PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

MARY JANE VELOSO STORY: ROAD TO A MIRACLE


APRIL 29 --Celia Veloso narrates the plight of her daughter Mary Jane. Photo by Fernando G. Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com
- Mary Jane Veloso was facing a firing squad in Indonesia despite last-ditch appeals by President Aquino, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, human rights advocates, and even Manny Pacquiao, for Jakarta to spare her life. She went overseas on the promise of a job and better life but ended up on death row after kilos of cocaine were found in her luggage. Along with 8 others, Veloso was set for execution Wednesday morning but was given an 11th-hour reprieve. This is her story.From April 16, 2010 to April 28, 2015 READ MORE...

ALSO Last minute ditch?: Aquino called Indonesia exec? DFA has no clue


APRIL 29 NEWS: In this Aug. 29, 2014 file photo, reporters focus their cameras on Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose as he answers questions about the Filipino peacekeepers in Golan heights during a press conference at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Pasay, Philippines. AP/Aaron Favila
 APRIL 29 REPORT: Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday said he was not made aware of the last-minute call made by President Benigno Aquino III to appeal for Mary Jane Veloso. "None, as far as I know," Jose said when asked whether the agency knew about the phone call was among the steps that led to the Indonesian government's grant of reprieve for Veloso, who was scheduled to be executed around Wednesday midnight. Malacañang on Tuesday said Aquino made a last-ditch attempt by personally contacting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to propose that Veloso be made a state witness to aid in the Philippines' case against drug traffickers. During the televised press briefing, Jose was repeatedly asked what transpired during the last hours leading to the grant of reprieve for the sentenced Veloso. Jose recalled President Aquino met with President Joko Widodo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit and they discussed Veloso's case. "As far as I know 'yung conversation nila (Aquino and Widodo) sa KL, then of course we (DFA) submitted to the Indonesian side 'yung documents related dun sa cases that were filed," he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Why Mary Jane was given another chance


APRIL 29 ---Protesters, who have been keeping vigil at the Indonesian Embassy in the financial district of Makati city east of Manila, Philippines, celebrate following an announcement of the delay of the execution of convicted Filipino drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia, before dawn Wednesday, April 29, 2015. AP/Bullit Marquez
Gunshots were heard about 1:30 a.m. (Manila time) Wednesday from Nusakambangan island where executions take place indicating the execution of inmates found guilty for drug smuggling. But Filipino overseas worker Mary Jane Veloso, who was only minutes away from kneeling before a firing squad, was spared. In Manila where hundreds held vigil outside the Indonesian Embassy, cheers were heard when it was announced that Veloso would not be executed with the others. The development came as a relief and a shocker after Indonesia repeatedly turned down world leaders' calls for clemency or at least a review of the cases. Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo, known for his iron-fisted commitment to implementing Indonesia's stringent—some say "cruel"—anti-drug penalties, said Veloso had been granted a stay of execution while the Philippines investigates her case. On Tuesday, it was reported that President Benigno Aquino III picked up the telephone to call Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and proposed that keeping Veloso alive is worth more than seeing her dead. Aquino said Veloso could be turned into a state witness after her recruiter and alleged trafficker, Maria Kristina "Tintin" Sergio, turned up at a provincial police station in Nueva Ecija fearing for her life. READ MORE...

ALSO DFA: Veloso back in Yogyakarta jail


APRIL 29 ---Philippine national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, left, who is on death row for drug offences, accompanied by an unidentified interpreter, attends her judicial review hearing at Sleman District Court in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Two convicted Australian smugglers arrived Wednesday at an Indonesian island prison where they will be executed by firing squad along with seven other foreigners, including Veloso, amid a diplomatic squabble with some of their governments. An Indonesian is also scheduled to be executed. AP/Slamet Riyadi
 After the postponed execution of Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso in prison island Nusakambangan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday confirmed that Veloso is now back in jail in Yogyakarta. Indonesia reports earlier stated that she might be transferred back to a regular jail based on information received by her relatives who are headed in Yogyakarta. Veloso's siblings, who were earlier tasked to bring back Veloso's body from the execution island will travel from Cilacap while her parents and sons will travel from Jakarta. READ MORE...

