MANILA– Vice President Jejomar C. Binay will personally appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the life of Filipina worker May Jane Veloso when he attends the Asian-African Summit in Bandung, Indonesia.
“I am hoping that we will be given the opportunity to personally appeal to His Excellency’s kind heart for the commutation of the sentence of Mary Jane,” Binay said in a press statement.
Binay said while he is saddened that the Indonesian Supreme Court has chosen not to grant Veloso’s first request for a judicial review of her case, the Philippine government reiterates its respect for Indonesia’s laws and legal system.
Binay said he hopes Indonesia will look on Veloso with compassion, since she is not part of any organized drug syndicate.
“She, too, was a victim,” he said, adding a person whom Veloso trusted and knew personally “took advantage of her trust when she asked Veloso to hand carry a luggage containing illegal drugs.”
“I intend to bring to His Excellency our people’s hope for compassion, given the circumstances surrounding the case,” Binay said.
The Vice President noted that just recently, President Widodo had appealed to the King of Saudi Arabia not to execute an Indonesian domestic worker.
“I am certain His Excellency understands why we in government are doing all we can to save the life of our kababayan. It is the responsibility of governments to come to the aid of their countrymen, especially those in difficult circumstances,” he said.
The summit will gather leaders from 29 countries “to discuss peace, security, and economic development in the midst of emerging problems in many parts of the world.”
While in Indonesia, the Vice President will hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on issues concerning Philippines and Indonesian relations.
The Vice President is also set to attend activities hosted by Indonesian President Widodo, including a 20-minute historical walk from Savoy Homann Hotel to Gedung Merdeka.
Binay, who concurrently serves as Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, is also scheduled to hold a dialog with the Filipino community in Indonesia.