MANILA—Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday that Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has given approval to the execution of Filipina death-row inmate Mary Jane Veloso.
Contrary to Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. statement on September 9 where he clarified that Veloso’s execution was not discussed when Duterte met with Widodo in Indonesia, Widodo told Antara news agency that he ‘explained’ to Duterte Indonesia’s case against Veloso and the status of her execution during Duterte’s state visit to Indonesia.
“I have explained to [Duterte] about Mary Jane’s situation and I told him that Mary Jane [has been found guilty] for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. I also told him about the delay in the execution during the meeting,” Widodo was quoted as saying in an Antara News report.
“President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution,” Widodo said.
Veloso was arrested in Indonesia in April 2010 for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her suitcase. In October of the same year, she was found guilty of drug smuggling and was sentenced to death by firing squad.
Veloso was granted a stay of execution on April 29, 2015. She has maintained innocence since her arrest.
In an attempt to save Mary Jane, her family recorded an audio message on July 31 where she pleaded to Duterte for help.
“Matagal na akong nagtitiis dito sa Indonesia, nagtitiis sa lahat ng ito gayong wala naman akong kasalanan (I’ve been suffering for so long here in Indonesia, suffering for all these when I’m not guilty),” Veloso told Duterte who is known for his campaign against illegal drugs.
“Kayo lang po ang pag-asa ko (You are my only hope),” she added.
“Yun lang po ang hinihiling ko sa inyo – na bigyan niyo ako ng katarungan (That’s all I’m asking from you, that you give me justice,)” she said.
The legal process of Veloso’s execution will be handled by Indonesia’s Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo, Jokowi said.