Mary Jane to stand as witness, complainant vs her recruiter Maria Sergio


APRIL 29 ---PHOTO OF ALLEGED RECUITER Maria Kristina Sergio: Overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso (right) was spared from execution by firing squad in Indonesia after the surrender of her alleged recruiters. AP/Slamet Riyadi 
Convicted overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso will stand as a state witness against her alleged recruiters after being spared from execution in Indonesia. Alleged recruiter and trafficker Maria Kristina Sergio surrendered before the provincial police station in Nueva Ecija last Tuesday hours before the scheduled execution of Veloso. "The purpose of the stay is to allow Mary Jane to give testimony in connection with the complaint filed against the recruiters," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said during a press conference. Del Rosario's spokesperson, Charles Jose, also noted that Veloso is both a witness and complainant in the case being built up by the Department of Justice (DOJ)The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier this month filed criminal charges before the DOJ against Veloso's alleged recruiters for illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa by swindling. READ MORE...

ALSO: Veloso’s execution not annulled, says Indonesia President Jokowi


APRIL 29 --Indonesian President Joko Widodo. AFP FILE PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD 
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reaffirmed on Wednesday 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 Wednesday. Jokowi 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 due to the 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 THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Mary Jane Veloso: Road to a miracle


Celia Veloso narrates the plight of her daughter Mary Jane.Photo by Fernando G. Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, MAY 2, 2015 (ABS-CBN) by Jojo Malig and Angela Salano, 04/29/2015 - Mary Jane Veloso was facing a firing squad in Indonesia despite last-ditch appeals by President Aquino, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, human rights advocates, and even Manny Pacquiao, for Jakarta to spare her life. She went overseas on the promise of a job and better life but ended up on death row after kilos of cocaine were found in her luggage. Along with 8 others, Veloso was set for execution Wednesday morning but was given an 11th-hour reprieve. This is her story.

April 18, 2010
Recruited


Agence France-Presse

Mary Jane Veloso, a mother of two from Caudillo, Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, is recruited by her godsister Maria Kristina Sergio to work as a domestic helper in Malaysia. Mary Jane pays Sergio P20,000, a motorcycle, and her cellphone for the supposed work.

April 22, 2010
Flight to Malaysia


Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.

The two arrive in Malaysia where they meet a certain "Ike," who is of African descent. Kristina tells Mary Jane that the job in Malaysia has been filled. The recruiter says there was more work available, however, in Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Mary Jane only has clothes for two days and Kristina shops for new clothes her. She also gives her a new suitcase. Mary Jane asks why the suitcase is heavy, but Kristina only says it is brand new.

April 25, 2010
Heroin in suitcase

The two arrive in Indonesia. Mary Jane's suitcase sets off an alarm at Yogyakarta airport's X-ray scanner. Indonesian authorities open her suitcase and find 2.6 kilograms of heroin packed and wrapped in aluminium foil. The contraband has a street value of US$500,000. Indonesian police arrest and interrogate Mary Jane. Her companion, Kristina, disappears.

May 3, 2010
Trial


Agence France-Presse

Mary Jane goes on trial. The Indonesian court provides her an interpreter, who is a student at a foreign language school in Yogyakarta. Mary Jane calls home on May 9, her father’s birthday. She talks to her mother, who could not understand what her daughter is saying.

May 9, 2010
Behind bars


Agence France-Presse

Her family tries to call her back several times. They finally get in touch with her and Mary Jane tells her sister Darling, "Ate nakulong ako."  "Nanay, tatay, mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat."
Mary Jane's text message to her sister Darling

May 13, 2010
Search for help

Mary Jane's mother goes to Manila to seek help from the media and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). An unnamed DFA official promises that they will look into her case and provide assistance. Mary Jane's lawyer, for the majority of her trial, was a public defender provided by the Indonesian government -- and not by the DFA, according to migrant workers' rights group Migrante.

