Home>Editorial>Miscellaneous>As Widodo visits PH, Migrante Philippines urge: Listen to the Veloso family’s plea, #FreeMaryJaneVeloso

As Widodo visits PH, Migrante Philippines urge: Listen to the Veloso family’s plea, #FreeMaryJaneVeloso

Migrante Philippines

In time for President Widodo’s official visit to the Philippines on January 10, Migrante Philippines, a homefront organization of Filipino migrants and their families, calls on the state leader to grant Mary Jane Veloso’s freedom through clemency.

Despite her conviction and death sentence for the crime of drug trafficking in 2010, Veloso consistently asserts that she was innocent and was in fact a victim of human trafficking. Her assertion was strengthened when Celia Veloso and the rest of Mary Jane’s family stood up to reveal the family’s ordeal at the hands of Mary Jane’s traffickers.

In April 2015, as a result of a strong global campaign to save Mary Jane’s life and to deeply look into her assertion as a trafficking victim, a stay on her execution was announced by President Widodo. A case of human trafficking on behalf of Mary Jane and a separate large scale illegal recruitment case were then filed against her traffickers Julius Lacanilao and Cristina Sergio in the Regional Trial Court of Nueva Ecjia. While the trafficking case remains pending, a guilty verdict on the illegal recruitment case was already handed down by the court on 2020. These developments only prove one thing: that there is a strong legal and factual basis in Mary Jane’s assertion.

For more than 13 years now, Mary Jane and her family incessantly endure the hardship of their situation. Their lives were shattered by that trafficking incident in 2010. We are appealing to President Widodo to help the Veloso family rebuild their dreams and attain justice. For President Widodo, the Indonesian and Filipino people, clemency for Mary Jane will surely be a momentous victory against human trafficking and will leave a lasting legacy in our campaign to eradicate this global menace. President Widodo has all the power to #FreeMaryJaneVeloso. We strongly demand President Marcos to do everything in his capacity to ensure Mary Jane’s freedom.

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