JAKARTA, Indonesia (4th UPDATE) – Indonesia will execute 9 drug convicts, including 8 foreigners, at 1:00 am Wednesday, April 29 (midnight, Indonesian time), Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo confirmed.
“The execution of nine convicts will be carried out after midnight,” Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo told reporters.
At around 8:00 pm, Manila time, the attorney general started telling representatives of embassies whose citizens are set to be executed to proceed to the prosecutor’s office in Cilacap.
Philippine representatives got a call at 8:20 pm to attend a 9 pm meeting. This is the official signal that executions will proceed. (READ: Indonesia Attorney General: Executions will proceed)
Indonesia is executing a total of 9 convicted of drug trafficking – two from Australia, one each from Brazil and the Philippines, and 4 from Africa. The last one to be executed by firing squad is Indonesian.
The prosecutor has told Mary Jane’s Indonesian lawyer that she is third in line.
Mary Jane’s mother Celia said she had a message for her sons: “Magmahalan kayo, huwag kayo mag-aaway. Yung tatay niyo, may asawa nang iba, ako mawawala na. Pag makulit kayo, kukurutin ko kayo. O pag may naramdaman kayong malamig, ako na yun.”
(Love each other, don’t fight. Your father has another wife and I will be gone. If you are rowdy, I will pinch you. If you feel anything cold, that’s me.)
No blindfold and handcuffs
Celia also said her daughter does not want to be blindfolded and handcuffed during the execution. She’s not afraid, according to Mary Jane’s mother.
Reacting to the final execution order, Celia said, “Kung mayaman lang kami, nagbayad na ako para hindi mabitay anak ko. Ganyan talaga pag mahirap, walang hustisya.” (If only we were rich, I would have paid to save my daughter from execution. If you’re poor, you don’t get justice.)
Mary Jane’s brother Christopher echoed his mother’s sentiments. “Mahirap lang kasi kami kaya di kami pinaglaban. Pero sabi nga ni Mary Jane, huwag tayo magalit sa mga taong gumawa nito sa kanya. Ang bait ng kapatid ko, mamamatay na lang, ibang tao pa din ang iniisip.”
(Because we are poor they did not fight for us. But as Mary Jane said, we should not be angry at those who did this to her. Even if she’s about to be executed, my sister is still thinking of others.)
Delaying her execution
The attorney general said of Mary Jane: “It’s alibi, she said she could not speak Indonesian language and English, and could only speak Tagalog. The other excuse is she was victim. It’s only excuse to delay the execution.”
Veloso’s sisters, Maritess and Darling, are on the island with Philippine Consul General Robert Manalo and Indonesian lawyers Agus Salim. Father Bernard Kieser, Veloso’s spiritual adviser, is also with Mary Jane.
Veloso’s family is expected to start traveling to Jakarta by land at about 10 pm, Manila time, to retrieve her body when it arrives.
The ambulance that will carry Mary Jane’s body will go straight to Jakarta from Cilacap, and will be escorted by a police patrol. The convoy is expected to arrive in Jakarta early Wednesday.
The Veloso family is hoping to repatriate Mary Jane’s body by Thursday, April 30, but may have to wait until Friday, May 1, if not all legal documents are completed.
Lawyer Edre Olalia of the National Union of People’s Lawyers said in a statement: “No more concrete and realistic expectation the decision will change. Let’s brace for it. Preparations here are shifting to implementation of the sentence anytime, most probably by midnight. I hope we are darn wrong. Profoundest apologies for failing Mary Jane, her family and all migrant workers. I could not bring Darren’s mom home alive.”
Celia Veloso told Rappler about a conversation she had with her daughter on how she wants to be buried. She said she wanted a white dress, and for her make-up to be done by her sister.” – Jet Damazo-Santos/Rappler.com with reports from Agence France-Presse