Palace denies Duterte’s approval of Mary Jane’s execution

  • Malacañang said Duterte only told Widodo that he will not interfere with Indonesian laws
  • This was said in the context of the execution of Filipino migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo reportedly said that ‘Duterte gave the go signal for Veloso’s execution’

Malacañang on Monday, September 12, clarified reports which said Indonesian President Joko Widodo has disclosed that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave a “go signal” for the execution of detained overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Duterte only told Widodo: “follow your own laws and I will not interfere.”

Indonesia’s major daily, The Jakarta Post, said earlier in the day that Widodo has confirmed Duterte’s green light regarding Veloso’s execution.

“President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution,” Widodo was quoted as saying via the post.

“I have explained to [Duterte] about Mary Jane’s situation and I told him that Mary Jane [has been found guilty] for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. I also told him about the delay in the execution during the meeting,” he reportedly said.

Duterte met with Widodo last Friday. Upon his return to the Philippines, he refused to disclose what he and the Indonesian leader talked about. The Philippine President has also earlier said that he is ready to accept Veloso’s fate.

Veloso is an OFW detained in Indonesia after authorities found heroin in the luggage she brought. She was found guilty and was up for execution last year. But in the wake of a massive campaign against it, Widodo spared Veloso’s life and postponed the execution.

Veloso, for her part, has appealed to Duterte to help her in the case.

“I’ve been suffering for so long here in Indonesia, suffering even though I am innocent. You are my only hope,” an audio recording of her was quoted in a Rappler story.

“I’ve been in Indonesia for almost 7 years now, and I still haven’t been given justice. That’s all I ask from you – give me justice,” she added.