MANILA (UPDATED) – The legal counsel of the family of Mary Jane Veloso welcomed Indonesia’s reported moratorium on executions announcement on Thursday.
“If confirmed, that report is certainly welcome not only for Mary Jane Veloso but for all,” said Atty. Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and counsel of the Veloso family.
In a media briefing on Thursday, ABC‘s Indonesian correspondent Adam Harvey reported that the Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, had made the announcement.
The report said Indonesia needs to concentrate on its economy.
Atty. Olalia added, “We hope it leads to a permanent abolition in time as we have serious objections and questions about its effect and purpose in deterring crime, precludes rehabilitation and reformation, and worse, may victimize innocent individuals who are wrongly convicted for different reasons or factors.”
However, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is unsure if the Indonesian government used the word “moratorium”.
“Hindi po ako sure kung ginamit po talaga ng Indonesia yung salitang ‘moratorium’. Ang ini-report po ng ating embassy, ang sinabi ng Indonesia ay hindi daw po priority ngayon ang mga execution,” DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said.
Nevertheless, Jose said this latest development is still good news.
“Magandang balita po yan kung di nila priority ang execution, ibig sabihin walang isasagawang executions sa very near future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Veloso’s mother, Celia, urged the Philippine government to use the extended time to help speed up her daughter’s case.
“Ang mensahe ko po sa gubyerno natin, mahal na Pangulong PNoy, sana po aksiyunan ninyo na po, tulungan ninyo na po si Mary Jane para po makauwi na siya,” she said.
Veloso, a mother of two, was spared from the firing squad in April this year. She was arrested in 2010 for smuggling 2.6 kilos of heroin into Indonesia.
The Veloso family last spoke to Mary Jane last October. She said Mary Jane cried after learning that a typhoon had swept away their livelihood and damaged their home.
“OK daw po siya doon, walang problema kaya lang nalulungkot siya sa kalagayan naming na nawala po bahay at kabuhayan namin,” she said.
Despite this, Celia said she finds her daughter’s strength and faith in God as inspiration.
“Napakatibay po niya talaga. Yung ang nagpapalakas sa amin, yung tibay niya at tapang. Sa Diyos lang po siya nakapit talaga,” she said. – With a report from DZMM