Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao sent Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday an appeal for clemency on drug trafficking convict Mary Jane Veloso.
“His Excellency, President Joko Widodo, I am Manny Pacquiao. On behalf of my countryman, Mary Jane Veloso, and the entire Filipino people, I am begging and knocking on your kind heart that Your Excellency will grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her life from execution,” Pacquiao said in a televised interview.
“Mr President, on May 2nd, I’ll be fighting in Las Vegas, Nevada, against Floyd Mayweather. It is considered the fight of the century. It will be a great morale booster if, in my own little way, I can save a life. I am dedicating this fight to my country and the entire Asian people, to which the Philippines and Indonesia belong. Thank you, Mr President,” he added.
Pacquiao also urged Filipinos to keep praying for Veloso.
Prior Pacquiao’s appeal, President Benigno Aquino III also appealed to President Widodo after the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
President Aquino also recently talked to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi asserting that Veloso’s life should be spared as she could be a state witness to the drug syndicate in Indonesia, especially now that her alleged recruiters have already surrendered.
Despite various pleas, Indonesian authorities stood firm on their decision and asserted that the Philippines should respect their laws. Thus, Veloso’s execution by firing squad will still push through and may be carried out today, by midnight.