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Christian youth group joins calls for release of Filipino woman on death row in Indonesia

Veloso is currently detained in Indonesia and is facing the death penalty after she was arrested in 2010 for drug trafficking

The Student Christian Movement of the Philippines joined other faith-based organizations in calling for the release of Mary Jane Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker who has been on death row for 12 years in Indonesia.

“She has been languishing in jail for the past 12 years due to the lack of will of past administrations. Her Calvary must stop soonest,” said Kej Andres, SCMP national spokesperson.

“No ifs no buts, Mary Jane Veloso must be brought home safely to her family. We are fervently praying and urging for a miracle,” he added during a media briefing on Monday, September 5.

The call was made as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. went to Indonesia this week for a state visit.



Church groups have called on Marcos to urge the Indonesian government to provide clemency to Veloso “under humanitarian grounds.”

“We urge President Marcos Jr. to be guided by conscience and to show political will to appeal for the safe release and repatriation of Mary Jane Veloso based on humanitarian grounds,” said Andres.

He said the government “must not proceed with uncertainty,” saying that “while cautious, the government must also proceed with urgency and decisiveness.”

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“Any inaction and unwillingness to bring back Mary Jane Veloso home safely would reflect how this administration is set to treat the more than two million [overseas Filipino workers] abroad,” said Andres.

On Sunday, the presidential palace skirted the question on the possibility of Marcos bringing up the case of Veloso in his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“We can’t say officially, perhaps it will be broached by both parties by one or both parties — we’ll have to see,” said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

“I understand that since it’s a pending issue. It may be inescapable. We will announce if it is taken up,” she said.

Veloso is currently detained in Indonesia and is facing the death penalty after she was arrested in 2010 at the Yogyakarta airport for bringing in more than two kilograms of heroin.

She was supposed to be executed by firing squad in 2015 but she was spared after Philippine authorities informed their Indonesian counterparts that her recruiters were already under police custody.

Veloso denied knowledge of the drugs she was carrying, insisting that the luggage she had was given to her by her recruiters.

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