Vice President Binay renews death row appeal to Indonesia President Widodo
Vice President Jejomar Binay renewed his appeal on Friday to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the commutation of the death sentence of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) caught carrying a suitcase containing illegal drugs in Indonesia.
“I am once again appealing to President Widodo’s good heart for the commutation of the death sentence of our kababayan, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, who is scheduled to be executed in Yogyakarta,” Binay said in a statement.
“I ask this, with the deepest bond of brotherhood and friendship of our peoples, a bond that I am confident will only grow stronger in the years to come,” he said.
Binay, presidential adviser on OFW concerns, issued the appeal as the Indonesian Supreme Court denied Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso’s plea for a judicial review of her case. Veloso was caught at Java’s Yogyakarta airport carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin on a flight from Malaysia.
“We are saddened that the Indonesian Supreme Court has chosen not to grant Mary Jane’s lawyers’ request for a judicial review of her case. Nonetheless, we reiterate the Philippines’ full awareness and respect for Indonesia’s laws and legal system,” the Vice President said.
In their appeal for judicial review, Veloso’s lawyers argued that the Filipina was not provided with a capable translator during her trial.
Binay stressed that Veloso, a widowed mother of two, was not part of any organized drug syndicate, saying she, too, was a victim.
“She was unwittingly taken advantage of by a person whom she gave her complete trust and confidence to when the latter asked her to hand-carry a piece of luggage containing illegal drugs,” he said.
The Vice President previously wrote Widodo earlier this month to “convey to (Widodo) the (Filipinos’) hope and prayer that the Supreme Court of Indonesia will look kindly and with compassion on the circumstances surrounding the case of (Veloso).” RC
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