Last night, at around 6:00pm Philippine time, Mary Jane’s parents and Filipino lawyers who are in Cilacap port in Indonesia confirmed to Migrante International that Mary Jane had been served the notice of the date of execution.
This morning, Atty. Edre Olalia of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) was able to get hold of the copy of the document of the notice. “No exact date in the document itself but per Indonesian authorities’ announcement, the date (of the execution) is on the 28th earliest. Sinabi na rin nila kay Mary Jane. I spoke with Mary Jane myself over the phone who was with the Indonesian authorities at that time. I say ‘earliest’ because we are not giving up. NUPL, in coordination with her Indonesian lawyers, are intensifying all efforts pending the second judicial review that was filed last Friday.”
In this light, supporters of the #SaveMaryJaneVeloso campaign are calling on Pres. Benigno Aquino III to do everything he has to do to stop the execution. “The clock is ticking. We have 72 hours to save Mary Jane’s life. The Filipino people are behind Mary Jane and her family. We are not giving up,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Martinez said that instead of just saying that the government “has done everything it possibly could”, Aquino should do the following:
- Speak up and speak publicly. Prove to the Filipino people and the world that he is opposed to the execution because Mary Jane is innocent and does not deserve to die.
Since Mary Jane’s case has been brought to worldwide attention, Aquino has yet to speak up. His silence brings a message to the Filipino people that he is not against the sentence. “Silence means yes. Kailangang magsalita ni Aquino sa harap ng buong mundo at ideklara ang kanyang protesta. Hindi pwedeng kung sinu-sinong alipores niya ang pinapaharap niya. Tulad sa Mamasapano, he has ‘command responsibility’ over Mary Jane’s fate,” said Martinez.
Martinez also said that Aquino will be facing Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo at the retreat during the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia from April 26 to April 28. “He will have all the opportunity then to voice out the protest of the Filipino people not only to Widodo but to the world. At this point, Mary Jane’s family and Filipinos around the world need to hear from him personally and publicly that he is against the execution because it will take the life of an innocent Filipino. Kung matutuloy ang pagbitay kay Mary Jane, atake ito sa dangal at dignidad ng mga Pilipino sa buong mundo dahil wala siyang kasalanan, iyan ang dapat nating marinig sa presidente.”
- Pull out the Philippine embassy in Jakarta in protest. Brazil and Holland recalled their ambassadors in Jakarta when the Indonesian government executed six prisoners last January. The Australian government had also already retracted foreign aid to Indonesia.
- Suspend approval of new applications of Indonesian investments in the Philippines. This is to show Indonesia that going ahead with the execution would strain not only diplomatic but economic relations.
- Direct the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) publicly release all of the names of Filipinos in jails and on death row abroad and the names of their embassy-appointed lawyers. Presently, there are 41 other Mary Janes on death row abroad, according to the DFA – one Filipino in Saudi Arabia, 18 in Malaysia, 19 in China and two in Vietnam. “The government has to be transparent in what it is doing to assist and save the lives of all Filipinos on death row,” Martinez said.
The #SaveMaryJaneVeloso campaign will start holding vigil at the Indonesian embassy at 4:00pm today. Masses and prayers are also being offered in different churches around Metro Manila and in the regions today for the call to stop Mary Jane’s execution.
On Monday, April 27, Filipinos around the world will troop to Indonesian embassies in an internationally-coordinated action. In Jakarta, Filipino and Indonesian supporters will hold a rally in front of the Presidential Palace. ###