Palace mum on Veloso case being raised by Bongbong Marcos in Indonesia state visit
MANILA, Philippines — Citing the sensitivity of the issue, Malacañang on Sunday skirted the question on the possibility of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. bringing up the case of Mary Jane Veloso in his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Veloso, a Filipino maid, is currently detained in Indonesia and is facing the death penalty after she was arrested in 2010 at the Yogyakarta airport for bringing in more than 2 kilograms of heroin.
She was supposed to be executed by firing squad in 2015 but she was spared after Philippine authorities informed their Indonesian counterparts that her recruiters were already under police custody.
Veloso denied knowledge of the drugs she was carrying, insisting that the luggage she had was given to her by her recruiters.
“We can’t say officially, perhaps it will be broached by both parties by one or both parties — we’ll have to see. I understand that since it’s a pending issue. It may be inescapable. We will announce if it is taken up,” said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles during a press conference with Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople.
Ople gave her assurance that the DMW has already discussed Veloso’s case with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), as well as with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which will be in charge of giving updates on the case of the convicted Filipina.
Ople said Veloso is among more than 60 Filipinos who are now facing the death penalty all over the world.
“By agreement it will be the DFA who will be taking the lead. Primarily for two reasons: it has the institutional memory and knowledge from the start of the case until today,” said Ople.
“And second, Sec. Trixie will agree with me on the importance of speaking with one voice on a case with such sensitive dimensions as the case of Mary Jane Veloso,” she added.
Veloso’s parents earlier wrote the President and asked for his help in releasing Veloso.
“As Sec. Ople said, for matters of this sensitive nature. We cannot say more than that. We cannot even guess as when, but because it is of such a sensitive nature then we proceed with deliberation if we proceed at all. So I’m not saying we’re proceeding with anything but the president is aware of the issue but beyond that we cannot discuss,” Cruz-Angeles said.
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