Manny Pacquiao joins calls to spare Mary Jane Veloso’s life

“Manny Pacquiao showed that no schedule is too busy and no impending fight is too important for us to not contribute to the call to stop Mary Jane’s impending execution.”


MANILA – Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno praised Sarangani congressman and eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for calling on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to stop the impending execution of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina who was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court on a drug trafficking case in 2010.

Veloso maintains she is innocent. To various groups campaigning for her life, she is more of a victim in need of support instead of a criminal. Her plight from the time low wages and joblessness in the Philippines prompted her to work abroad to the time she fell prey to a drug syndicate and got little nor timely legal aid from the government has sparked protest actions in the Philippines and abroad.

Pacquiao is in Los Angeles, California, USA preparing for what has been dubbed as the biggest fight of his life, yet, he showed “that no schedule is too busy and no impending fight is too important for us to not contribute to the call to stop Mary Jane’s impending execution,” Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-president, said in a statement emailed to media late Monday night April 27, 2015.

He added that “Indeed, we cannot go on with our lives and ignore the fact that a fellow worker and fellow Filipino may lose her life any time soon.”

Since April 26 when Veloso’s family received a notice of execution from the Indonesian government, a vigil of families of migrants, workers, students and youth, urban poor, from Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Southern Tagalog has been set up in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Manila. At some point, they complained of being harassed by the police.

Pacman further won over his supporters from the workers with his “showing us that we Filipinos, as a people and as a nation, can unite behind Mary Jane in the same way that we are uniting behind him,” Ustarez said. The labor leader believes such unity is crucial now in the face of the Indonesian Sleman district court’s rejection of the second appeal for judicial review of Mary Jane’s case.

The KMU remembered how Pacquiao, the greatest Filipino boxer of all time, has championed their call for a significant wage hike for Filipino workers and has repeatedly helped them in their various activities which aimed at directly helping ordinary Filipinos.

They said Manny’s public appeal to Indonesian Pres. Widodo “stands in stark contrast to the lethargic and merely cosmetic attempts of Pres. Noynoy Aquino to make it appear he is on Mary Jane’s side.”

The labor center called on all Filipino politicians and personalities to emulate Pacquiao’s brave move. (

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