Phl requests clemency for Veloso

The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta has retained the services of an Indonesian law firm to serve as legal counsel of Ms. Veloso in accordance with Indonesian laws and procedure

The Philippine government has requested clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker who was convicted of drug smuggling in 2010 and had been sentenced to death.

The request was relayed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo during his meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs Tuesday.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Jakarta, Indonesia on 4 September.

The DFA said it has been providing consular assistance to Veloso since the time of her arrest in 2010.

“The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta has retained the services of an Indonesian law firm to serve as legal counsel of Ms. Veloso in accordance with Indonesian laws and procedure,” it said.

“It is also in regular contact with Ms. Veloso in coordination with Indonesian authorities,” it added.

The department said that Veloso is in “relatively good health” at the Wonosari Women’s Penitentiary in Yogyakarta, where she is currently detained, based on the latest communication from the Philippine Embassy officials.

In a press briefing on Monday night, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles confirmed the meeting of Manalo Marsudi.

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 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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