PH not informed of Mary Jane's transfer to island
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday, April 24, said Indonesia did not inform Philippine embassy officials about the transfer of a Filipino convict to a prison island where she will likely be executed by firing squad.
"Lawyers and the embassy were not notified in advance of the transfer," Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message Friday.
The Indonesian government transferred Mary Jane Veloso, a 30-year-old Filipina on Indonesia's death row, around an hour after her family arrived in Indonesia.
Indonesian officials moved her to the Nusa Kambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, at around 1 am on Friday. Veloso's mother and children arrived in Indonesia from the Philippines around midnight.
The visit of Veloso's family – including her two children, 12-year-old Mark Daniel and 6-year-old Mark Darren – was feared to be a final reunion.
Veloso did not meet her family that night.
The Philippine government is arranging the family's visit to the prison island.
Prisoners on death row transferred
In his text message to reporters, Jose also confirmed that the Indonesian government "has ordered all prisoners up for execution, with or without pending appeals, to be transferred to the island."
The Indonesian government has not announced an execution date. The government notifies convicts about the date 72 hours before the execution takes place. (READ: FAST FACTS: Executions in Indonesia)
Veloso's transfer came after the Indonesian government said Thursday, April 23, it had ordered officials to make preparations to execute a group of drug convicts, most of them foreigners, despite mounting international criticism.
Ten convicts – from Australia, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana, and Indonesia – will face the firing squad at the same time after recently losing appeals for presidential clemency, typically the final chance to avoid execution. (READ: Jokowi on pleas for Mary Jane: Respect our laws)
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has written Indonesian President Joko Widodo to seek clemency for Veloso, but Widodo has not responded to Aquino's appeal.
Veloso's mother, Celia, has called on Widodo to "have mercy" on her daughter. – with reports from Prima Sulistya and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com