On January 12, 2016, two days after her 32nd birthday, Maryjane Veloso celebrated her birthday with her parents, Cesar and Celia Veloso and her two children, Mark Daniel and Mark Darren.
Maryjane’s parents and children flew to Jogjakarta, Indonesia on January 11, 2017 for a 4-day visit accompanied by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, her Philippine lawyer from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) and a representative from Migrante International. The visit was coordinated by the Migrante International with the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs who arranged travel and provided provisions for the family. The Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking also extended support for the trip.
It was a happy reunion for Maryjane and her family who last saw each other in January 2016. The children clung to their mother making up for all the time that they were separated from their mother not wanting the moment to end. Makmak was seven years old while Darren was only one year and three months old when Maryjane was arrested in 2010.
Maryjane cheerfully shared her experiences and skills she learned in prison and will use these in the future to help her family. She professed her innocence from the charges against her, and that in her heart, she already forgiven her recruiters but fervently wished that the recruiters will admit what they did to her. The visit, cum birthday celebration, was capped by a simple lunch, courtesy of the DFA and embassy officials in Indonesia.
Maryjane and her family expressed their gratitude to Secretary Perfecto Yasay and the DFA for facilitating the visit and to all the group and individuals who made the trip possible and memorable. The whole family appealed for the continued support to #FreeMaryJane.