from Malaysia to Indonesia in 2010. She was spared on the last minute following appeals from the Philippine government, which wants Veloso to testify against her alleged recruiter currently standing trial in Nueva Ecija. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News