MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing champ and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao is set to fulfill his promise to visit Filipino death convict Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia.
Migrante International told Rappler it learned from their colleagues in Indonesia that the Pacquiaos, who left for Indonesia on Tuesday, July 7, will stay in Yogyakarta and Semarang for 3 days.
“We thank and salute Representative Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee for their visit to human trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia. This means so much to the Veloso family, especially to her sons,” Migrante International said in a statement on Wednesday, July 8.
On Tuesday, July 7, Pacquiao posted a photo of him and his wife on his Instagram account, saying they were off to Indonesia.
Pacquiao, who is vice chair of the House committee on migrant workers’ affairs, had joined Filipinos and the international community in asking Indonesian President Joko Widodo to save Veloso who was set to be executed for drug trafficking charges. (READ: Pacquiao begs Indonesian leader: Save Mary Jane)
When he was training for his May 2 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pacquiao promised he would visit Veloso after the bout.
Veloso was scheduled for execution on April 29 but was granted a last-minute reprieve following an international, multisectoral effort to save her life. She is detained at the Wirogunan prison in Yogyakarta, where she awaits developments on her case and the government appeal to spare her from execution.
“Nagpapasalamat kami. Matutuwa si Mary Jane na makita sila Manny. Idolo siya ni Mary Jane. Sa pag-uusap nila, mapapagaan ni Manny kung may lungkot siyang nararamdaman. Kung matatag siya dati, mas magiging matatag siya ngayon,” Laurente told Rappler, speaking on behalf of the Velosos.
(We are grateful. Mary Jane will be happy to see them. Manny is Mary Jane’s idol. Manny can console Mary Jane. If she was already strong before, Manny’s visit will make her even stronger.)
Laurente said the last time they spoke on the phone this month, Veloso expressed sadness over the slow pace of the legal proceedings in the Philippines
“Nagtatanong siya palagi: ‘Kumusta na ang kaso?’ Kinakamusta niya mga anak niya (She always asks: ‘How’s the case?’ She always asks about her sons),” she said.
#SaveMaryJane appeal revived
The cases of illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking filed by Veloso and her family against Kristina “Tintin” Sergio and Julius Lacanilao are still awaiting resolution at the Department of Justice.
Laurente said her family and lawyers will meet with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on July 9 to inquire about developments on the pending criminal cases.
“Mary Jane remains on the brink of death for as long as the death sentence is not lifted,” said Migrante International secretary general Sol Pillas.
PIllas added, “It is incumbent upon the DOJ and the PH government to act with considerable haste and urgency, and to regularly update its counterpart, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and the Veloso family, on the developments of the cases filed against Sergio etal.”
The migrants rights group said it is bringing the change.org/savemaryjane petition to the streets with a target of one million signatures to #SaveMaryJane. The online petition has already about 430,000 supporters to date. (READ: SIGN THE PETITION: Join global action to #SaveMaryJane)
“We need to convey anew to the Indonesian government that there is an ongoing widespread worldwide appeal to #SaveMaryJane as they prepare for scheduled executions post-Ramadan,” Pillas said. – Rappler.com