Mary Jane Veloso's lawyer in PHL sees no imminent execution
The Filipino lawyer of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling, does not see her being executed soon even after Indonesia handed down death sentences to 55 convicts, 14 of whom now awaiting execution.
"As far as we know, it is still status quo," lawyer Edre Olalia said in a statement Wednesday. "Indonesian news refers to a general policy announcement about new executions in general, without naming who are included and who are not."
Indonesia spared Veloso from execution last year after President Benigno Aquino III pleaded for her life.
Veloso, a mother of two, was among the nine foreign and local death row prisoners, including Australians, scheduled for execution by firing squad on April 29, 2015 for drug-related charges.
All eight were put to death, except Veloso, when the Indonesian government ordered a stay in her execution following Aquino’s last minute appeal to counterpart Jokowi Widodo to turn her into a witness in the illegal recruitment case of her recruiters in the Philippines.
Olalia said he believes Indonesia's pronouncement last year that executions are not among its current priorities still holds.
He also said a Nueva Ecija court's junking of an appeal by Veloso's alleged recruiters to temporarily stop the illegal recruitment case filed against them was a step forward for his client.
"The multiple cases against Mary Jane's illegal recruiters are proceeding not swiftly as we wish, but they are moving despite a cornucopia of dilatory legal acrobatics by said recruiters through their lawyers," he said.
"But we should continue to be on guard so Mary Jane can already come home sooner than later," Olalia added.
Veloso was nabbed in April 2010 at the Yogyakarta airport for possessing 2.6 kilograms of heroin. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News