Filipino family appeals to Indonesia to save convicted maid

AP News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2015 3:59 AM
Filipino family appeals to Indonesia to save convicted maid

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Family members of a Filipino maid facing the death penalty after being convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia made a last-minute appeal Wednesday for clemency to the country's president.

The parents, siblings and two young sons of Mary Jane Veloso delivered an open letter to President Joko Widodo to the Indonesian Embassy and appealed for "mercy and compassion" for the 30-year-old single mother.

The letter said Veloso was tricked by a compatriot into carrying 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin in a luggage and says she was a victim of drug syndicates.

Indonesia's highest court last month rejected a judicial review petition by Veloso, who is among 10 foreigner drug smugglers facing death by a firing squad.

"We are begging for mercy beloved President (Widodo), don't impose the death penalty on my daughter, said Veloso's mother, Celia Veloso.

Veloso's sons, aged 6 and 12, held a placard that read "Mercy and compassion for Mary Jane and family." About a dozen activists from Migrante International held up a large picture of Veloso behind bars and a banner saying "Save the life of Mary Jane Veloso."

Veloso traveled to Indonesia in 2010 where her godsister reportedly told her a job as domestic worker awaited her. Her godsister allegedly provided the suitcase where the drugs were discovered when Veloso arrived at an airport in Java, Indonesia.

Migrante International, which works to protect the rights of overseas workers from the Philippines, called on the Philippine government to arrest Veloso's godsister, who remains at large.

Migrante chapters in Hong Kong, Europe, Canada and Australia are scheduled to march to Indonesian embassies Thursday to appeal for clemency for Veloso.