October 1, 2010
Death penalty

Indonesian prosecutors seek life imprisonment for Mary Jane, but the court sentences her to death by firing squad. She is imprisoned in Yogyakarta and awaits her fate.

February 10, 2011
Death row

The Court of Appeals of Yogyakarta upheld Mary Jane’s death sentence on Feb. 10, 2011.

AUGUST 1, 2011
PNoy writes to Susilo

President Benigno Aquino writes to his then-Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to appeal for clemency for Mary Jane. Yudhoyono does not act on the appeal.

JUNE 3, 2013
Prison visit

Mary Jane's family visits her in prison through the help of her fellow inmates and jail guards who donated money for their airfare, passport and other expenses

OCTOBER 20, 2014
Joko is new Indonesian President

Joko Widodo is elected President of Indonesia. He declares an end to the moratorium on executions in the country.

JANUARY 1, 2015
No clemency

Joko rejects clemency appeals, including Mary Jane's. Aside from Mary Jane, convicts from Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana and Nigeria will face face a firing squad. Jakarta says it will execute all 10 convicts at the same time.

JANUARY 18, 2015
Executions resume

An Indonesian firing squad executes 5 other foreigners and an Indonesian woman found guilty of drug trafficking.

JANUARY 19, 2015
Last hope

Lawyers hired by the Philippine government file request for a judicial review -- Mary's Jane's last legal option.

FEBRUARY 9, 2015
PNoy meets Joko

Jokowi visits the Philippines and Aquino raises Mary Jane's case

6:00 PM February 19, 2015
Another reunion

Mary Jane's mother, sister, and children visit her again, this time through the help of the Philippine government.

MARCH 3, 2015
Case review

A two-day hearing is held in Sleman to determine if there is new evidence in Mary Jane's case. Her lawyers said she deserves a case review because she wasn't given a capable translator, and cited a 2007 Supreme Court commuting the death sentence of another convicted drug smuggler.

MARCH 24, 2015
DFA chief visits


Reuters

DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario visits Mary Jane in prison.

March 25, 2015
Rejection

The Indonesian Supreme Court rejects Mary Jane's case review request.

March 27, 2015
Saving Mary Jane

The DFA vows to use all means to save Mary Jane's life.

April 9, 2015
Last-ditch help

Mary Jane's family seeks last-ditch help from a lawyers' group. The Indonesian Supreme Court rejects Mary Jane's case review request.

APRIL 23, 2015
Recruiter claims innocence

Mary Jane's recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, claims innocence.

APRIL 24, 2015
Prison island

Mary Jane is moved from the Wirogunan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta to to the "execution island" of Nusakambangan.

APRIL 24, 2015 10:00 AM
Human trafficking charges vs recruiter

The DFA files cases of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and estafa against Mary Jane's recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio.

APRIL 24, 2015 12 NOON
Envoys summoned

Indonesia asks foreign embassies to send representatives to Nusakambangan for the expected execution of drug convicts.

APRIL 24, 2015 6:00 PM
No clemency

Indonesia orders prosecutors to prepare for the execution of drug convicts, including Mary Jane.

APRIL 24, 2015 8:00 PM
Another appeal

Mary Jane's lawyers file a second appeal for judicial review of her case.

APRIL 25, 2015 10:00 AM
Mother and sons

Mary Jane reunites with her family in Indonesia's "execution island." Mary Jane tells her sons she will not be coming home.

APRIL 25, 2015 12:00 NOON
Notice of execution

The DFA gets Indonesia's notice of execution for Mary Jane. The Philippine embassy representative, Mary Jane, and her lawyer refuse to sign it.

APRIL 25, 2015 4:00 PM
Mary Jane's last wish



Mary Jane tells her family her last wish.

6:00 PM April 25, 2015
Execution day

Mary Jane's execution is set on April 28, 2015.

