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‘Rody’s diplomacy can save Mary Jane from death row’

Instead of his usual strongly worded statements, overseas Filipino workers’ advocacy groups are hoping that President Duterte will showcase his diplomacy during his bilateral talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo today to secure the release of death row convict Mary Jane Veloso.

“We call on Pres. Duterte to make a strong and urgent appeal for clemency for Mary Jane, an innocent victim of drug trafficking,” Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez said in a statement.

Mary Jane Veloso (Manila Bulletin)

Mary Jane Veloso
(Manila Bulletin)

Martinez insists Veloso is merely a victim of illegal drug traffickers and does not deserve her death sentence.

Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), is currently on death row in Indonesia for her drug trafficking charges filed way back in 2010.

MARY JANE’S TESTIMONY

“Many OFWs are now also like Mary Jane, who became a victim of drug syndicates,” Martinez said.

Martinez said they are hoping Duterte will be able to convince Widodo to allow Veloso to testify against her recruiters and traffickers in Philippine courts.

“We believe that her testimony by deposition or any other means admissible in court is compliant with both Philippine and Indonesian laws, as well as international laws, with regard to trafficking,” Martinez said.

TRAFFICKING MATTERS

Aside from Veloso’s case, the United Overseas Filipinos Worldwide (U-OFW) and the OFWs for Peace Coalition (OPC) appealed to Duterte to make use of his meeting with Widodo to cover matters on illegal trafficking and labor export policies.

“We fully support President Duterte’s agenda, mainly the strengthening of bilateral relation with Indonesia and to appeal to spare Veloso from death,” U-OFW convener John Monterona said in a separate statement.

Migrante International held a candle-lighting activity in Quiapo, Manila yesterday  for the favorable outcome of the meeting between Duterte and Widodo.