Bishop to Duterte: Save Mary Jane

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Mary Jane’s parents Cesar and Celia Veloso call for the release of their daughter during the candle lighting ceremony outside the Quiapo Church, Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo: Maria Tan)

MANILA, Sept. 13, 2016— A Catholic bishop appealed to the Duterte administration to save Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina domestic worker who has been sentenced to death by Indonesian courts, from execution.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of the CBCP’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said the government must exert all efforts to save Veloso from death penalty.

“It is our hope in the migrants ministry that our government continue with its appeal for her life,” stressed the prelate.

The bishop made the statement Tuesday after reports surfaced of Indonesian President Joko Widodo saying President Rodrigo Duterte gave a “go ahead” to execute Veloso.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, however, belied the report, saying Duterte “never give the green light” for Veloso’s execution.

DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte only told Widodo that he respects their judicial processes and will accept the final decision they will arrive at regarding the OFW’s case.

“It is regrettable that we are now getting conflicting reports regarding the actions of President Duterte on Mary Jane Veloso now on death row in Indonesia,” said Santos.

Santos also reiterated his call for the court to expedite the trial of the alleged recruiters of Veloso, whose execution for alleged drug trafficking was indefinitely postponed.

He said the move could save the OFW from death row.

“At the same time, we urge that the court cases against her illegal recruiters be pursued more vigorously as its resolution could help the situation of Mary Jane,” said Santos.

“Let us continue to pray for her, that her life be spared,” he added.

Veloso maintained that she was framed and duped by the three suspects into unknowingly serving as a drug mule. (CBCPNews)

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