2020-10-23

Veloso’s execution not annulled, says Joko Widodo

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reaffirmed on April 29 that the government had postponed the execution of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, due to new evidence to be presented in a Philippine court.

“There’s a letter from the Philippines [explaining about] human trafficking. It is a postponement [of the execution], not an annulment,” he said on same day that Veloso was scheduled to face the firing squad.

Widodo denied the decision was influenced by the Philippine government via a telephone conversation minutes before the planned execution, and said he had discussed the issue with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Veloso was given a temporary reprieve from her scheduled execution on Wednesday morning because of  a request from the Philippine president in relation to alleged human trafficking.

Veloso is required to testify as a witness as she is one of the alleged trafficking victims of Maria Kristina Sergio, who voluntarily turned herself in to the police on Tuesday, one day before the scheduled execution.

As of press time, the Indonesian government has rejected requests from the Philippines to allow Mary Jane Veloso to testify in person — thus, the Filipino prisoner will not be allowed to leave Indonesia. There is strong possibility that the testimony of Veloso will be done via video conference and/or written deposition.