Attorney General says Filipina convicted of drug smuggling won't be executed until legal process in Philippines concludes
Indonesia's attorney general reiterated Saturday that the possible execution of a Filipina convicted of drug smuggling would be held off until a legal process involving her alleged recruiters concludes in the Philippines.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a single mother of two, had been seeking work in Malaysia as a maid when she was arrested with 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her luggage at Yogyakarta airport, Java island, in April 2010.
She was due to be shot by firing squad in April 2015 with seven foreigners, but was granted a temporary reprieve after her alleged recruiter surrendered to Philippines police.
Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said Saturday that his office would act according to a statement by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in which he expressed respect for the legal process in Indonesia earlier this month.
"It does not mean that they gave the green light [for execution] ... We are still waiting for the legal process in Manila," detik.com quoted Prasetyo as saying.
He insisted, however, that it was "not possible" for Jakarta to comply with Manila's request that Veloso be allowed to travel to testify as a victim in the human trafficking case due to her status as a convict in Indonesia.
He reiterated the offer that Philippines officials could meet with Veloso in an Indonesian prison, from where she could also provide testimony via teleconference.
"They [the Philippines] have to accept what is our rule just as we accept to follow the legal process there," Prasetyo stressed.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Migrant Workers' Network urged President Joko Widodo to call off the execution to some women suspected of being victims of human trafficking, including Veloso.
"Mary Jane is just a victim as well as dozens of Indonesian migrant women who are also being threatened with the death penalty abroad," its coordinator Sringatin, who like many Indonesians uses only 1 name, said in a statement Saturday.
"The decision to execute Mary Jane did not consider the fate of 209 Indonesian migrant workers [threatened with the death penalty], 63 of whom are women who are awaiting execution abroad," she added.
Indonesia has some of the harshest anti-narcotic laws in the world. Widodo declared a "drug emergency" last year, on the grounds that such use reportedly kills around 40-50 people in the country daily.
In late July, Indonesia executed 1 national and 3 foreigners convicted of drug smuggling.
Last year's executions were heavily criticized by the international community, with some countries -- whose nationals had been put to death -- withdrawing ambassadors from Jakarta.
Source: worldbulletin.net, September 17, 2016
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