FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Monday denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go-signal for the execution of Filipina drug convict Mary Jane Veloso, who remains on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling.
In a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs that echoed Malacañang’s, Yasay said Duterte only told Indonesian President Joko Widodo that “he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case.”
Duterte travelled to Indonesia last week to meet with Indonesian president Joko Widodo on bilateral issues, among them to appeal for pardon for Veloso.
READ MORE: Duterte to appeal for Veloso’s life
“President Duterte has not given green light for Mary Jane’s execution,” said Yasay in a statement on Monday.
During the bilateral meeting, Yasay said the President told his Indonesian counterpart that “he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding the case.”
Jakarta Post report
This was after The Jakarta Post reported that Duterte had given the “go-ahead” to proceed with Veloso’s execution.
“President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution,” Jokowi was quoted as saying by Antara news agency in Serang, Banten as reported by The Jakarta Post.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella also echoed Yasay’s clarification at a press conference at Malacañang.
After Duterte’s working visit to Indonesia and meeting with Widodo last week, Yasay said Veloso’s execution was deferred because it was not an “urgent issue.”
Veloso, who was arrested at Adisucipto Airport in Yogkayarta in April 2010, was temporarily spared the firing squad in April last year.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose told the Inquirer that Veloso’s case in Indonesia depends on the success of prosecuting the recruiter of Veloso.
He said President Duterte did not press for pardon for Veloso since the parallel case against the recruiter is ongoing in the Philippines.
“That (appeal for pardon) will come after the trial of Mary Jane’s alleged recruiter, depending on the outcome of the trial,” said Jose in a text message to Inquirer.
The parents of Veloso along with members of OFW group-Migrante International held a candle lighting at Plaza Miranda last Friday to seek for pardon for their daughter who had been jailed in Indonesia for the last six years. JE/rga/ac