Mary Jane Veloso’s mother seeks Robredo help on OFW's 12th year in jail

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
Mary Jane Velosoâs mother seeks Robredo help on OFW's 12th year in jail
In 2018, Mary Jane's parents, Celia and Cesar Veloso, through the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers, asked the SC on Monday to reverse and set aside the Court of Appeals ruling that blocked the appeal to allow a local judge to observe the deposition of their daughter's testimony.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines —The mother of detained migrant domestic worker Mary Jane Veloso is reaching out to Vice President Leni Robredo for help in the hope that an election win will help bring her daughter home.

"Sana matulungan na po ninyo kasi napakatagal na niya sa kulungan, 12 taon tumatanda sa kulungan na wala namang kasalanan," Celia Veloso said in a video posted on Facebook.

(I hope you can extend help because she has been in prison for a very long time now, it has been 12 years, she’s growing old behind bars even if she’s innocent.)

Mary Jane Veloso was arrested in April 2010 when she arrived in Yogyakarta at the Adisucipto International Airport for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin by sewing it into the lining of her luggage.

Veloso said her recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao tricked her into bringing illegal drugs, maintaining that she is innocent.

However, an Indonesian court judge convicted Veloso and sentenced her to death in October later that year.

Veloso was granted a reprieve in April 2015 after President Benigno Aquino III personally appealed to the Indonesian government for clemency in light of the surrender of the couple who had allegedly recruited her. 

In the video, Celia Veloso also asked Robredo to help her and another daughter, Maritess Laurente, as they both face health concerns.

"Ma’am, sana matulungan mo kami, matulungan mo ang aking pamilya, ang aking mga anak at umaasa po ako na kayo lang po makakatulong sa amin. Sana manalo po kayo at ipinapangako po namin sa inyo na buong pamilya ko po dala po kayo," Celia said. 

(Ma’am, I hope you can help us, I hope you can help my family, my children and we are really expecting that you can be the only one who can help us. I hope you win and we promise you that my whole family is behind you.)

Philstar.com sought comment from Robredo's camp but has yet to receive a response.

In a report by UP Diliman College of Mass Communication’s Tinig ng Plaridel in March, all three of Veloso’s sisters became domestic workers abroad despite all that transpired.

Laurente was quoted in the story as saying: “I didn’t think about the risks because it was more important for us to change our lives.”

Filipinos opt to work abroad in search for better opportunities to provide for their families. The Philippine Statistics Authority recorded 1.77 million overseas Filipino workers deployed abroad between April to September 2020, dropping by 18.6% from 2.18 million in 2019. 

In February, Robredo spoke to her OFW supporters virtually where she laid out her plans for an OFW reitegration program and a better protection system through labor agreements for migrant workers.

READ: Robredo wants reintegration program, pension fund for OFWs

Robredo's plans also include setting up a resource center in key provinces, cities, and municipalities to help support the families of OFWs. — with a report from Janvic Mateo




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