“She tells her family not to feel sad and is buoying up their sprits.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The Filipino pro bono lawyer of Mary Jane Veloso’s family described the Filipina on death row as “incredibly strong, calm and composed” soon after their two-hour visit in Indonesia’s so-called prison island on Saturday Apr 25.
“She told her family not to feel sad and is buoying up their sprits. The little boys were playful with their mom. The parents of Mary Jane who were initially broken regained their composure. Sisters show intense affinity with each other,” Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said in a text message.
Mary Jane’s two sons, who arrived in Jakarta early morning of April 24, had an opportunity to spend quality time with their mother. Olalia said they are working for two more visits, tomorrow and on Monday, Apr. 27, so that the Veloso family could spend more time together.
Today’s visit is short as Mary Jane is still in semi-isolation, he said.
Mary Jane, according to Olalia, maintained that she is innocent of the crime she is accused of.
He also noted that there were “wide gaps in the chain of custody of subject luggage from Malaysia to Indonesia that were all opportunities for placing or planting of heroin without her knowledge.”
The Filipina was arrested in 2010 in Indonesia for allegedly carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. The said luggage bag was lent to her by her recruiter and godsister, Ma. Kristina Sergio.
She was transferred to Nusakumbangan island in the wee hours of Apr. 24. Her family, at around 12:30 a.m. today has already received the order of execution with no fixed date on when the death penalty would be carried out. Indonesian officials said the petition for a second judicial review on the grounds that Veloso is a victim of both drug and human trafficking may or may not stay or stop her execution.