Photograph: Jefta Images/Barcroft Media
Photograph: Jefta Images/Barcroft Media

A “CALM” disposition continues to pervade on convicted Filipino drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia despite her imminent execution along with nine others in Nusa Kambangan maximum security prison island in Java Saturday.

Reportedly, Indonesian officials set April 28, Tuesday, as their execution date.

Atty. Edre Olalia, secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, who accompanied the Veloso family in the prison visit earlier said that “Mary Jane spent about two hours quality time and bonding with family.”

“Mary Jane (is) incredibly strong, calm and composed. She tells family not to feel sad and is buoying their spirits. Little boys (are) playful with their mom. Father and Mom (are) initially broken but regained composure. Sisters showed intense affinity with each other,” said Olalia in a message relayed by Filipino migrant rights group Migrante.

According to Olalia’s message as of 2:40 p.m. Saturday (Philippine Time), Mary Jane “maintains absolute innocence.”

“She may die but she firmly maintains she was a victim. Sends out four handwritten letters,” added Olalia.

Olalia said Mary Jane confided to her Filipino private lawyers more details of her ordeal, and that their group “notices wide gaps in chain of custody of subject luggage from Malaysia to Indonesia that were all opportunities for placing or planting of heroin without her knowledge.”

Mary Jane Veloso was arrested in 2010 at the Yogyakarta Airport after it was discovered that she attempted to smuggle 2.6 kilograms of heroin stashed in her luggage, which Mary Jane strongly denied.

Reportedly, Mary Jane’s alleged recruiter Cristina Sergio has been charged with estafa, illegal recruitment and human trafficking.

While Veloso’s lawyers also filed second judicial review on her case on Friday.

Veloso's  personal hand-written appeal letter to Pres. Joko Widodo. Photo courtesy of Migrante International
Veloso’s personal hand-written appeal letter to Pres. Joko Widodo. Photo courtesy of Migrante International

“In accordance with international and parallel local laws, she must not be penalized for any alleged crime which was integral and in connection with such human trafficking scheme, and must instead be repatriated back to the Philippines,” Olalia said in an earlier statement.

Mary Jane however thanked all the attention and support she got from her situation.

“She is happy that a second judicial review was filed and that all efforts are being made to save her,” Olalia said.

“Prison guards and officials (are) very nice to Mary Jane and vouch for her amiable, thoughtfulness and bubbly personality,” noted Olalia, adding that another rounds of visits are being prepared on Sunday and Monday “for longer time till 4 p.m.”

“Today’s visit (is) short because she is still in semi-isolation.”

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch urged Indonesia to stop the executions of 10 people, among them Mary Jane Veloso, and asked Pres. Joko Widodo to “urgently commute the death sentences of the convicts.”

“President Widodo has an important opportunity to signal Indonesia’s rejection of the death penalty by sparing the lives of the 10 people facing looming execution,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Widodo can demonstrate true leadership by ending capital punishment as unacceptable state brutality,” Kine said in a statement.

Indonesia meanwhile advised foreign diplomats and families of the prisoners to be at Nusa Kambangan Island, where the firing squad is set to happen.

Aside from Mary Jane, the other convicts are nationals from Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, France, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The scheduled execution has already created international condemnation. 

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