MANILA – With drug trafficking convict Mary Jane Veloso granted temporary reprieve from execution, her parents, Cesar and Celia Veloso refuse to give credit to the Philippine government’s efforts in sparing their daughter’s life.
Mr. and Mrs. Veloso would not apologize for not acknowledging the local government’s assistance in the criminal case their daughter is still facing. The couple also asserted that the government only acted on the case in the ‘last two minutes.’
“Hindi po muna magsosorry ([We] will not say sorry yet),” Mrs. Veloso said in a television interview. Her husband shared the same sentiment as hers.
But if Veloso will be permitted to return to the country and will be granted full pardon, only then will Mr. and Mrs. Veloso apologize and forgive the Aquino administration for its slow assistance in their daughter’s case.
Although not grateful, the couple still appreciated the local government’s last-minute efforts, ‘if there were any.’
“Kung may nagawa po talaga siya (Aquino) ay maraming salamat (If he had really done something, then we would thank him,” Mr. Veloso said.
When asked if their refusal to acknowledge the government’s efforts were influenced by non-government organizations which helped and supported them, Mrs. Veloso was firm on saying no.
“Wala pong nagtuturo sa amin. May sarili po kaming pag-iisip (No one is teaching us [on what to believe and do]. We have our own minds,” she explained.
Mrs. Veloso also shared how she asked for help to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Vice President Jejomar Binay years ago, but was only shunned.
“Puro pangako po. Parating sinasabi, gagawin namin lahat pero walang nangyari,” she recalled. “Sabi po sa amin ng abogado, ‘Sa dami ng drugs na nakuha sa anak niyo, bitay na ‘yan.’”
(All promises. [They] always said, they will do everything they can but nothing happened. A lawyer told us, ‘With the large amount of drugs taken from your daughter, she will surely be sentenced to death.)
President Benigno Aquino III, for his part, did not take anything against Mr. and Mrs. Veloso. Instead, he tried to understand the situation the couple was facing.
“Hindi po galit. Walang ganoong pakiramdam ([He’s] not angry. There’s no such feeling),” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a phone interview.
“Lubos and pag-unawa ng ating gobyerno sa kanilang sitwasyon. Kung anoman ang makakabawas sa kanilang pinapasan. Napakahalaga ng buhay ni Mary Jane. Nandito po tayo para gampanan ang katungkulan,” he added.
(Our government has utmost understanding on their situation. Whatever may ease their burdens. Mary Jane’s life is very valuable. We are here to do our duty.)