MANILA, April 29, 2015— The ball is now in the government’s hands to prosecute the recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso who supposedly duped her into transporting drugs into Indonesia where she was nabbed and sentenced to death, a Catholic Church official said.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said they are relieved that the execution was not carried out early this morning, giving more time for the government to save Veloso.
“So that justice may serve and innocence of Mary Jane may finally be established, let those who victimized her be prosecuted,” said Santos, head of the CBCP Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
The Indonesian government executed eight drug convicts shortly after midnight Wednesday, but spared the life of Veloso after Maria Kristina Sergio, her alleged recruiter, gave herself up to police in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier recommended the prosecution of Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, and a certain “Ike” of African descent.
Churches rang their bells at 12 noon yesterday as they joined the growing chorus for the Indonesian government to save Veloso from execution.
“It is a welcome relief for all of us, a life will not be wasted, an innocent life will not be lost. Thanks to be to God Mary is spared from painful death,” Santos said.
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“We are grateful to God. God is with us, listening to our collective prayers. And we continue to pray for Mary Jane. Prayer is power, our strength. Truly there is always hope. God always help,” he said.
The bishop also called on the government to create more jobs for Filipinos so that seeking employment abroad will be unnecessary.
Santos added that what happened to Veloso should serve as a wake-up call to the government to immediately focus on job generation programs.
“We humbly appeal for our government officials to create more and better jobs- decent, secured and stable – so that they don’t have to migrate for greener pastures,” he said. “Let us continue to pray unceasingly and protect our OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers),” he said. (CBCPNews)