“If answered unsatisfactorily, this would prove that they have neglected Mary Jane.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – In a press briefing, Josalee Deinla, one of the six-member private legal team of the family of Mary Jane Veloso, posed 15 questions to President Aquino on the case of the Filipina in death row in Indonesia.
“If answered unsatisfactorily, this would prove that they have neglected Mary Jane,” Deinla, who is also the assistant secretary general for education of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said.
Bulatlat.com is reposting the 15 questions which the lawyers said the Aquino administration need to answer:
1) Why is the Philippine government apparently not certain of whether Indonesian Customs or Excise authorities have informed them of her arrest at that time?
2) Why was there no licensed and competent translator as well as reportedly no consular support provided by the Ph government at the time of her arrest, investigation and trial?
3) Why did the Philippine government assign or retain the services of counsel to defend her only after conviction and when the case was already on appeal?
4) Why did the Philippine government not give utmost priority to her case considering that she is reportedly the only Filipino on death row in Indonesia?
5) Why can’t the Philippine government provide a full explanation of what happened from the time she was arrested up to the time the Indonesian Supreme Court handed down the death sentence?
6) What were the reasons why it took almost 4 years to file an application for judicial review from the time the Indonesian Supreme Court upheld her death sentence?
7) Why did the Philippine government inform her that her sentence was affirmed reportedly only one year after?
8) Why is her family not given by the Philippine government full, complete, accessible, timely and transparent updates on the status, developments and prospects of her case despite demand?
9) Why were the supposed requests of her embassy-retained lawyer for the Philippine government to investigate her trafficking by her godsister reportedly not acted upon?
10) Why does the Philippine government not investigate on its own the serious allegations indicating that her godsister was into drug and human trafficking and large-scale illegal recruitment?
11) Why did the Philippine government only make half-hearted and passive clemency appeals all these years and even when the Indonesian President was in town?
12) Why did it not extend strong government support and lobbying for her unlike other governments with respect to their nationals?
13) Why has the Philippine government until now not formally and satisfactorily responded to the formal communications of her family’s Philippine private lawyers; have not provided copies of pertinent legal papers being requested; and have not officially acknowledged, endorsed or linked them to the Indonesian lawyer and authorities despite several follow-ups?
14) Why has the Philippine government not translated the crucial legal documents of the case until now and could not produce her handwritten account on how she was victimized?
15) Why did the Philippine government not comply with its mandate and obligations under the (Flor Contemplacion) 1995 Magna Carta for Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos & the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families?