“We hope that this would be given due attention. Some 20 years ago, Flor was executed. We were told that she would be the last.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – “Do not lose hope. Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.”
This was the resounding message of Russel Contemplacion, daughter of Flor Contemplacion to the family of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina on death row in Indonesia.
Flor Contemplacion was a Filipino domestic helper who was executed in Singapore some 20 years ago. She was accused of killing a fellow Filipina domestic helper and her five-year-old Singaporean ward.
Russel told Bulatlat.com that this is her first time to meet Mary Jane’s family and that she could not help but remember how, some 20 years ago, they, too, were knocking on all doors possible to save the life of her mother.
During the solidarity activity, the Veloso family was joined by families of victims of other Overseas Filipino workers in distress. The said activity was held today, Apr. 21 at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines in Quezon City.
“We hope that this would be given due attention. Some 20 years ago, Flor was executed. We were told that she would be the last. But she was not,” Russel said.
Celia Veloso, mother of Mary Jane, said they have been repeatedly told that they are doing last ditch efforts to save her daughter. And that there are no assurances that that Mary Jane would be spared.
“I will not give up. I know that God is looking after us and a miracle will happen, especially now that many people are extending help,” she said.
Christopher Veloso, brother of Mary Jane, said President Aquino did not show any compassion toward the family.
“Do not let us believe that we have a government who will not serve its ordinary citizens,” Christian said, adding that they supported Aquino during the 2010 election and in his early days as president, believing that they are his “real bosses.”
After the forum, Cesar, Mary Jane’s father, along with Edre Olalia and Minerva Lopez of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, flew to Jakarta in a bid to save his daughter.