Hontiveros to Duterte: "Don't give up on Mary Jane"

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The senator is urging the Duterte administration to save Mary Jane Veloso.


On Tuesday, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged President Rodrigo Duterte's administration to defend Mary Jane Veloso and not to give up on her.

"I urge the Duterte administration to defend Mary Jane's "right to life".The government must continue to pursue all effective channels to make the reprieve granted by President Widodo to Mary Jane permanent," Hontiveros stated.

She referred to the Indonesian President Joko Widodo who claimed that President Duterte gave him an okay, agreeing to Veloso's execution.

"Let us remember that there are more women that could suffer the same fate. It is the government's duty to prevent this from becoming the "new normal"," she said.

MalacaƱang has clarified that Duterte didn't give a green light but Hontiveros asserted that an "urgent clarification" was in order "especially as President Widodo is under the impression that President Duterte have his approval for Veloso's execution."

"With all due respect to Indonesia's sovereignty, I join the appeal to save Mary Jane's life. Saving the life of Mary Jane is the right thing to do for both Philippine and Indonesian governments," she added.

"If we are to succeed in our campaign against illegal drug trafficking, law enforcement efforts must be complemented by a strong recognition of the vulnerabilities of poor women across the region and the urgent need to protect them."

Hontiveros insists that Veloso was just a victim of drug trafficking and that the government should take actions in order to save her.

"She went to Indonesia as a migrant worker, and just like many Filipinos, she hoped that working abroad will improve the life of her family here in the Philippines. Unfortunately, she was set up by an international drug syndicate to carry drugs into Indonesia,"she said.

"Promising them jobs abroad, many poor women are tricked into becoming drug mules. It has been said that women bear the brunt of all wars. The war on drugs is no exception," Hontiveros added.

In April 2010, Veloso was sentenced to death for the alleged smuggling of 2.6 kg of heroin into Indonesia.

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Hontiveros to Duterte: "Don't give up on Mary Jane"
The senator is urging the Duterte administration to save Mary Jane Veloso.
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