#SaveMaryJane supporters to DOJ: No more delays, please

 

Cabanatuan City - Last June 29, community and provincial leaders, representatives of local government units and church groups and supporters joined the Veloso family in a day-long gathering to mark the 2nd month of Mary Jane's temporary reprieve.

Cabanatuan City – Last June 29, community and provincial leaders, representatives of local government units and church groups and supporters joined the Veloso family in a day-long gathering to mark the 2nd month of Mary Jane’s temporary reprieve.

Last June 29 marked the second month since the Indonesian government granted Mary Jane Veloso a temporary reprieve and it has been the longest two months for her family and supporters from all around the globe.

The basis for the temporary reprieve was to give way to legal proceedings in the Philippines after her alleged traffickers, Kristina Sergio etal, were charged with illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa by the Department of Justice. The cases against Sergio etal were filed last April 21 on the basis of complaints filed by Mary Jane, her parents, Celia and Cesar, and sister Maritess, and other witnesses and victims who recently surfaced.

The preliminary investigations on the cases ended last June 1. Unfortunately, no DOJ resolution appears to be forthcoming.

Supporters and members of the #SaveMaryJane alliance called on the DOJ and the Philippine government to ensure that the legal proceedings are being done without delay, especially in light of recent news that the appeal for clemency for French death convict Serge Atlaoui has been rejected by the Indonesian government.

The Frenchman, like Mary Jane, was given a temporary reprieve by the Indonesian government and saved from the April 29 executions that killed eight others via firing squad.

“We appeal to the DOJ, no more delays, please. Release the resolution now. Mary Jane remains on the brink of death for as long as the death sentence is not lifted. Two months has been way too long. The evidence against Sergio etal are solid,” said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

Pillas said that they are also gravely concerned by news reports that Atlaoui is set to be executed after the end of Ramadan, along with other death convicts whose names are yet to be announced.

“The latest information that we got from our Indonesian colleagues is that the Attorney General has reiterated that Mary Jane’s reprieve is but temporary and they are still waiting for developments on the legal case here in the Philippines. They are still waiting for Mary Jane to testify as a witness against her traffickers. Please, let us not abuse the Indonesian government’s patience and tolerance. Every minute still counts,” Pillas said.

Pillas emphasized, “The ball is now in the PH government’s court. Sana naman ay hindi sila nagdi-dribble-dribble muna at saka na lang ulit gagalaw kapag last-two-minutes na.”

Migrante and the #SaveMaryJane alliance called on more supporters to sign the online petition at change.org/savemaryjane. The petition has already gathered 429,367 supporters as of this posting. ###

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OPEN LETTER TO INDONESIAN PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO: Save the life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso

save mj tarp(1)With hopes still raised high, we humbly and sincerely appeal to Your Excellency that the Indonesian Government spare the life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso who was convicted in your country for drug trafficking and sentenced to be executed after her judicial appeal was rejected by the Indonesian Supreme Court last March 26.

We sincerely ask Your Excellency for clemency to save her life.  We believe that Mary Jane was a victim of large drug syndicates who take advantage of the unawareness, vulnerability and desperation of our people.  We are pained that she has been meted the death penalty while the big true drug operators and syndicates go on with wild abandon.

Mary Jane was a victim not only of drug trafficking syndicates but of circumstance. A single mother of two, she was forced by dire straits to seek employment abroad and became vulnerable to exploitation of a person she trusted. The person who tricked her into carrying a luggage that contained 2.6 kilos of heroin remains at large to this day. Mary Jane does not deserve to be executed, her two children do not deserve to lose their mother, over a crime that she did not wittingly commit.

Mary Jane was also a victim of Philippine government neglect. If her execution pushes through, she would be the eight (8th) Filipino on death row to be executed under one regime. Like others before her, she was not provided proper legal assistance and counsel by the Philippine government until the last minute. The Philippine government has thus far failed to show transparency and accountability for failing to save the lives of Filipinos on death row.

We also hold the Philippine government accountable for failing to address the root causes of drug trafficking and other criminal activities that prey on the desperation of Filipinos. Our Filipinos will always be subjected to tragedies such as Mary Jane’s for as long as the government sticks to promoting a labor export policy unmindful of the welfare and protection of Filipinos abroad. Unless the Philippine government creates enough decent jobs at home to curb forced migration and trafficking, it will always be responsible for every life that is threatened, endangered or lost.

Our appeal is thus an appeal for mercy and compassion.  None would be happiest than Mary Jane’s two children. The children have not seen their mother for a long time. Even now, they, as the rest of the Filipino people, have not lost hope.

We appeal to you to heed our plea. Please save the life of Mary Jane Veloso. Our hope and prayers are with our compatriot and for a just and compassionate world. ###