Philippines renews clemency appeal for Veloso

Helen Flores, Pia Lee Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippines renews clemency appeal for Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — With Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Manila on an official visit, the government is renewing its appeal for clemency for overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso, who is on death row in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said he raised Veloso’s case with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, who is also in Manila for the 7th Philippines-Indonesia Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

“I raised the issue,” Manalo told reporters. “We’re working to see whether we could find a way towards resolving the case, the clemency.”

“That’s always been our position, to see whether they can grant clemency. Now it’s up to their government to decide,” he added.

DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said the government continues to provide legal, consular and welfare assistance to Veloso.

Veloso was arrested in Yogyakarta in April 2010 for possession of 2.6 kilograms of heroin found sewn into the lining of her luggage.

She pleaded innocence, saying her recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao gave her the luggage where the drugs were found.

President Marcos and Widodo are set to meet today at Malacañang. It was not clear if the Philippine leader will personally bring up Veloso’s case before Widodo.

Widodo was scheduled to arrive last night at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Marcos will host a state banquet tonight for the visiting leader. Widodo is scheduled to depart Manila on Thursday.

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