Fil-Am activists call for clemency for death row Pinay in Indonesia

SAN FRANCISCO – At the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco these Filipino American activists called on Indonesian president Joko Widodo to spare the life of OFW Mary Jane Veloso, who was sentenced to death for drug smuggling.

“We ask for clemency from the Indonesian government in review of her case where we heard that there were actually problems with the translations,” said Terry Vallen, president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.

“We know that she didn’t do anything wrong,” said Bernadette Herrera, representative of Migrante Northern California. “From hearing her story, she’s just another victim.”

They say that time is of the essence because Veloso’s execution date is to be set this week.

“For the most part Filipino overseas workers are respecting local laws but what happens occasionally is that the get caught in situations where they are convicted wrongfully of crimes that did not commit,” said Vallen.

The activists were able to speak to a consulate representative who received their letter and heard their concerns.

In an audio interview with ABS-CBN News Veloso remains fearless even in the face of death but is concerned with the well-being of her family.

“I love you all very much,” said Veloso. “Don’t worry about me because I know God has good plans out of what’s happening. I’m not scared if God wants this to happen. I will accept it wholeheartedly. I am always thinking of you– my family… mother, father and my children. What will be their future without me?”

President Benigno Aquino III has also sought for clemency by delivering a third letter of appeal to the Indonesian government.

Meanwhile Migrante and the National Union of People’s Lawyers are seeking for a second judicial review of Veloso’s case by submitting evidence against her recruiter.

“We filed the human trafficking case against Cristina Sergio first and the mother agreed to file the case,” said Connie Regaldo, board member of Migrante International. “We are pushing for a second judicial review. We are trying to give new evidence.”

These Fil-Am activists will continue to fight for Veloso by returning to the Indonesian consulate on Thursday as part of an international day of action.

Follow Rommel Conclara on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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