Mary Jane Veloso’s lawyer still confident client can go home alive

  • Lawyer of convicted Filipina weighed in on Duterte and Widodo’s statement
  • He said notwithstanding nuances, the fact remains Veloso is still on death row
  • However, he’s also confident Veloso can go home alive eventually

MANILA, Philippines – Weighing in on the conflicting Jakarta Post report claiming President Rodrigo Duterte gave his blessing to go ahead with her execution and Malacañang Palace’s subsequent denials, the lawyer of condemned Filipina drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso said the statements did not change the fact that his client is still languishing on death row.

In a statement on Facebook, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary General Atty. Edre Olalia said the fact remains that Veloso’s execution has not been lifted despite the nuances in Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s statements.

“We hold on to the official line that Mary Jane has been convicted and remains on death row in accordance with Indonesia’s own laws; that her execution is postponed indefinitely to await the results of the cases in the Philippines against her alleged recruiters and traffickers; and that the issue of possible clemency at the right time independent yet complementary to such legal processes – which both countries mutually respect – remains a viable option to serve both justice and mercy,” he said.

Calling on his fellow lawyers to be “prudent and circumspect” on such a serious and sensitive issue, Olalia nevertheless also expressed confidence that Veloso can still return home alive to her family even as they plan their next move.

“Meanwhile, we await the taking of her deposition even as we regroup, look forward and await Mary Jane to come home eventually,” he said.

Veloso was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court in 2010 after her luggage in Yogyakarta Airport yielded 2.6 kilograms of heroin. Her execution has been stayed pending a probe into the recruiter and international drug ring who allegedly duped her into carrying the drugs.

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