Duterte to fly to Indonesia for a working visit, urged to seek mercy for Mary Jane Veloso

  • President Duterte will fly to Indonesia for a 24-hour working visit following the ASEAN Summit that will close on September 8
  • The President will meet his Indonesian counterpart on September 9
  • Duterte is being urged to appeal for the life of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina drug convict on Indonesia’s death row

After the closing of the ASEAN Summit in Laos on September 8, President Rodrigo Duterte will fly to Jakarta, Indonesia for a 24-hour working visit before returning to Manila.

“President Duterte will fly to Jakarta for a working visit on September 8 and spend the night there. On the following day, Duterte will meet President Jokowi and will thereafter fly back home to the Philippines,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

The agenda for the two leaders’ meeting is still to be confirmed, but Abella said maintaining maritime security in the waters of Indonesia and the Philippines is one of the priorities to be discussed.

According to Rappler, other possible topics to be discussed are the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group that is responsible for the abduction of several Indonesian nationals. There are currently 10 Indonesians being held captive by the bandits, better economic cooperation, rule of law on the South China Sea and war against illegal drugs.

President Duterte is being urged to “bring home” Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina on death row in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

National Union of People’s Lawyers secretary general Edre Olalia, who is helping Veloso, said President Duterte “is in the best position to take up Mary Jane’s cause, for it is only fitting for a leader with such a hard stance on the infectious drug menace to ask compassion for one of its unwitting victims.”

Veloso was arrested in April 2010 after the drugs were found in her luggage.

President Duterte said he would appeal for Veloso’s life, but is ready to accept whatever will be Widodo’s decision on the Filipina’s case.