Somewhere out there, a dazed and vulnerable young single mother sits alone and stays up in what seems like endless nights in a cold dingy cell far, far away from her little children and waiting for what seems to be the inevitable. How could one erase the image of that forlorn look on Mary Jane Veloso’s face? 20 years after Flor Contemplacion.
Mary Jane is a victim not only of soulless creatures who took advantage of her desperation but ultimately of this government and our society that push our poor, young and hopeless to leave everything and risk anything in order to put food on the table and chase their simple dream of living like human beings. 20 years after Flor.
20 years after Flor, Mary Jane is but another dispensable commodity of a government who now fall all over itself to save her after apparently doing too little and too late again. Serious and credible allegations that she was not only deceived and set up but also effectively denied basic due process to adequately defend herself mandate that she be given a fair chance to legally establish her innocence. After all, there is no further motion for reconsideration in the afterlife.
20 years after Flor, seemingly hard and cold yet fallible laws in faraway lands are poised to ignore all humanitarian pleas storming the heavens with prayers to save the life of Mary Jane.
20 years before Mary Jane, we did not want to see Flor’s stoic face or hear her pained moan crying for mercy and justice as she was delivered to the gallows.
Against all odds, fast and furious steps in local and international venues are again being explored and exhausted by a team of Filipino rights lawyers just recently retained by Mary Jane’s family to help stop her unjust execution in Indonesia. 20 years after Flor. #
Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General
Note: Atty. Edre Olalia is the lead counsel of the recently-formed legal team for the #SaveMaryJaneVeloso campaign. He was also part of the legal team for Flor Contemplacion, led by the late Atty. Romy Capulong, 20 years ago. – Migrante International Media Desk