Marcos follows up Veloso case with Widodo

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos follows up Veloso case with Widodo
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) greets Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 10, 2023.
AFP / Willy Kurniawan / Pool

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos personally asked yesterday Indonesian President Joko Widodo to review the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who is currently on Indonesia’s death row due to drug-related charges.

Marcos said he and Widodo had a brief talk about Veloso during their meeting at the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.

“I mentioned it (Veloso’s case) but we’re not able to discuss it at length because as you can imagine the President was very busy,” Marcos said in an interview with the media onboard PR001 en route to Manila.

“But at some point while we’re walking I was able to say we’re (Philippine government) still trying to work hard on that case and he said the same answer – ‘well you know the thing is this is our law’,” the President said, quoting the Indonesian leader.

Marcos said the best the Philippine government can do is to ask Indonesian authorities to reexamine Veloso’s case “as a favor” to the country.

“That’s what we talked about. Not much more than that,” the Chief Executive said.

In an interview in Indonesia on Wednesday, Marcos said the government has not given up Veloso and continues to ask for her commutation, pardon, or extradition to the Philippines.

“The Indonesians answer us that this is the law and we have to enforce it. They’ve already given us postponement (of the execution) but that doesn’t mean it’s done. I always at least bring it up... maybe their decision will change,” said Marcos.

In September last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs sought executive clemency for Veloso.

Veloso has been on Indonesia’s death row for the past 13 years after being arrested on drug related charges in 2010.

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