No mention of Mary Jane Veloso in Duterte-Jokowi meeting –Palace
The case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina facing execution in Indonesia, was not mentioned during President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo, a Malacañang official said Friday.
"As regards the case of Mary Jane Veloso, it was not mentioned during the expanded bilateral meeting," said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
Abella also said it would be "preemptive" to say if the topic was discussed during the private meeting between the two leaders.
Veloso's case was likewise not mentioned in the two leaders' joint statement delivered Friday afternoon. The statement focused on defense and security, trade and investments, agriculture, and sub-regional development connectivity.
President Jokowi was in the Philippines for a state visit and to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit on Saturday.
Before President Jokowi's arrival, Duterte said he would try to raise Veloso's case with the Indonesian leader, saying as a Filipino, he has "a stake" on it.
"Ako basta I said that I will honor what the laws are in their country. We will not impose. We will not demand. Nothing," he said.
Veloso was sentenced to death in Indonesia for bringing 2.6 kilograms of heroin to Yogyakarta Airport in 2010.
Her execution in 2015 was put on hold on the last minute after the Philippine government requested that she be allowed to testify against the recruiters who allegedly duped her into bringing the illegal drugs to Indonesia.
Veloso's alleged recruiters, Maria Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, are currently facing illegal recruitment charges before a Nueva Ecija court.
Duterte, in his statement after meeting with President Jokowi, said they both "recognized the need to address both traditional and emerging threats and expressed readiness to step up cooperation against terrorism, violent extremism, piracy at sea and transnational crimes, including the trade of illicit drugs."
"We agreed to use the bilateral mechanisms and trilateral arrangements to help secure the vital waters that connect us," he added.
President Jokowi, for his part, noted Indonesia’s ratification of an agreement with the Philippines on the demarcation of their respective exclusive economic zones.
“Regarding maritime limitation, we agreed to conclude the EEZ agreement ratification this year and encourage for an immediate conclusion of the Continental Shelf Delineation,” he said.
The Indonesian leader also raised that possibility of launching maritime patrols.
The Philippines and Indonesia signed two agreements after the expanded bilateral meeting, which were memorandum of understanding on agriculture signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Indonesia’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Ir Amran Sulaiman, and the joint declaration on the establishment of sea connectivity between Davao-General Santos, Southern Mindanao and Bitung, North Sulawesi signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi. —KBK, GMA News