VP Binay remains hopeful Veloso will be spared from death penalty

By , on April 27, 2015

Vice President Jejomar 'Jojo' Binay (Facebook photo)
Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay (Facebook photo)

MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay remains hopeful that overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso will be spared from death penalty in Indonesia amid reports that the execution has already been set on April 28.

Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, also urged the Filipino people not to lose hope and continue praying for Veloso.

“We have a second petition filed before the Indonesian Supreme Court. The Indonesian authorities I spoke to told me that if there is such a petition, it will be tackled before any execution,” Binay said in a press statement on Sunday.

Binay said he wrote a separate letter addressed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo before he left the Asian-African Summit in Bandung Friday and asked a senior official to personally deliver it to the Indonesian chief executive.

“Let us not lose hope. We will continue to use all the avenues available to us. We have a second appeal for a judicial review and we have the personal appeals sent by President Aquino and myself to President Widodo and my appeal to Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Let us continue to pray for Mary Jane,” he said.

According to the reports, Veloso had told her sister over the phone that the Attorney General’s Office of Indonesia confirmed the date of her execution on April 28.

While in Indonesia for the Asian-African Summit in Bandung, Binay personally relayed to Vice President Kalla his appeal to spare the life of Veloso at the sidelines of their bilateral meeting in Jakarta Wednesday afternoon.

Binay met with Veloso’s family while in Indonesia, speaking with the family for an hour Thursday at the hostel where they were staying. Members of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers representing Veloso’s family were also present during the meeting.

Veloso was earlier transferred to the maximum security prison island of Nusakambangan Friday.

Jakarta has said it will not push through with the executions of those who still have pending appeals.

Officials said earlier that Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who was expected to be among the group being put to death, will not be included in as he still has an outstanding legal appeal.