Save Mary Jane Veloso! Stop the
Picket rallies at the Indonesian embassy
Makati City, Camarines Sur/Norte
April 25-27, 2015
|Luis Jalandoni, Indonesian embassy, Makati City|
Indonesian embassy, Makati City
Photos by Arkibong Bayan, Alnie
Foja, Cam Coy, Paul Casilihan, Charlotte Robles Job Despuez (CJ), Joms
Kadamay Cam Sur, Karlos Isagani, Kathy Yamzon, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Sammy Malunes, and Vencer Crisostomo
as indicated by the filenames
L-R Atty. Minnie Lopez and Atty. Edre Olalia of NUPL, Maritess (sister), Cesar (father) and associates of Rudyantho & Partners Law Firm. Jakarta, Indonesia, April 22, 2015.
Mary Jane Veloso Update
27 April 2015
For now, we all should fight tooth and nail to save the life of Mary Jane and bring her back home.
Atty. Edre U.Olalia
NUPL Secretary General
Philippine private lawyers of
Mary Jane and Veloso family
UP Diliman campus
April 25, 2015
|Former Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino|
|Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador|
INDONESIAN EMBASSY, MAKATI CITY
April 26-27, 2015
2015 BY BM_ADMIN
Philippine Peace Center
4/F Kaija Bldg. 7836 Makati Ave cor Valdez St.,Makati City, MM
Tel-(632) 8993439; Fax-(632) 8993416
Like millions of our countrymen, Mary Jane’s travails were born out of desperation and a burning desire to earn more for her loved ones, even if it meant long periods of separation from them, loneliness, physical hardships, and the all too real risk of being duped by their recruiters and maltreated by their foreign employers. Mary Jane’s only mistake, if it can be called one, was to be too trusting of her “kinakapatid” while being too daring and self-sacrificing to face unknown consequences in order to lift her family from the depths of poverty and misery.
Even with death squarely staring at her face, Mary Jane shows her paramount concern for her family’s wellbeing above her own as she comforts her children, parents and siblings from their anguish as she calmly accepts whatever fate should befall her.
We cannot in conscience merely sit back and watch as someone with the heart and will of Mary Jane is unjustly tried and condemned to die. If she dies, the hopes and future of her loved ones, nay, of millions of other Filipinos, could die with her.
All is not lost. There is time and space left, however minute, to seek and find justice for Mary Jane. A ray of hope shines from the appeal for a second judicial review on the grounds that she is a victim of human trafficking, not the drug trafficker she had been convicted for. Tthere are strong moral and legal arguments on the basis of international law for this. Time—or the lack of it – stands as the most formidable obstacle to attaining justice for Mary Jane and saving her life.
We thus join the millions of voices calling on the Indonesian government and courts for a second judicial review of Mary Jane’s case.
We deplore the Philippine government’s long-standing policy and practice of intervening into our OFWs’ cases in foreign courts only when and after a conviction has been passed upon them, and doing so only perfunctorily in most cases. Under President Aquino’s term alone, seven OFWs have been convicted and exectuted in foreign lands. Mary Jane was convicted five years ago after what even the UN has labelled an unfair trial, as she was not provided a competent interpreter. But it was only a two weeks ago, pressed by progressive migrant organizations and private people’s lawyers assistin the family, that the Philippine government filed the appeal for a second judicial review.
The case of Mary Jane clearly exposes this official and institutionalized neglect and callousness, if not hypocrisy at its worst. The OFWs, in the first place, are forced to seek greener pastures abroad because they can find no hope here at home to alleviate their families’ condition. Moreover, it is the OFWs’ remittances, squeezed out of their blood, sweat and tears, that keep our economy afloat and our people more tolerant of the entire social system. There is no excuse for not providing legal protection and assistance, at the outset, to those who government lionizes as “Bayani ng Bayan”.
In this connection, we reiterate our call for the immediate resumption of the GPH-NDFP peace talks as the worsening social and economic crisis relentlessly victimizes Mary Jane Veloso and tens and millions of our countrymen. We call on the two Parties to muster the political will to negotiate the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) especially in the light of the continuing global and domestic economic crisis that threatens to wreak more hardships and misery for our people.
Reference: Rey Claro Casambre, Executive Director; Mobile # 09436861956
27 April 2015
On police blockades and dispersal of protest action for Mary Jane: Actions speak louder than words
The Philippine government is uncharacteristically quick on the draw on people's spontaneous protests outside the Indonesian embassy today, in stark contrast to its slow, languid action to help save Mary Jane Veloso from death row.
