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6:07 pm on 4 September 2022, Sunday
By Patricia Francia Lachica
Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas reiterated her plea for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to seek "executive clemency" for Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina sentenced to death due to alleged drug trafficking, following the chief executive's first state visit to Indonesia.
"There is no compelling reason for Marcos Jr. to backtrack from his agenda of bringing up Veloso's case when he meets Indonesian President Widodo. Sinabi na ng DFA last week sa budget hearing na tatalakayin ito sa state visit, kaya tuparin sana ito," said Rep. Brosas.
(The Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA] said last week in the budget hearing that it will be discussed during the state visit, so hopefully, it will be fulfilled)
The lawmaker representing the women’s sector also emphasized that most victims of human trafficking are Filipinas, and Veloso has been "languishing in jail for so long for a crime she didn't commit.”
"There are currently 65 Filipinos facing the death row, most of whom are women and nearly half are in Malaysia, according to the DFA. Dapat magkaroon ng agarang aksyon sa mga kasong ito at palakasin ang mga mekanismo kontra human trafficking," she added.
(There should be immediate action in these cases and strengthen anti-human trafficking mechanisms)
Meanwhile, Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople, however, said that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would handle Veloso's case as DFA has the "institutional knowledge" about the issue.
Press Secretary Trixie-Cruz Angeles also stated that "for matters of this sensitive nature, the President cannot say more than that" regarding the topic.
Marcos has a three-day state visit to Indonesia from September 4 to 6. He is ala set to visit Singapore.