Days before the two-year anniversary of the stay of execution of Mary Jane Veloso, her parents and other families of OFWs on deathrow trooped to Malacanang and appealed to the president to seek executive clemency for all OFWs on deathrow.
“Umaasa kami na gagawin ng ating pangulo ang lahat ng kanyang makakaya para mailigtas ang aming mga mahal sa buhay pangunahin sa pamamagitan ng clemency sa mga pinuno ng ibang bansa. Hiling ko na maisalba niya ang buhay ng mga OFW na biktima ng mga iligal na recruiter at sindikato ng iligal na droga. Tulad ng aking anak, ilang taon na silang nabubulok sa kulungan sa kasalanang hindi naman nila ginawa. Pangulong Duterte, mahabag po kayo, umaasa kami sa inyong panata na ililigtas ang pamilyang Pilipino mula sa pangil ng malalaking negosyante ng droga,” appealed Celia Veloso, mother of Mary Jane Veloso who remains incarcerated in Indonesia. April 29 marks the second year anniversary of her temporary reprieve from execution.
Celia Veloso also expressed alarm over Philippine Court of Appeals recently issued temporary restraining order (TRO) on the supposed scheduled deposition of Mary Jane Veloso tomorrow, April 27. “Nangangamba ako na baka ituloy na ng gobyerno ng Indonesia ang pagbitay sa aking anak dahil sa bagal ng hustisya sa ating bansa at ang mismong pagpigil pa ng mga ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan sa pagkuha ng testimonya ng aking anak,” decried Veloso.
Alicia Dalquez, mother of Jennifer Dalquez, also plead to the president, “ikinagalak namin ang kanyang pangako na mapapauwi ang ilang OFW na nasa deathrow noong siya ay magpunta sa Middle East. Umaasa kami na gagawin niya ito para sa lahat ng aming mga mahal sa buhay. Umaasa kami sa kanyang pangako sa mga OFW na gagawin ang lahat para mabuo na muli ang aming mga pamilya.”
Jennifer Dalquez is an OFW who was sentenced to death in UAE after she accidentally killed an Emirati police who attempted to rape her. After a few postponements, the Al Ain appellate court is scheduled to release its decision today on the appeal to commute the death sentence on Jennifer Dalquez. She appealed on the basis of honoring her right of self-defense.
Veloso and Dalquiz were joined by families of other OFWs on deathrow (Rose Dacanay – Saudi Arabia and Gregoria Fajardo – Malaysia), Migrante International and church groups under the Churches Witnessing with Migrants (CWWM).
“We urge President Duterte to actively appeal for mercy and compassion for our kababayans, especially the innocent and those who were not given proper legal assistance by the previous administration. Now is the time to correct the misdeeds of the past regimes. Jennifer and Mary Jane’s cases attest to the need for active government intervention in saving the lives of innocent OFWs on death row,” said Laorence Castillo, Program Coordinator of Migrante International.
According to Migrante the first OFW executed under the Duterte administration, Jakatia Pawa, had a strong case to prove her innocence but was deprived of legal assistance by the Aquino administration.
Migrante has launched the campaign #ClemencyPH together with CWWM to push Pres, Duterte to actively seek for executive clemency for all OFWs on deathrow. On April 30, the families will be joined by supporters in a gathering of legislators (members of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs) churches and migrants rights advocates in the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
“Clemency for all OFWs on death row” will be one of the main calls of Migrante International in the upcoming Labor Day rally on May 1. ###