OFW group Migrante calls on next admin to act on Mary Jane Veloso’s deposition

OFW group Migrante calls on next admin to act on Mary Jane Veloso�s deposition
According to the Philippine embassy in Jakarta, Mary Jane Veloso is presently detained in Yogyakarta and not in Semarang.

MANILA, Philippines — A coalition of Filipino migrants’ groups wants the incoming administration to act on the deposition of detained overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso after the Supreme Court did not give additional instructions on her case.

Migrante International is calling on president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to "act accordingly and to show his support in the fight against human trafficking."

In a decision promulgated on March 21, the SC Special Third Division noted without action the solicitor’s general request for the highest court to issue new instructions or negotiations for Veloso’s deposition.

"The Court finds this moment opportune to remark that the executive department need not obtain the assent of the judiciary in accepting, rejecting, or modifying the conditions set by Indonesia," the decision read.

"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."

Veloso narrowly escaped death row in 2015.

She was arrested in April 2010 after arriving in Yogyakarta with 2.6 kilograms of heroin sewn into the lining of her luggage. She said her recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, were behind the scheme and maintained her innocence.

Her execution in 2015 was postponed after the Philippine government argued that she could testify in human trafficking cases. Veloso, however, has remained behind bars in Indonesia for 12 years.

The solicitor general requested new guidelines of her deposition, citing the Indonesian government’s decision to hold it in the prison facility instead of the Philippine Embassy and will be conducted by the Indonesian Attorney General or any officials they may appoint in the presence of a Philippine Embassy consular officer and the presiding judge.

Migrante International is holding President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration accountable for Veloso’s detainment for over a decade.

"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," Migrante International Chairperson Joanna Concepcion said.

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