Indonesia vows to look into Veloso case

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Indonesia vows to look into Veloso case
Mary Jane Veloso.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Indonesia has vowed to look into the case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina on death row in Yogyakarta over drug-related charges, Malacañang said yesterday.

“Yes, with the decision of the Indonesian government to look into the case filed by Mary Jane Veloso in the Philippines,” Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a text message when asked if President Marcos secured a commitment from Indonesian President Joko Widodo to reexamine Veloso’s case.

“In fact, the Indonesian government is waiting for the decision of the Philippine court on the case she filed,” Garafil added.

Widodo met with Marcos last Wednesday as part of his three-day official visit to the Philippines.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the legal interrogatories required from the Philippine Regional Trial Court on the case of Veloso have been sent to Jakarta for her to answer, as part of her testimony on the pending case that she filed against her illegal recruiters.

DFA Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro said Marcos expressed hope that the progression of the case of Veloso would merit her clemency “at the appropriate time.”

“The government will continuously exhaust all efforts to assist Ms. Veloso and her family,” Lazaro said.

Veloso’s family was able to visit and spend several days with her last Christmas through the help of the DFA and the Philippine embassy in Jakarta, she added.

Veloso was arrested at the Yogyakarta airport in 2010 after 2.6 kilos of heroin were found in her luggage.

She has denied involvement in the illegal drug trade, saying she was not aware that heroin was placed in her baggage.

According to her, a drug syndicate had tricked her into bringing illicit drugs to Indonesia from Malaysia while she was looking for a job.

Veloso was sentenced to death in 2010. She was supposed to be executed by firing squad in April 2015, but was given a temporary reprieve after her recruiter surrendered to Philippine authorities.

In 2022, the Marcos administration appealed for clemency for Veloso.

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