APPEAL for URGENT ACTION Save the Life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso! Stop the executions in Indonesia!

save mj tarp(1)Mary Jane Veloso is a 30-year-old Filipina mother-of-two sentenced to death by the Indonesian Supreme Court in April 2010 for drug trafficking.

Veloso’s case was submitted for judicial review but her appeal was rejected by the Indonesian Supreme Court last March 26, 2014. News reports state that Indonesia is preparing to transfer Veloso from the city of Yogyakarta to the maximum security prison in Nusakambangan Island of Central Java to await execution by firing squad.

Veloso was a domestic worker in Dubai from 2009 to 2010. She left Dubai and came back to the Philippines after her employer attempted to rape her. On April 22, 2010, she was illegally recruited by her kinakapatid (daughter of her godfather) to work as a domestic worker in Malaysia. When she arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the same person told her that the job was not available anymore and that she would instead be transferred to Indonesia. It was there that she found out that she was tricked into carrying luggage containing 2.6 kilos of heroin.

The Indonesian government plans to execute 10 convicted foreign drug traffickers, including Veloso, all at once. Their cases have drawn international flak for Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo after he rejected pleas by the United Nations and various governments for their clemency.

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns on extrajudicial executions had also appealed to Wododo to stop the executions on the basis that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported information that suggests that Veloso and her 14 other fellow accused were convicted after unfair trials. The same report attested that all of them did not receive sufficient legal services or the right to translators, and had no legal representation at all stages of their trials.

Upon her arrest at the Jogjakarta airport, Veloso was not provided proper legal assistance. She was only provided a student translator during the course of her trial. She did not understand any of the proceedings.

Veloso’s case is yet another case of the Philippine government doing a little, too late. She was arrested in 2010 and was not assigned a lawyer until the last minute. Had it not been for the international criticism that accompanied her fellow foreign inmates’ cases, it can be argued that the Philippine government would have once again opted to keep her case hush to evade public censure. Such had been the Philippine government’s tact, it had so far failed to show transparency or accountability for failing to save the lives of Filipinos on death row.

Should Veloso’s execution push through, she would be the eighth Filipino executed under the present leadership of Benigno Aquino III, the most number of executions of Filipinos on death row under one regime since the Philippine labor export policy was implemented in the 1970s.

Veloso was a victim of large-scale international drug syndicates, of circumstance and of government neglect. The series of unjust executions of Filipinos on death row should be put to a stop.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling on:

 

  • Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo to grant Mary Jane Veloso clemency on grounds of a mistrial and for humanitarian reasons. Letters may be coursed through respective Indonesian embassies.
  • Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino III to exhaust all means to save Mary Jane Veloso’s life and demand to know why Mary Jane Veloso and others like her were deprived of proper legal assistance by the PH government.
  • The Philippine government to hunt down and prosecute Mary Jane Veloso’s illegal recruiter, “Cristina”, who remains at large to this day. “Cristina” is also said to be harassing and threatening Veloso’s family.
  • The United Nations to investigate why there have been the most number of executions that pushed through under the Aquino regime.
  • Migrants’ and human rights-based organizations to appeal for clemency for Mary Jane Veloso.

 

Sign the petition calling on Pres. Widodo to stop the executions in Indonesia:  http://www.amnesty.org.au/action/action/36419/

 

Like and circulate to all networks the Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso Facebook page: http://www.fb.com/SaveMJVeloso

 

You may send your communications to:

 

H.E. President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo

Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 386 4816 /+62 21 344 2233
Email: ppid@setkab.go.id

Twitter: @jokowi_do2

 

H.E. President of the Republic of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III

Office: JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Twitter: @noynoyaquino

 

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns on extrajudicial executions

Email: eje@ohchr.org

 

Please send a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:

 

Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso

45 Cambridge St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

Telefax: (+632) 9114910

Email: migrante2007@yahoo.com.ph

Facebook: fb.com/SaveMJVeloso, fb.com/migranteinternational

Twitter: @migrante_intl

Do everything to ensure safety of four abducted Filipinos in Libya, gov’t told

03012011_stranded_ofws_migrante_libyaMigrante International condemns in strongest terms the recent abduction of four Filipinos in an attack on a Libyan oilfield last week. Migrante International holds the Philippines government accountable for the continuing danger in the lives and welfare of Filipinos in the country and other conflict-riddled parts of the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region.

Since the crisis erupted in Libya, the Philippine government has been slow to action in ensuring their safety and dilly-dallying in facilitating their urgent mass repatriation.

The news of the abduction comes in the wake of confirmed reports that another three Filipinos were abducted by Islamic State jihadists last month. Their condition remains unknown.

Last July 15, 2014, another Filipino construction worker, Antonio Espares, was beheaded by alleged militants. Espares’ wife has expressed dismay over the Aquino government’s handling of her husband’s case and the Department of Foreign Affairs’ “cavalier” attitude towards her husband’s violent death.

A few days after news of Espares’ death broke, a Filipina nurse was also gang-raped by alleged terrorists.

“The Aquino government must do everything to ensure the safety of the four abducted Filipinos. Should anything happen to them, it would mean more blood in Aquino’s hands,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

Like before, Martinez said, the Philippine government’s so-called mandatory repatriation is not working. There is no active intervention on the part of the Philippine government to locate, secure and ensure the safe passage of Filipinos from conflict areas to PH posts. Aside from announcing it, there remains no clear blueprint from the government on how the mandatory repatriation is supposed to take place.

“It is way past the time for the government to simply ‘lament’ that Filipinos are not heeding the mandatory repatriation call. They have crossed that line long ago. The Philippine government’s failure to safely secure our kababayans and to facilitate their urgent mass repatriation has caused the atrocity against one Filipina and the gruesome death of a Filipino. It is now time for accountability, the injustice done to them is the Aquino government’s fault,” he said.

Migrante International also blames the slow repatriation process on the government’s lack of a sustainable reintegration program for returning overseas Filipino workers. Of present, there are at least 13,000 Filipinos in Libya, while tens of thousands more are based in conflict-riddled Gaza, Iraq, Kuwait and Syria.

“We cannot blame our kababayans if they would opt not to return to the Philippines because no jobs, livelihood and security for their families await them here should they decide to return. The Philippine government is also mainly accountable for placing our kababayans in the situation they are in now,” Martinez said.

Lastly, Migrante International condemns the Aquino government’s continuous support for the United States despite US-backed wars in these conflict-riddled countries. Aquino’s dogged support for the US is another factor that places our OFWs in clear and present danger.

These recent atrocities and injustice against Filipinos in Libya further crystalize the demand of Filipinos all over the world to hold BS Aquino accountable for his criminal negligent and incompetent government. Migrante International reiterates the demand for Aquino to resign, or be ousted by Filipinos around the world.

The plight of OFWs in conflict-ridden areas will be one of the major issues that Migrante International will bring forth on March 17, the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion. Members of Migrante International from all over the world will march to Mendiola to reiterate their call for Aquino to step down from office. “We do not want more OFWs to die of government failure and criminal neglect. We want Aquino out.”

Migrante International is part of NOW! (Noynoy Out Now!), a broad multisectoral formation calling for Aquino’s resignation and the formation of a People’s Council to replace him. ###