#SaveMaryJane supporters welcome Pres. Widodo’s signing of Convention Against Trafficking

Supporters of the #Savemaryjaneveloso_migrante_2015_escobarMaryJane campaign welcomed Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo’s recent signing of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Convention Against Trafficking in Person (ACTIP), saying that the move is one step towards attaining justice for drug trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso.

Widodo signed the said document together with other leaders of the ASEAN. The ACTIP will focus on curbing and fighting trafficking in the region, especially of women and children.

Widodo’s signing of the Convention came in light of reports that Indonesia has announced a “moratorium” on executions to focus on the country’s economy.

“These are all very welcome developments and, hopefully, indications that Pres. Widodo continues to hear our plea for Mary Jane and all other victims of trafficking who are presently on Indonesian death row. We pray that Pres. Widodo will make good his commitment to fight trafficking by evaluating cases such as Mary Jane’s. Pres. Widodo can set an example in the region by granting clemency and pardon to Mary Jane, a victim of trafficking,” said Mic Catuira, Migrante International deputy secretary-general.

Consequently, Catuira said, it is now more than imperative for the Philippine government to ensure that the trafficking and illegal recruitment cases filed against Mary Jane’s traffickers in Philippine courts embark without further delay. “The resolution of these cases will prove once and for all Mary Jane’s innocence. It has been eight months since Mary Jane’s temporary reprieve, and still the trials are in their preliminary stages.”

Scheduled arraignment for Mary Jane’s traffickers on cases of large-scale and syndicated illegal recruitment will not be until February 2016, following series of delaying tactics by the defense. Meanwhile, the qualified trafficking case filed by Mary Jane herself and the Veloso family is yet to roll in court.

“Indonesia’s reported ‘moratorium’ is a welcome Christmas gift for Mary Jane and her family. We wish for positive developments on Mary Jane’s trafficking case before her 31st birthday on January 10,” Catuira said. ###