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Philippines vows legal fight to save Filipina in Indonesia

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philippinesThe Philippines will “exhaust all possible legal means” to save a Filipina who is on death row in Indonesia after being convicted of drug trafficking, the foreign ministry said Friday.

A second appeal to reconsider the death sentence of Mary Jane Veloso was being considered after Indonesia’s Supreme Court rejected her request for judicial review, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose said.

“We will continue to exhaust all possible legal means to save the life of Mary Jane Veloso,” Jose told AFP.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, the presidential envoy for migrant workers’ concerns, also issued a public statement pleading to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to lower Veloso’s sentence.

“I ask this, with the deepest bond of brotherhood and friendship of our peoples, a bond that I am confident will only grow stronger in the years to come,” Binay said in a statement.

The Indonesian Supreme Court rejected Veloso’s appeal on Wednesday without providing details. The decision was announced Thursday on its website.

Veloso sought a judicial review saying she did not have a capable interpreter during her trial, Jose said.

She was caught at Yogyakarta airport, on the main island of Java, carrying 2.6 kilogrammes (5.73 pounds) of heroin on a flight from Malaysia in April 2010.

Aside from Veloso, convicts from Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana and Nigeria are set to face a firing squad after they had their requests for presidential clemency rejected.

Jakarta had said that it would execute all 10 convicts — nine foreigners and one Indonesian — at the same time, but would wait until their outstanding legal appeals are resolved.

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, leaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug-smuggling gang, as well as Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, have appeals pending.

In January, Indonesia sparked a diplomatic firestorm after it executed six drug convicts, including five foreigners.

Widodo, who projects a reformist image, has disappointed rights activists by supporting the death penalty



1 Comment
  • Emenike Onwubiko

    I believe this one case will open the door of friendship, respect and prestige for lndonesia. Because, capital punishment for an offence that revolves around an issue that involves individual choice, like drug use, looks somewhat barbaric.