Veloso execution set next week?


MANILA, Philippines – A group of Filipino migrants yesterday expressed fear that convicted Filipina worker Mary Jane Veloso may be executed next week, after almost three months of temporary reprieve.

But Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the report was still being verified with Indonesian authorities.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who as Sarangani congressman heads the House committee on migrant workers, flew to Jakarta last night, supposedly on a business trip. Pacquiao was accompanied by his wife Jinkee.

Migrante International said the Indonesian government is expected to announce the complete names of those scheduled to be executed by firing squad by July 17, or after the end of Ramadan.

The group said the list may include Veloso.

Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general, said the Indonesian government has announced the execution of convicts on death row, including Frenchman Serge Atlaoui who, like Veloso, was only given temporary reprieve.

An appeal for clemency for Atlaoui was recently rejected by the Indonesian government, Pillas said.

Pillas called on the Philippine government to fast-track the resolution of cases that will prove Veloso’s innocence to ensure that she will not be included among those to be executed in Indonesia in the coming week.

Asked about the report, Jose told The STAR in a text message that “we have to verify that first with concerned authorities.”

“Mary Jane remains on the brink of death for as long as the death sentence is not lifted. It is incumbent upon the Department of Justice and the Philippine government to act with considerable haste and urgency and to regularly update its counterpart, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and the Veloso family on the developments of the cases filed against Sergio et al,” she said.

Quoting information from her Indonesian colleagues, Pillas said Veloso’s reprieve is only temporary and the Indonesian court has yet to be updated on any development of the legal cases related to Veloso’s case.

“It has been more than two months and they are still waiting for updates. Please, let us not abuse the Indonesian government’s patience and tolerance. Every minute still counts.” she said.

Pillas said Migrante intends to submit to the Indonesian embassy a petition seeking to save the life of Veloso.

As well, Migrante sought help from the Philippine government for the family of Filipina domestic helper Marilyn Restor, whose body was found in a morgue in Saudi Arabia months after she was reportedly kidnapped.  – With Edu Punay, Abac Cordero


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