01:10 PM July 11th, 2015
CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
An official of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas will ask Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare Mary Jane Veloso’s life.
Fr. Resty Ogsimer, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMIP), told Radyo Veritas that Villegas, who is the CBCP President, and ECMIP chairman Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos will write to Widodo on Saturday.
“Basically the task force against death penalty of Mary Jane Veloso, the president of CBCP and the chairman of the commission, Bishop Santos, will write a letter to Indonesian President Widodo to bolster our appeal,” Ogsimer said in Filipino.
He added that it would be better for different sectors to send a letter to give more weight to the appeal.
He said the organization is optimistic that Veloso, who is convicted of drug trafficking after being caught in possession of 2.6 kilograms of heroin, will be spared by the Indonesian government even after Ramadan ends next week.
They believe Veloso is a victim of human trafficking.
The priest revealed that the CBCP-ECMIP held a meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to discuss the status of Veloso’s case.
Ogsimer said he is banking on the promise of the Indonesian ambassador that Veloso will remain on a temporary reprieve until the Philippine court decides on the case of her alleged recruiter Ma. Cristina Sergio.
Sergio is being accused of duping Veloso into becoming a drug courier and scamming other people. Recently, the Department of Justice found probable cause to charge Sergio and her partner Julius Lacanlilao with illegal recruitment and estafa. ID