8:00 PM April 25, 2015
UN chief speaks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appeals to the Indonesian government to stop carrying out the execution of Mary Jane and other prisoners on death row for drug-related crimes

April 26, 2015
A letter from Mary Jane

Mary Jane appeals to both President Benigno Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay to do everything they can to save her life

10:00 AM April 26, 2015
'Stay with your families'

Mary Jane, in a letter written inside prison, asks fellow Filipinas not to leave the country and to stay with their families

12:00 PM April 26, 2015
Indonesia defiant

Indonesia defies appeals and signals determination to push ahead with the execution of foreign drug convicts. However, a Frenchman also on death row was granted a temporary reprieve amid pressure from Paris.

April 27, 2015
PNoy meets Joko anew

President Aquino meets Widodo at the opening ceremony of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Palace says Widodo showed sympathy when Aquino raised Mary Jane's case in a five-minute meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

6:00 PM April 27, 2015
Second appeal rejected

An Indonesia court rejects the second appeal for judicial review of Mary Jane's case.

April 28, 2015
Firing squad

Mary Jane Veloso is scheduled to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia's Nusakambangan island.

Umagang Kay Ganda

10:00 AM April 28, 2015
Recruiter surfaces

Maria Kristina Sergio, Mary Jane Veloso's alleged recruiter, gives self up to police saying she fears for her life. Sergio, who is facing several criminal cases, asks for a lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office. TV Patrol

12:00 PM April 28, 2015
PNoy makes last-minute call

Before flying back to Manila at the conclusion of the ASEAN summit, President Aquino makes a last-minute call to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to propose turning Mary Jane into a witness and help authorities uncover the drug syndicate that duped her. ANC

April 29, 2015
Mary Jane spared; 8 others executed

Eight drug-trafficking convicts from several countries are executed by an Indonesian firing squad shortly after midnight on Wednesday, but Veloso is unexpectedly spared at the last minute. Indonesia Attorney General's Office says Veloso's execution is "delayed" in response to a request from the Philippines after her recruiter gave herself up to police Tuesday.


Relief ... Mary Jane's family arrive back from Nusakambangan island after the Indonesian Government cancelled her execution Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro Source: Supplied


PHILSTAR

Aquino called Indonesia exec? DFA has no clue By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated April 29, 2015 - 5:41pm 1 3 googleplus0 0


In this Aug. 29, 2014 file photo, reporters focus their cameras on Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose as he answers questions about the Filipino peacekeepers in Golan heights during a press conference at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Pasay, Philippines. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA Philippines — Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday said he was not made aware of the last-minute call made by President Benigno Aquino III to appeal for Mary Jane Veloso.

"None, as far as I know," Jose said when asked whether the agency knew about the phone call was among the steps that led to the Indonesian government's grant of reprieve for Veloso, who was scheduled to be executed around Wednesday midnight.

Malacañang on Tuesday said Aquino made a last-ditch attempt by personally contacting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to propose that Veloso be made a state witness to aid in the Philippines' case against drug traffickers.

During the televised press briefing, Jose was repeatedly asked what transpired during the last hours leading to the grant of reprieve for the sentenced Veloso.

Jose recalled President Aquino met with President Joko Widodo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit and they discussed Veloso's case.

"As far as I know 'yung conversation nila (Aquino and Widodo) sa KL, then of course we (DFA) submitted to the Indonesian side 'yung documents related dun sa cases that were filed," he said.

READ MKORE...
Widodo later told Manila there was no basis for the request and the execution would be carried out.

Subsequently, there came reports that Widodo held a meeting to discuss the Filipino's case after learning of the surrender of her alleged recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, in the Philippines.

"[Indonesia] also got the report that Sergio surrendered, so all these made Indonesia favorably consider 'yung request natin," Jose added.

Reports came out that again, the Indonesian government decided to push through with the execution after Widodo's meeting with his Cabinet officials.

"Initially,we already informed the Indonesian government that we already have filed charges but then with the surrender of the recruiter then I think that made our case even stronger," Jose added.

He also clarified that it was not exactly the international calls for clemency that led to the granting of a second chance for Veloso.

