JAKARTA, Indonesia – Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, who is on death row in Indonesia for allegedly smuggling drugs in the predominantly Muslim country, was captured enjoying an art show on Monday, November 9.
Wearing a light blue collared shirt, jeans and a purple watch, Veloso was seen clapping, smiling and cheering for performers, looking happy and laid-back. Her hair was tied up in a ponytail with a blue scrunchie. She was also captured smiling for photos with other inmates. The group watched art performances at the IIB prison in Yogyakarta.
The photos are a stark difference from previous photos of a dejected and helpless looking Veloso before she was almost executed in April. Veloso became well-known after she was spared from execution on April 29.
The 8 others – 7 foreigners and one Indonesian – were put to death on a prison island after Indonesia defied international criticism and heartrending pleas from relatives, but Veloso was spared “because there was a last-minute plea from the Philippine President. There was someone who surrendered today. She claimed she was the one who recruited Mary Jane,” said Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo.
In 2010, Indonesia sentenced the 30-year-old Veloso to death on charges of drug smuggling. Veloso, a single mother of two from Nueva Ecija, had flown to Malaysia with the intention of securing a job as a domestic helper. She claimed that her recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, had duped her into flying to Indonesia and bringing a suitcase with 2.6 kilograms of heroin hidden in the lining. Veloso has consistently maintained her innocence.
Veloso is still on death row, but her execution has no scheduled date.
All photos are courtesy of Rappler.
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