Indonesia confirms commitment to help PHL prosecute Mary Jane Veloso's recruiters
Indonesia has confirmed its earlier commitment to respond to the Philippines' request for assistance in prosecuting the people responsible for bringing Mary Jane Veloso to Indonesia, where she is on death row for drug trafficking.
This occured during a recent meeting between Yogyakarta Chief Prosecutor Tony Spontana and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Veloso's Indonesian lawyers.
"At that meeting, the two sides confirmed their respective government’s commitment to work together in responding to the Philippine Government’s request for mutual legal assistance in relation to the prosecution of those responsible for bringing Mary Jane to Indonesia," the DFA said in a statement Thursday.
Veloso, a 31-year-old single mother who was looking for overseas employment, was sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking.
Her execution was put on hold on the last minute last year after the Indonesian government granted the Philippines' request to have her testify in the case against her alleged recruiters.
Veloso was arrested in 2010 at the Yogyakarta Airport after authorities found two kilograms of heroin in her bag. She has accused her recruiters, Maria Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, of duping her into bringing the drug-laden suitcase to Indonesia.
Sergio and Lacanilao are currently being tried in a court in Nueva Ecija for estafa and qualified trafficking.
DFA officials were in Indonesia last week to accompany Veloso's parents and two children in visiting her to celebrate her 31st birthday. The visit took place at the Wirongunan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta from January 12 to 15.
According to the DFA, a simple celebration inside the prison's social hall was arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta to celebrate Veloso's birthday.
"A cake and the children’s favorite fried chicken were brought inside the prison for the celebration," the DFA said. "Her family gifted her with clothing, books, and greeting cards/letters from her friends and relatives."
It said Veloso requested her favorite durian and some clothing for her use during sports activities organized for inmates.
"These requests were favorably accommodated by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and were given to her during the course of the 4-day visit," the DFA said.
A modest welfare assistance was also provided to Veloso by the visiting DFA officials for her purchase of personal necessities from the prison store. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News