No Duterte endorsement on Mary Jane Veloso execution –Palace
Malacañang on Monday clarified reports that President Rodrigo Duterte gave the Indonesian government the green light to execute Mary Jane Veloso, saying what Duterte told Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting was to "follow your own laws."
"Follow your own laws. I will not interfere," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella quoted Duterte as telling Widodo during a news briefing.
Abella said Duterte had no categorical statement telling Widodo to push through with the execution.
"There was none. There was no endorsement. He simply said, 'Follow your own laws'," he said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay echoed Abella's statement, saying Duterte "has not given the so-called 'green light' to the execution of Mary Jane Veloso."
In a statement, Yasay said Duterte did not give the green light to Veloso's execution other than to tell Widodo that he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case.
Request for clemency?
Abella, however, said he is not privy if Duterte asked for clemency to save Veloso's life. "We are not privy to that. They will proceed with their own laws," he noted.
Yasay described the headline — "Duterte has given the green light for Mary Jane's execution: Jokowi" — as "erroneous," but gave credence to the report's later paragraph which said Veloso "was excluded indefinitely from the list of the third round of executions prepared by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in April, as legal procedures continue in a separate but related case."
Yasay stressed that Veloso's execution has been indefinitely deferred.
Duterte met with Widodo during the Philippine leader's working visit to Indonesia last week after attending the ASEAN Summit in Laos.
Veloso, a mother of two, was convicted for bringing 2.6 kilograms of heroin to the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010. Her execution by firing squad was put on hold in 2015 to allow her to testify against the recruiters in the Philippines who allegedly duped her into bringing the illegal drugs to Indonesia.