MANILA -– The Philippines can appeal from Indonesia to grant clemency for Mary Jane Veloso if her alleged recruiters will be found guilty, a Palace spokesperson said Tuesday.
”What (is) important is to push through the judicial process. Let’s push through the case against her recruiters, if the recruiters proved guilty, we can appeal for clemency,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press briefing.
Abella explained that the Philippines cannot ask for clemency for Veloso since her execution had already been indefinitely deferred.
”Therefore, there was no need to make a plea for clemency as there was no scheduled execution,” he clarified.
In 2010, Veloso was convicted by the Indonesian government for smuggling 2.5 kilogram of heroin where drug trafficking is punishable by death.
Veloso’s execution had been deferred after the Philippine government requested to allow Veloso to testify against her recruiters.
Maria Christina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, the alleged recruiters of Veloso, are facing charges in a Philippine court for allegedly duping Veloso into bringing the heroin to Indonesia.
”Indonesia had previously agreed to allow Ms. Veloso to testify to the deposition at the criminal prosecution of her illegal recruiters in the Philippines,” Abella said.
Meanwhile, the Palace official reiterated that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did not give Indonesia President Joko Widodo green light to the execution of Veloso.
”What PRRD and President Widodo talked about, that number one, he respects the judicial processes of Indonesia; that he will accept whatever final decisions they will have on Veloso. This is assuming already that Veloso would have testified,” Abella said.
”And these statements were interpreted as a go signal or ‘green light’ by the foreign press,” he added. Jelly Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com