Alliance launched to save Mary Jane Veloso
MANILA, Philippines – A month after her execution was delayed, supporters of Mary Jane Veloso came together on Friday, May 29, to celebrate their initial triumph and to continue fighting to save the migrant Filipino's life.
Supporters launched the #SaveMaryJane Alliance to ensure there will be no delays in the legal proceedings and to continue the positive developments on Veloso’s case.
Present at the launch at the University fo the Philippines Diliman, aside from the Veloso family, were the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL), the Velosos’ private legal team in the Philippines, members of the Church Task Force to Save Mary Jane, Artists for Mary Jane, National Artist for Literature Dr Bienvenido Lumbera, members of the academe, bloggers, students, and representatives of different people’s organizations.
The execution was delayed by the Indonesian government to give way to legal proceedings in the Philippines.
The Department of Justice has found probable cause for the alleged illegal recruiter of Veloso, Kristina Sergio, and her live-in partner Julius Lacalinao, to be charged with large-scale illegal recruitment and human trafficking based on the complaints filed by the Veloso family and 11 other victims who recently surfaced.
Sergio later submitted their counter-affidavits affirming Mary Jane’s innocence.
As improvements in the case continue, the Veloso camp vows to remain vigilant until the death sentenced is lifted and her innocence is proven.
Representing Veloso, lawyer and NUPL secretary general Edre Olalia said they will continue pursuing the cases against her illegal recruiters until a favorable resolution finding them legally liable is reached – whether at the preliminary investigation stage or at the court level at the latest.
He also emphasized the plans of the legal team in order to bring Veloso back home.
“There are two tracks: the legal and the politico-diplomatic. In the former, a possible 3rd application for a judicial review remains a potential option. In the latter, an appeal for clemency, whether pardon or commutation, is a step that must be pursed the earnest,” Olalia said.
Meanwhile, Maritess Veloso, sister of Mary Jane, urged the government to pursue the immediate prosecution of Sergio and those involved in putting her sister in an unfortunate situation.
She added in Filipino: “Our family is hoping that the justice that was long denied to Mary Jane will soon be served so she can finally reunite with her two children who have been away from their mother for 5 years.”
Maritess also thanked those who continue to support Mary Jane.
“Until now, it still feels like a dream – that a simple and poor family like ours has been helped and prayed for by the world. We do not know some of you, but from the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much,” she said in Filipino.
“[May Jane’s case] should be another wake-up call that has been long in coming for the government to promptly, adequately, and sincerely address the legitimate welfare and urgent concerns of our OFWs in distress,” Olalia said. – Rappler.com
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