A Filipino migrants’ organization called on president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to act on the case of migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso who has been on Indonesia’s death row for 12 years now.
“[We] challenge the new administration … to act accordingly on the deposition of Mary Jane Veloso,” read a Migrante statement.
The group’s call after the Philippine Supreme Court decided to note without action a request by the government’s lawyer to issue new instructions or negotiations for Veloso’s deposition.
In its decision, the Court said that “the executive department need not obtain the assent of the judiciary in accepting, rejecting, or modifying the conditions set by Indonesia.”
“The executive department has already done so before when, through the ardent efforts of the Department of Justice, it magnificently secured this legal miracle for Mary Jane, that she may air her side of the story despite her incarceration and conviction in a foreign country,” read the Court’s decision.
In 2010, an Indonesian court sentenced Veloso to death after she was caught with 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her bag at the international airport in Yogyakarta.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo granted a temporary reprieve for Veloso before she was set to be executed. She remained behind bars in Indonesia.
Veloso, a devout Catholic, said her recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, were behind the scheme and maintained her innocence.
Sergio and Lacanilao are under trial for human trafficking at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 88 of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija.
Philippine justice officials filed cases against Veloso’s alleged recruiters with the intent of investigating them for human trafficking and illegal recruitment.
The country’s solicitor general earlier requested new guidelines of her deposition, citing the Indonesian government’s decision to hold it in the prison facility instead of the Philippine Embassy.
The Supreme Court, however, said that granting the motion on its October 9, 2019, decision would mean the amendment of the October 9, 2019, decision.
The Court said there is no reason to nullify the decision.
In its statement, Migrante said it is holding the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte accountable for Veloso’s continuing incarceration in Indonesia.
“Instead of immediately acting on the proposal made by the Indonesian government, the Duterte administration did not move a finger to push for Mary Jane’s deposition to show his support on the fight against human trafficking and for Mary Jane to be reunited with [her] family,” said Migrante chairperson Joanna Concepcion.
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