Police are aggressively dispersing picketers and have barricaded roads to the embassy, pointedly assaulting a legitimate exercise of rights and heartlessly dismissing people's prayers and sympathies for Mary Jane.
Where the government has failed, the people have stepped in, appealing through all avenues - the courts, the streets, the internet - and exhausting all means of securing reprieve for Mary Jane. So how dare now it resist and curtail one urgent, important aspect of the people's campaign?
Actions speak louder than words. This government is not doing anything for Mary Jane, despite its overwrought claims - it's acting against her interests. Noynoy Aquino, an epic fail at saving lives and a dry well for empathy, by classic omission and terrible deed, is making sure a Filipina dies on Tuesday.
Atty. Maria Cristina Yambot-Tanseco
private counsel of Mary Jane Veloso and family
Assistant Secretary General for Education
1pm, 27 April, 2015
Keep Up the Pressure, More Signatories Needed!
Our online petition, highlighting our belief that Mary Jane Veloso was a victim of human trafficking and innocent of knowingly carrying drugs to Indonesia, has already soared past 28,000 signatories from across the Philippines and around the world. Meanwhile, a sister petition posted more recently by citizens of Indonesia in Bahasa Indonesia is quickly gaining ground with almost 9,000 online signatories.
“We are very thankful to everyone who has signed. We are calling for MORE AND MORE signatures. We need to send a clear message to Indonesian President Joko Widodo that the people of the Philippines, Indonesia, and the world want him to:Stop the Execution and Save Mary Jane!” said Mr. Nardy Sabino, spokesperson, Church Task Force to Save Mary Jane Veloso.
As Mary Jane’s 72-hours rush by, Church leaders continue to appeal for the people of the Philippines to join in the effort to stop the execution of Mary Jane, through the petition at www.change.org/savemaryjane. Many have already signed, but many more are needed.
Jessica Richard, Feminist Theologian from India posted, “[Mary Jane] was a pawn and doesn't deserve the punishment that should be meted out to those that used her.”
While Omega Bula, General Secretary, Peace for Life explained, “Women remain the most vulnerable persons of the ills of unbridled, neo-liberal market economies. We must stop the execution and save the life of Mary Jane Veloso, who was a victim of Human Trafficking because of her joblessness and poverty.”
Many like the Rev. Fr. Gener Garcia from the Philippines posted, “I signed because she is a victim.”
Or petitioners cited that Mary Jane is innocent and trafficked, like the Rev. Luis Daniel Pantoja when he posted, “I believe she is innocent and was framed by human traffickers to be a drug mule without her knowing it.”
Still others spoke about injustice like the Rev. Kathryn Schreiber of the United Church of Christ-USA who called for others to sign the petition for Mary Jane who has been “unjustly accused.”
Signers of the petition are also joining PCPR’s global call to action to create a twitter storm to President Joko Widodo. The World Council of Churches joined by retweeting this global call to their world-wide network of member churches.
At the same time, signatures are also being collected on paper at different churches and public gathering places, so that those who are not internet savvy can also participate.
“We know that we live in a cyber-connected world, this was why we initiated the online petition. We are committed to showing that people believe Mary Jane, when she says that she is innocent of knowingly bringing drugs into Indonesia,” said Sabino.
“Our petition has gathered the support of Church people, Filipino migrants, women’s organizations and many concerned sectors of society from around the world. We want to world to see that Mary Jane is a victim of human trafficking,” added Sabino.
Mary Jane’s lawyers have filed for a 2nd judicial review, on the basis of evidence that Mary Jane is a victim of Human Trafficking,
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PC(U.S.A.) General Assembly joins the call for the judicial review, “The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appeals to the Indonesian government to stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso… [and] further calls the Indonesian government to honor the appeal for a second judicial review for Mary Jane. Should this review determine she is a victim of human trafficking, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) calls upon the Indonesian government to fulfill its obligations under the Palermo Protocol. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) calls the government of the Philippines to exert all efforts to save Mary Jane Veloso."
Mary Jane should be protected under the Palermo Protocol, a United Nations instrument to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, which both Indonesia and the Philippines signed in December of the year 2000.
The outcry to save Mary Jane, as a victim of human trafficking comes from all corners of the world.