Asked if the online and street uproar contributed to the decision of Indonesia, Jose said the process was "purely legal."

"It turned out na talagang may legal basis yung request natin for stay. Kasi nga may charges na tayong finile (filed) and nasa custody na natin 'yung suspect so we have a strong case and we need Mary Jane to be able to give the testimony, so I think 'yun lang ang consideration talaga nun," Jose explained.

Jose also mentioned that Veloso's camp made four appeals before the Indonesian Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, among others.

He said that as for diplomatic track, the president, vice-president and secretary of foreign affairs all made representations which helped Veloso.


PHILSTAR

Why Mary Jane was given another chance (philstar.com) | Updated April 29, 2015 - 12:29pm


Protesters, who have been keeping vigil at the Indonesian Embassy in the financial district of Makati city east of Manila, Philippines, celebrate following an announcement of the delay of the execution of convicted Filipino drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia, before dawn Wednesday, April 29, 2015. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Gunshots were heard about 1:30 a.m. (Manila time) Wednesday from Nusakambangan island where executions take place indicating the execution of inmates found guilty for drug smuggling.

But Filipino overseas worker Mary Jane Veloso, who was only minutes away from kneeling before a firing squad, was spared.

In Manila where hundreds held vigil outside the Indonesian Embassy, cheers were heard when it was announced that Veloso would not be executed with the others.

The development came as a relief and a shocker after Indonesia repeatedly turned down world leaders' calls for clemency or at least a review of the cases.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo, known for his iron-fisted commitment to implementing Indonesia's stringent—some say "cruel"—anti-drug penalties, said Veloso had been granted a stay of execution while the Philippines investigates her case.

On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III picked up the telephone to call Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and proposed that keeping Veloso alive is worth more than seeing her dead.

Aquino said Veloso could be turned into a state witness after her recruiter and alleged trafficker, Maria Kristina "Tintin" Sergio, turned up at a provincial police station in Nueva Ecija fearing for her life.

READ MORE...
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said documents related to Sergio's appearance before authorities were also submitted to Jakarta.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was made aware of the proposal and called for a meeting with his Cabinet to discuss Veloso's case, among other points in the agenda.

DFA spokesperson Charles Jose on Wednesday thanked the Indonesian government for the reprieve and noted that Veloso is "both a complainant and a witness" in the National Bureau of Investigation's case against Sergio and her purported associates.

"We have a strong case and we need Veloso to give a testimony," Jose said in a televised press conference.

Prasetyo, meanwhile, said Veloso was granted a stay of execution because her alleged boss has been arrested in the Philippines, and the authorities there requested Indonesian assistance in pursuing the case.

"This delay did not cancel the execution. We just want to give a chance in relation with the legal process in the Philippines," Prasetyo said.

Mary Jane Veloso's mother, Celia, said that the stay of execution for her daughter was nothing short of a miracle.

Veloso, 30, was arrested in 2010 at the airport in the central Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, where officials discovered about 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of heroin hidden in her luggage.

Veloso has maintained that she was used as a drug mule without her knowledge. - Camille Diola, Philstar.com and the Associated Press


PHILSTAR

DFA: Veloso back in Yogyakarta jail By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated April 29, 2015 - 9:30am


Philippine national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, left, who is on death row for drug offences, accompanied by an unidentified interpreter, attends her judicial review hearing at Sleman District Court in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Two convicted Australian smugglers arrived Wednesday at an Indonesian island prison where they will be executed by firing squad along with seven other foreigners, including Veloso, amid a diplomatic squabble with some of their governments. An Indonesian is also scheduled to be executed. AP/Slamet Riyadi

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 3, 2:29 p.m.) — After the postponed execution of Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso in prison island Nusakambangan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday confirmed that Veloso is now back in jail in Yogyakarta.

Indonesia reports earlier stated that she might be transferred back to a regular jail based on information received by her relatives who are headed in Yogyakarta.

