Mary Jane Veloso made global headlines last April when she was set to be executed by firing squad for allegedly smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin into the predominantly Muslim country. Veloso was granted an 11th hour reprieve by the Indonesian government due to a last minute plea by President Benigno Aquino III as well as the surrender of her alleged recruiter, Maria Cristina Sergio. She remains at the Wirongunan Women’s Penitentiary.
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia – After their visit to Mary Jane in prison, the Velosos are now here at Prambanan temple at Borobudur Park. It is their first time to see anything in Yogyakarta, outside the prison.
After 4 visits to Indonesia, it is the first time mother Celia sees a tourist destination. The Velosos enjoy a rare day off in this country, where they are usually confined to worrying about Mary Jane.
Today, they are relaxed after seeing her for her birthday, and knowing she is safe from execution anytime soon – at least for now.
The trip comes after a visit to Mary Jane in prison earlier in the day. They bring gifts for her, while the Department of Foreign Affairs provides a small birthday feast. The family, along with lawyers, prison guards and embassy representatives sing her a happy birthday.
Her father Cesar says Mary Jane is in good spirits.
CESAR VELOSO, MARY JANE’S FATHER:
Wag kayong magalala, masaya naman anak ko. Lalo na nung nasa loob kami, sobrang saya dahil pinaliwanag namin ang suporta niyo. Tuwang tawa. nagpapasalamat siya.
(Please don’t worry, my daughter is happy. Especially when were inside, she was very happy because we told her about your support. She is grateful.)
The family will be in Yogyakarta for 3 more days and plan to visit her every day until they return to Manila. They are grateful for the time spent with her, knowing full well that Mary Jane’s fate is still very much up in the air as long as she remains on death row.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Yogyakarta. – Rappler.com
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