“We ask the Duterte administration to do everything to win the domestic case against Mary Jane’s traffickers.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The family of the Filipina on death row in Indonesia are relieved to hear clarifications from no less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo in what appears to be a reconciliation of pronouncements with President Rodrigo Duterte over the fate of Mary Jane Veloso.
In a statement, Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez said the family and their supporters worldwide can now breathe a sigh of relief, following Widodo’s clarifications yesterday, Sept. 14, in a news report which quoted him as saying, “President Durterte said please, go ahead with the process in line with the law in Indonesia.”
Widodo was quoted in a Jakarta Post report earlier this week saying that Duterte has given permission to “go ahead” with Mary Jane’s execution. Duterte, on the other hand, said he told his Indonesian counterpart to “follow your laws” and “I will not interfere.”
Both presidents are known to have a strong stance against the proliferation of illegal drugs.
In an earlier statement, Mary Jane’s lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers urged Duterte that seeking “compassion for the victimized does not quarrel with hitting hard on the victimizer.”
Lawyers Edre Olalia and Josalee Deinla said the temporary reprieve, the indefinite suspension, and the possible granting of clemency are “matters all within the ambit of the laws of Indonesia, in the same way that the ongoing trial of the cases against her recruiters and the plea for clemency are also matters in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. They do not cancel each other out.”
“We ask the Duterte administration to do everything to win the domestic case against Mary Jane’s traffickers. Winning the case will codify Mary Jane’s innocence and erase all doubts that she should be spared from execution,” Martinez said.
Mary Jane’s recruiters live-in partners Maria Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao are currently facing human trafficking, estafa, and illegal recruitment charges before a Nueva Ecija court. The Filipina on death row is set to provide her testimony through a written deposition, which was strongly opposed by the recruiters, through their lawyers.
Six years ago, Mary Jane, a mother of two, was allegedly caught trying to smuggle in 2.6 kilograms of heroin, hidden in a suitcase that her recruiters lent her. She was sentenced to death months later.