Monday, November 23, 2015

Veloso kin welcomes Indonesia’s move to stop prioritizing executions

The family and lawyers of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina convicted in Indonesia for drug smuggling, expressed hope Friday that Indonesia’s decision to stop prioritizing executions will lead to the permanent abolition of death penalty or her clemency this Christmas.
In a press statement Friday, Veloso’s family and counsels said Indonesia’s decision was certainly welcome not only for Mary Jane but for all concerned.
“The purported rationale for the non-priority of executions as pronounced by Indonesian authorities (i.e. to focus on the economy) may be amorphous and not self-evident but the objective net effect is that lives are saved and will be saved,” the statement stated.
The statement was released by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers whose secretary general, lawyer Edre Olalia, is one of the those representing Veloso in the case.
Veloso’s family and lawyers said they are praying that Mary Jane's own temporary reprieve will be made permanent or that she be granted clemency “and be brought home soon to the waiting arms of her little boys this coming holiday season.”
“We hope in time it leads to a permanent abolition as we have serious reservations about the death penalty's real value in effectively deterring crime and it precludes rehabilitation and reformation while not giving weight to humanitarian considerations,” it further stated.
It added that death penalty may victimize innocent individuals who are wrongly convicted for different reasons or factors “and bring them irretrievably to the afterlife.”
They also said that they will pursue the  illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other charges filed against her recruiters amid efforts to delay the proceedings.
Veloso was arrested in April 2010 at the Yogyakarta Airport. She was then convicted for possessing 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her luggage.
She was supposed to be executed earlier this year in Indonesia via firing squad, but she was spared on the last minute after the Indonesian government agreed to let her first participate in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.
Her alleged recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao are facing charges before Baloc, Sto. Domingo Regional Trial Court Branch 37 in Nueva Ecija. -Amita Legaspi/NB, GMA News

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