Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lagman sees no difference between Duterte, Widodo statements on Mary Jane Veloso

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo's respective pronouncements on the drug case of Mary Jane Veloso, though worded differently, have the same implication.
"If you look at the bottom line, there's no difference," said Lagman at a news conference, reading out both pronouncements from the two chief executives.
Widodo was quoted by the local media in Indonesia as saying that Duterte, during his working visit to Indonesia last week, gave the "go-ahead" to proceed with the execution of Veloso, who was convicted for bringing 2.6 kilos of heroin into Indonesia from Malaysia in April 2010.
MalacaƱang, however, denied Widodo's statement, saying Duterte had only vowed to respect Indonesian law and not to interfere in the case.
"Hindi ba pareho ito, ang epekto nito?" Lagman asked.
Veloso was supposed to have been executed by firing squad on April 29, 2015 in Indonesia, but the execution was postponed to allow her to testify against her alleged illegal recruiters in the Philippines.
According to Lagman, Duterte's pronouncement had several implications that were in line with Widodo's claim.
"One, [Duterte] has reneged of his promise to the Veloso family that he is going to Indonesia to work for the clemency of Veloso," said Lagman.
"Number 2, if the President honors judicial process in Indonesia, why is he disregarding judicial process in the Philippines, where drug suspects are killed extrajudicially?" said the lawmaker, referring to the around 2,000 drug-related killings since Duterte assumed office in July.
Lagman said Duterte should be the "last person in the world" to ask for mercy for Veloso "because he believes that drug traffickers and users should be condemned to death or be killed." —KBK, GMA News

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