DFA verifying report Duterte has allowed Mary Jane Veloso’s execution
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said it was verifying news reports that indicate President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the execution of convicted Filipino drug mule Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia.
Quoting Indonesian state news Antara, the Jakarta Post said Duterte “had given the green light” to proceed with the execution of Veloso, who was found guilty of carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. She was arrested in Yogyakarta airport in 2010.
“That’s contrary to his public pronouncements. I’ll verify this with our concerned office,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message.
Veloso denied she was a drug courier, saying she was tricked by her Filipino recruiter into bringing the drug-laden suitcase to Indonesia.
In its report, the Jakarta Post said Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Antara that “the legal process will be followed up by Attorney General M. Prasetyo.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said last week that Duterte and Jokowi, who met in Indonesia when the Philippine leader went there for a working visit after attending an Asian summit in Laos, that Veloso’s execution was postponed “indefinitely.”
Indonesia spared Veloso from imminent execution by firing squad in 2015 after President Benigno Aquino III pleaded for her life.
The 30-year-old 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 President Aquino’s last minute appeal to counterpart Jokowi Widodo to turn her into a witness.
The Philippine government is hoping the Indonesian government would reconsider the death penalty on Veloso and commute her death penalty to a lower sentence if it could prove in an ongoing hearing in a Manila court that she was a victim of human trafficking. —NB, GMA News