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article imageMary Jane Veloso could still be executed by firing squad

By Leo Reyes     Jul 31, 2015 in Crime
Philippine government officials representing the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ ) are now in Indonesia to discuss with their Indonesian counterparts the fate of death-row convict Mary Jane Veloso.
Veloso was spared from execution that took the life of eight drug convicts in Indonesia last April, on appeal by Philippine President Benigno Aquino following the surrender of the suspected drug trafficker who had allegedly duped Veloso.
Aquino told Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a private meeting during the ASEAN summit held in Malaysia last April that Veloso can serve as a state witness to identify the group that used her as drug mule.
“We presented [to Indonesia] that it seems to serve both of our interests to keep her [Veloso] alive to be able to testify and serve the ends of justice for both our concerns,” Aquino told reporters in Malaysia. :
With Aquino's plea, Indonesian President Joko Widodo granted Veloso a reprieve while Philippine authorities are working on the case.
Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), was arrested in 2010 by Indonesian authorities after they found 2.6 kilos of heroin in her suitcase.
Veloso denied owning the package containing the illegal drug saying she wasn't aware of its contents as she was just asked to carry it by her recruiter.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said the delegation from DFA and DOJ will update the concerned authorities in Indonesia on the progress of the case.
"The primary purpose of the visit of the Philippine delegation composed of Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Justice officials is to primarily update the Indonesia government on the progress that we have been making in the case of Mary Jane Veloso," DFA Spokesperson Charles Jose said in a telephone interview with ANC.
Veloso's family had expressed fear that Veloso would be included in the next batch of drug convicts slated for execution by firing squad if local authorities fail to attend to the case.
Regarding the ongoing discussions with the Philippine delegation, Indonesia’s attorney general, Muhammad Prasetyo opined that it may not spare Veloso from execution.
“I reiterate that their demand to free [Veloso] is difficult. This is because she has been found guilty for drug smuggling in Indonesia,” he was quoted as saying by the Indonesian Kompas news website.
Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who earlier made an appeal to Indonesian President Widodo to spare Veloso from execution, visited the death row convict in her prison cell and together they prayed that everything will turn out right.
More about Drug trafficking, mary jane veloso, Firing squad, Illegal drugs
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