Gov't urged to renew clemency push for Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso's lawyers in the Philippines on Thursday called on the Aquino administration to renew its call for clemency so that she could finally be removed from death row in Indonesia.
Noting that Veloso has been on death row for six years already, the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), in a statement, said the government should "reopen official channels and strongly appeal for clemency."
It said the government must appeal for her freedom "based on humanitarian grounds and considering that she has been in prison for 6 years already."
"We cannot twiddle our thumbs and be obsessively compulsive with the coming elections and leave nobody looking after Mary Jane while she is waiting on death row," the group said.
It also urged the outgoing and incoming administrations to work for the immediate prosecution of the people charged for allegedly sending Veloso to Indonesia with heroin in her luggage.
The NUPL, which is representing the Veloso family in the case against her recruiters, asked the government "to finalize the mode and manner of how, when and where Mary Jane will testify forthwith."
Granting the Philippine government's request, Indonesia last year gave Veloso a last-minute reprieve to allow her to testify against those who allegedly sent her to Indonesia in 2010 with 2.6 kilograms of heroin secretly stashed in her luggage.
Veloso, a single mother who came from a poor family in Nueva Ecija, was supposed to be executed via firing squad April last year for drug trafficking.
Her alleged recruiters, Maria Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, are currently facing trial before the Baloc Regional Trial Court in Nueva Ecija. Both had pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against them, which included human trafficking. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News