By ALESSANDRA MERCADO
MANILA – A group of overseas Filipino workers challenged President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to act accordingly on the case of Filipina on death row Mary Jane Veloso, following a Supreme Court decision stating that the executive department has the prerogative to respond to changes on how to obtain her testimony per the request of the Indonesian government.
In 2019, Veloso was allowed by the Supreme Court to testify before the Philippine Consular Office and Indonesian officials in relation to the human trafficking charges against her recruiters in a court in Nueva Ecija. However, the Indonesian government proposed changes to the venue.
Read via our mirror site: SC allows Mary Jane Veloso to testify against recruiters
“Instead of immediately acting on the proposal made by the Indonesian government, the Duterte administration did not move a finger to push for Mary Jane’s deposition to show his support for the fight against human trafficking and for Mary Jane to be reunited with his family,” said Joanna Conception, chairperson of the Migrante International.
Penned by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, the high court’s decision noted that the executive branch “need not obtain the assent of the judiciary in accepting, rejecting, or modifying the conditions set by Indonesia.”
Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL) and lawyer of Veloso and her family, earlier told Rappler that the high court’s decision is good as “there is more latitude as to the specifics of the actual process and for adjustments on both sides.”
This will be the first time that Veloso will be able to testify as the Indonesian criminal justice system did not allow her.
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Full Text, read via our mirror site: Mary Jane Veloso narrates how she ended up in death row
Veloso was arrested in 2010 in Indonesia after authorities found 2.6. kilos of heroin inside her luggage. She has been sentenced to death but was given a reprieve from execution by firing squad in 2015, following calls from her supporters. (JJE, RVO)