Supporters' birthday wish for Mary Jane Veloso: Justice and freedom
Friends, family and supporters gathered in Nueva Ecija on Sunday to mark the 31st birthday of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina drug convict in Indonesia who was temporarily spared from execution nine months ago.
Connie Bragas-Regalado of Migrante party-list, one of the groups supporting Veloso, said the gathering was to express their "continued support and commitment to save" Veloso's life.
"Mary Jane’s birthday is reason to celebrate because it symbolizes a new chapter of her life after her temporary reprieve," Regalado said in a statement Monday. "But it is also reason for continued vigilance and renewed vigor to save her life."
Masses and prayers were held in honor of Veloso at the Baclaran Redemptorist Church and by the Church Task Force to Save Mary Jane, Regalado said.
On Tuesday, Veloso will be visited by her mother and two kids in her Indonesian jail in a trip arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The family will be accompanied by Veloso's Filipino lawyer Edre Olalia and Migrante members.
"The Veloso family, together with Atty. Olalia, is expected to visit Mary Jane in jail on Tuesday to Thursday, possibly Friday (January 12-14, possibly January 15), at 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.," Regalado said.
Regalado said Olalia and Migrante will also be consulting with Veloso's Indonesian lawyers for updates on the case against her alleged recruiters in Nueva Ecija.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo granted Veloso temporary reprieve in April last yearto allow for legal proceedings in the Philippines to take course after her traffickers surrendered to local authorities.
The Veloso family and their party will return to Manila on January 16. —KBK, GMA News