Angeles: Phl, Indonesia continue “very sensitive” talks on Veloso case  

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles

September 6, 2022

The Philippine government is in ongoing talks with the Indonesian government concerning the case of Mary Jane Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker who was convicted of drug smuggling in 2010 and had been sentenced to death.

In a press briefing on Monday night in Jakarta, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, were able to discuss Veloso’s case.

“On that, we can confirm because Secretary Manalo did announce that. But the talks continue. So that is the only thing that we can confirm right now,” Angeles told reporters when asked if Manalo had discussed the case with Marsudi during President Bongbong Marcos’s three-day state visit to Indonesia.

When pressed for details, Angeles reiterated that she cannot comment further as the matter is “very sensitive.”

“Wala po eh. They’re very sensitive issues. As you know, it is a public matter that she has been convicted,” she said.

The Indonesian court convicted Veloso of drug smuggling in 2010. She continues to be on death row.

Veloso was supposed to be executed by firing squad in April 2015, but a last-minute plea from the Philippine government during the administration of the late former President Noynoy Aquino was able to put it off following the arrest of her recruiters in the country.

Nevertheless, Angeles assured that DFA does not lose sight of Veloso’s case.

“But our DFA continues to look for solutions,” she said.

Last Friday, Veloso’s father, Cesar, traveled from their home province Nueva Ecija to the Department of Migrant Workers in Mandaluyong City to personally deliver a letter of appeal addressed to Marcos.

Angeles said she “has no information” on whether the President was able to receive the letter, but is “aware of the issue.”

Veloso has repeatedly denied the drug charges, saying her recruiters deceived her by giving her a suitcase with 2.6 kilos of illegal drugs hidden in the lining.

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