On the petition, Judy Abuejuela of Brazil posts, “I believe she is a victim of Human Trafficking.”
While Talitha Klem of the United States says, “prosecuting the victims of Human Trafficking is wrong.”
Based in Germany, Sonia Parera-Hummel, Executive Secretary, Asian Region, United Evangelical Mission says, “I don’t believe that the state has a right to take the life of a human being. In the case of Mary Jane Veloso, I don’t see that she got proper support during the court case.”
Katherine Felipe of the Philippines posts, “The Indonesian and the Philippine governments should work hand-in-hand to stop human trafficking and save the lives of the innocent.”
With many prayers that Mary Jane will be spared from the execution as well as those remembering her two children who need a mother, a steady stream of appeals for President Joko Widodo to Save Mary Jane Veloso are pulsing through the cyberspace. Still, Church leaders appeal for everyone’s help to convince President Joko Widodo to stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso. Our message to President Widodo must be clear: The world is watching and waiting for him to show mercy and compassion for Mary Jane! ###
|Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares|
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares
Gi Estrada - Media Officer
#SaveMaryJaneVeloso | Do everything to save sakada’s daughter, agriworkers urge Aquino
Agricultural workers led by the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) demand that President Benigno Aquino III exert stronger effort to appeal for clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, especially since her parents worked for decades at the Aquino-Cojuangco estate Hacienda Luisita as sakadas or seasonal sugar cane cutters.
Hacienda Luisita farmers under UMA and the local alliance AMBALA urged Aquino to be more forceful and determined in saving the life of Mary Jane Veloso. AMBALA Chairperson Florida “Pong” Sibayan reminded Aquino that Mary Jane’s father and grandfather’s hard toil as underpaid sakadas in Hacienda Luisita contributed to the Aquino-Cojuangco’s family fortune.
“The Aquino-Cojuangcos amassed huge wealth and power through the sweat and blood of sakadas and farm workers like Cesar and Emeterio Veloso. Aquino must remember this when he comes face to face with President Jokowi to seek clemency for Mary Jane,” said Sibayan.
Aside from appealing to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Aquino should also appeal to other ASEAN leaders to urge the Indonesian leader to stay the execution of Mary Jane.
“Aquino should extol French President Hollande whose efforts and strong statements resulted in the delay of the sentence of French national Serge Atlaoui, who is also on Indonesian death row with Veloso,” said John Milton Lozande, UMA Acting Chairperson.
“The Philippine government must also warn Indonesia that if its appeal for Veloso is ignored, it is prepared to recall its ambassador from Indonesia just like what Brazil and the Netherlands did after their citizens were executed in January. The Brazilian government even declined to accept the credentials of Indonesia’s new envoy,” Lozande added.
“The Veloso family endured extreme poverty despite back-breaking work in sugarcane fields. The utter lack of decent jobs and wages in the country pushed Mary Jane to seek opportunities abroad.”
“Due to the government’s bogus agrarian reform program, landless agricultural workers all over the country are now growing in number. Sakadas from Northern Luzon, Negros, Mindanao and other poor regions become victims of slave wages and forced internal migration, literally hauled by illegal recruiters and lead men to harvest sugarcane not only in the traditional haciendas in Batangas or in Luisita, but also for the expansion of vast export crop plantations where they work under extreme or subhuman conditions. The government’s labor-export policy is another trap that aggravates the dire conditions of peasants and the people under Aquino,” said Lozande.
The agricultural workers’ urgent appeal to stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso is carried by UMA and its affiliate unions and organizations from Cagayan Valley (UMAMI), Tarlac (AMBALA), Batangas (KAISAHAN), Negros Island (National Federation of Sugar Workers, NFSW), Bukidnon (OGYON), Agusan del Sur (PIGLAS-MAPAPI), Southern Mindanao and Far-South Mindanao (NAFLU-KMU) during its recently concluded national council meeting held in Quezon City.
Sister of Mary Jane Veloso
|Gabriela Partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus|
Vancouverites Join Campaign to Stop Execution of Mary Jane Veloso
-by Migrante BC
Vancouver, BC.-- As the call to save Mary Jane Veloso intensifies in the Philippines, Indonesia and around the world, Vancouver’s Filipino-Canadians and others gathered at the Indonesian Consulate with their banners, flags, and “Save Mary Jane” posters on Saturday, April 25, to show their support for Mary Jane.
