DFA: Duterte did not give green light for Veloso execution

  • DFA chief denied Jakarta paper’s report of Duterte giving Veloso execution his blessing
  • He said Duterte just told Indonesian president he will respect their decision on Veloso
  • He also said Veloso’s indefinite stay of execution still stands

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the ongoing controversy involving convicted Filipina drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay denied a Jakarta Post report claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte gave his Indonesian counterpart President Joko Widodo his blessing to proceed with the execution.

In a statement shared by the DFA on its website, Yasay clarified that Duterte only told Widodo he would respect whatever decision the Indonesian government comes up with on Veloso’s fate.

“Yasay clarified further that never did Duterte give the green light to the execution of Veloso other than to tell the Indonesian President that he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case,” the statement read.

The statement also reiterated that Veloso’s stay of execution is still on pending the prosecution of her alleged recruiter in the Philippines.

“The Jakarta Post reported: “Veloso was on the execution list last year but was granted a stay of execution because her alleged boss had been arrested in the Philippines, and the authorities have requested Indonesian assistance in pursuing the case,” it said.

“Veloso was excluded indefinitely from the list of the third round of executions prepared by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in April, as legal procedures continue in a separate but related case,” it added.

Veloso has been languishing on death row since 2010 after an Indonesia court found her guilty of trying to smuggle 2.6 kilograms in her suitcase in Yogyakarta Airport.

A personal appeal by former President Benigno Aquino III to Widodo amid the allegation she was tricked into carrying the drugs by her alleged recruiter Kristin Sergio and an international drug ring saved Veloso from the firing squad at the last minute.