Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso

Quite a lot of cyber ink has been used regarding the case of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the two Australian nationals scheduled to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia for drug offenses. I've even posted their story myself - [Australia and Indonesia at Odds over Death Penalty.].

Being against the death penalty, I pray that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will change his mind and grant clemency, but it appears very unlikely that Chan and Sukumaran will escape execution. The pair have already been transferred to the 'Iron Prison' awaiting execution.

While, as I say, much has been written on the two Australians, very little has been written about the other death row inmates convicted of drug offenses in Indonesia. One inmate in particular is a 30 year old Filipina named Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso. According to,

Veloso, who comes from a poor family in Bulacan, north of Manila, only finished high school. She was in Malaysia supposedly to work as a domestic helper, but her would-be employer failed to meet her, the court heard on Tuesday. With two children back home, she agreed to an offer to bring two suitcases to Indonesia.

She was only supposed to bring the two suitcases with her on board the April 25, 2010, AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Yogyakarta, and someone was supposed to pick her up at the airport and get the package from her.

But that last part never happened, because she was arrested before exiting the airport. Concealed inside the suitcases were packs of heroin wrapped in aluminum foil estimated to have a street value of IDR6.5 billion at the time.

Like all the other inmates scheduled to be executed for drug offenses, President Joko Widodo has rejected her clemency request.

However, the country’s Supreme Court has agreed to review her case, giving Philippine officials and the woman’s family momentary relief.

Veloso does not speak English or Indonesian and it has been maintained that her court appointed Tagalog translator was not a qualified translator, but a student.

Being against the death penalty, I wouldn't want to see Veloso executed, even if she were guilty of the offense, but in this case, I believe her to be innocent of the charges. Knowing what I know about the situation regarding many Filipinas, I find her story absolutely credible.

I can only ask for prayers for her and her family.

1 comment:

BeeSafe Condoms said...

Beesafe Condoms have many friends in the Philippines we are praying that Mary Jane Veloso is granted clemency.