Mary Jane Veloso, Filipina migrant worker and a daughter of poor peasants, was sentenced to death in 2010, after a very brief trial in Indonesia, for alleged drug trafficking. Arrested in 2010, Mary Jane maintains her innocence and a recent judicial review application filed by her lawyers state she was "tricked" into carrying heroin into Indonesia. Mary Jane was arrested after Indonesian airport authorities found 2.6 kilos of heroin sewn into the lining of the suitcase given to her by her recruiter Cristina Serio.
On the evening of April 25 (Philippine time), Mary Jane’s private lawyer Edre Olalia from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) reported from Indonesia that Mary Jane was served notice of her date of execution. The Indonesian lawyers in the case have also confirmed that the death sentence by firing squad may be implemented on April 28, at 5 pm at the earliest, unless there is a court order or clemency. Atty Olalia declared, “We are not giving up. NUPL, in coordination with her Indonesian lawyers, are intensifying all efforts pending the second judicial review that was filed last Friday.”
An earlier delegation to the Indonesian Consulate last April 16 was organized by Migrante BC to deliver its letter of concern, signed by 70 Filipino and Canadian supporters from various sectors. They were met by Indonesian Consul General Sri Wiludjeng and Vice-Consul Esthy Putri Muryanti.
Another delegation was organized to the Philippine Consulate General on April 24 to deliver a letter to President B.S. Aquino through Consul General Neil Ferrer. In the letter to President Aquino, Migrante expressed its “alarm over recent reports outlining the Philippine government’s criminal neglect in this case.”
Jane Ordinario of Migrante BC said, “We believe that Mary Jane is innocent and that she was deceived into carrying those drugs. Mary Jane is a victim of human trafficking. Our appeal is also based on reports that say she didn’t have proper legal representation through all stages of her trial.”
"With the execution date nearing, it becomes urgent that all of us continue to support and to take action to save the life of Mary Jane. We have not given up hope. Many individuals and organizations are calling on President Widodo to grant her clemency. We also call on the Philippine government to speak up on Mary Jane’s behalf. It is not too late,” added Ordinario.
The actions in Vancouver are part of the internationally-coordinated actions led by Migrante International. In the Philippines and overseas, vigils, pickets and lighting of candles in churches, schools, workplaces, and in front of the Indonesian and Philippine government offices are being organized and planned from April 26-28 to intensify the pressure to stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso. For daily updates, please visit the website of Migrante International www.migranteinternational.org and Migrante BC www.migrantebc.com
.BIKOL: Daet, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur
Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso! End Human Trafficking!
Detained OFW Mary Jane Veloso must not be charged and executed, but rather be sent to her home country. She deserves justice and due process.
Karapatan-Bikol together with all other progressive organizations in Bicol call on the Indonesian government to halt the execution. Mary Jane is a victim of human trafficking and drug trafficking, not a drug trafficker.
Those who recruited and manipulated Mary Jane should be pursued, prosecuted, and convicted--not Mary Jane, who is a desperate and vulnerable victim of Human Trafficking.
To show our deepest support and campaign, progressive organizations in different parts of Bicol region hold symbolic activities and vigils that showed strong display of national solidarity for Mary Jane who faces the death penalty for a crime that she did not commit.
There were held vigils in Plaza Quince Martires and Balatas, Naga City. In Naga City: Candle Lighting was also held in Caramarines Sur and in Daet, Camarines Norte. Same support to Mary Jane are also visible in other provinces like Albay and Sorsogon.
We call on the Filipino people to remain vigilant and to keep up the public pressure on the Aquino government and the Indonesian government to stop the Mary Jane’s execution.
Let us continuously support the family of Mary Jane, her parents and two kids. No children should be made to suffer through their mother’s execution, especially be deprived with life for Mary Jane.
Because there are no economic opportunities in the country, Mary Jane was forced to work abroad, being the latest victim of human trafficking.
With connivance from labor recruiters and foreign employers, the government is being exploiting the migrants to human trafficking and drug trafficking, mostly from families of workers and peasants..
The Aquino regime just worsening the human rights violations on part of the OFWs because of encouraging the labor export policy that only favors foreign companies.This foreign companies only cover-up the country’s deepening domestic economic crisis.
Let the world know that the Bicolanos are among the Filipino people who stand for Mary Jane. Let us stand and end Human Trafficking!
|TIGAON, CAMARINES SUR|