Veloso's siblings, who were earlier tasked to bring back Veloso's body from the execution island will travel from Cilacap while her parents and sons will travel from Jakarta.

READ MAIN STORY: 'Miracles are real': Veloso spared from execution

READ MORE...
"Ang alam nga po namin kanina wala na dahil tinawagan nga yung mga anak ko na pumunta na raw po sila sa isla e wala na po talaga kaming pag-asa, pero ngayon na buhay po siya totoo pala yung sinabi sa akin ni Mary Jane kanina na 'Nanay kahit isang hibla na lang, o isang minuto na lang, kung gusto akong buhayin ng Panginoon mabubuhay ako.' Iyon po ang sabi niya kaya nagpapasalamat po talaga ako sa Diyos," said Celia, Veloso's mother in an interview with dzMM.

The family is hoping to visit Veloso before they head back to the Philippines and the DFA said the will help in arrangement so they will be able to visit her.

Veloso's camp is currently studying her case to permanently void her execution.

The Filipino worker was sentenced to death by firing squad for allegedly smuggling 2.6 kilogram of heroin in 2010.

The Indonesian court scheduled Veloso's execution, with eight other drug convicts at dawn of Wednesday but she was spared as her alleged illegal recruiter Maria Kristina "Tintin" Sergio voluntarily appeared before authorities purportedly to seek protection in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday afternoon.

Despite Jakarta's repeated rejection of global appeals for clemency, President Benigno Aquino III had spoken with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and proposed to make Veloso a state witness against drug syndicates.

“The purpose of the stay is to allow Mary Jane to give testimony in connection with the complaint file against the recruiters.”  DFA Secretary Albert Del Rosario said on a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

DFA Spokesperson Charles Jose said the stay was granted based on the Philippine government's request as Veloso will stand as a complainant and witness against Sergio.

The legal counsel of Veloso are currently discussing if Veloso will be sent back to Philippines or will testify in Indonesia.


PHILSTAR

Mary Jane to stand as witness, complainant; 'Recruiter' to be transferred to NBI custody  By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated April 29, 2015 - 3:55pm


PHOTO OF ALLEGED RECUITER Maria Kristina Sergio: Overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso (right) was spared from execution by firing squad in Indonesia after the surrender of her alleged recruiters. AP/Slamet Riyadi

MANILA, Philippines - Convicted overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso will stand as a state witness against her alleged recruiters after being spared from execution in Indonesia.

Alleged recruiter and trafficker Maria Kristina Sergio surrendered before the provincial police station in Nueva Ecija last Tuesday hours before the scheduled execution of Veloso.

"The purpose of the stay is to allow Mary Jane to give testimony in connection with the complaint filed against the recruiters," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said during a press conference.

Del Rosario's spokesperson, Charles Jose, also noted that Veloso is both a witness and complainant in the case being built up by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier this month filed criminal charges before the DOJ against Veloso's alleged recruiters for illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa by swindling.

READ MORE...
An NBI probe indicated that Veloso was a victim of deception and that her recruiters were responsible for sneaking drugs to Indonesia.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday said Sergio will be transferred to the NBI custody.

De Lima's department also created a special task force led by Undersecretary Jovi Salazar to build cases against Veloso's alleged recruiters.

However, Sergio insisted that she is innocent and that she surfaced at the police station to seek protection amid death threats

Veloso on Wednesday was transferred from the Indonesia's prison island Nusakambangan to a regular prison cell in Yogkayarta.

The Philippine government vowed to pursue its full investigation into those who could be responsible for Veloso's fate.

RELATED: Why Mary Jane was given another chance

The DFA also expressed its gratitude to the Government of Indonesia for its favorable consideration regarding the case of the Filipino worker. - with a report from Edu Punay


INQUIRER

Veloso’s execution not annulled, says Indonesia President Jokowi The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network 2:36 PM | Wednesday, April 29th, 2015


Indonesian President Joko Widodo. AFP FILE PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reaffirmed on Wednesday 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 Wednesday.

Jokowi 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 due to the 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


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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