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Militants: Mary Jane’s life is in Aquino’s hands

LAST MINUTE PRAYER. Militants light candles and offer their prayers for Mary Jane Veloso and to a stop of her execution during the vigil rally in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Makati on April 25, 2015. Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler

LAST MINUTE PRAYER. Militants light candles and offer their prayers for Mary Jane Veloso and to a stop of her execution during the vigil rally in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Makati on April 25, 2015.

Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines—After the announcement of Mary Jane Veloso’s date of execution in Indonesia last Saturday, the race for time started. Different groups led by Migrante International conduct a prayer vigil in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Makati City to call for a stay of execution, and to press the Aquino administration to act with all its power and resources.

“Aquino will have at least two days to convince President Jokowi to reconsider Mary Jane’s execution. If at the end of that period, Mary Jane is still executed, then Aquino will have another life in his hands.” said Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador on Sunday, April 26. 

Salvador said that the life of Mary Jane is in Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s hands, that the Philippine government had 5 years to ensure that Veloso gets the best possible assistance since arrested in 2010 but only provided help when her conviction was already affirmed by the Indonesian government.

Salvador added that the efforts only started again this year after a public clamor from organizations like Migrante and the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers.

“For more than 4 years, Aquino took his time to provide the much needed assistance to Mary Jane, who only had a lawyer provided by the Indonesian government, much like our Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and a student interpreter who does not even know how to translate English to Filipino. Yet the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is saying that [it has] exerted all effort for Mary Jane,” Salvador said.

3-DAY VIGIL. Migrante International members stage a prayer vigil rally in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati City on April 25, 2015 to call for President Jokowi stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso. Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler

3-DAY VIGIL. Migrante International members stage a prayer vigil rally in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati City on April 25, 2015 to call for President Jokowi stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso.

Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler

Migrante International, Gabriela and other organizations occupy the street fronting the Indonesian embassy from Sunday to April 28, Tuesday, to hold prayer vigils and programs. On Tuesday, the scheduled date of execution, the group will march to Mendiola.

“If President Aquino is really sincere in helping Mary Jane he should put pressure [on] the Indonesian government; as sign of protest he (Aquino) should recall our Ambassador in Jakarta, hold or deny all investment applications of Indonesia in the Philippines and DFA should expose the list of all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are [on] death row in different countries, and if these OFWs have lawyers or not.” said Garry Martinez, Chairperson of Migrante International. – Rappler.com