“What is important now is that the Indonesia’s High Prosecutor himself said the filing of the petition for a second judicial review may or may not affect the carrying out of the death penalty. It was not immediately dismissed.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The Filipino pro bono lawyers of the family of Mary Jane Veloso have confirmed that the family has received, acknowledged but did not agree on the grounds of execution given to them at half past midnight today, Apr. 25.
Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and head of the Philippine private lawyers of the Veloso family, told Bulatlat.com in a phone interview that there is no fix date of the execution yet.
This means, he said, that the mandatory 72-hour notice should still be complied with by the Indonesian government.
Olalia said the filing of the second petition for judicial review may or may not affect the carrying out of the death penalty.
The lawyers and family were allowed to see Veloso today. They arrived in the Cilacap port near the Nusakumbangan island, also known as “execution island,” after an eight-hour trip from Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
They will stay with Veloso from 9 a.m. to as late as 5 p.m., said Olalia.
Asked how the family is doing, Olalia said no words could describe it.
“It is common knowledge how they would react to such news,” he said, adding that the family only calmed down when it was explained that there is still no fix date on when the death penalty would be carried out.
“What is important now is that the Indonesia’s High Prosecutor himself said the filing of the petition for a second judicial review may or may not affect the carrying out of the death penalty. It was not immediately dismissed. What would be more enraging is if it did not carry any weight at all,” Olalia said.
On grounds of second review
In the interview, Olalia also said the second petition for judicial review has two grounds: Veloso is a victim of both drug and human trafficking.
“It was never proven that she was a drug mule or that she was a courier. The court was only able to prove that she was in possession of an illegal substance but has no knowledge, no consent and no intention,” he told Bulatlat.com.
This, he said, is why the prosecutor, during the trial stage, only recommended a life imprisonment penalty for Veloso.
The human trafficking ground was adopted by the Indonesian lawyers, who were retained by the Philippine Embassy, in collaboration with the NUPL.