Labor group to Indonesian president: spare the life of Mary Jane

Apr. 08, 2015

The progressive labor center, Kilusang Mayo Uno on Tuesday called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the life of overseas Filipino worker, Mary Jane Veloso, from death row.

Mary Jane comes from Nueva Ecija working as a domestic help in Indonesia. She has been imprisoned in Indonesia since May 2010 after 2.6 kilos of heroin amounting to US$500,000 was discovered hidden in her baggage at the Yogiakarta Airport.

Elmer Labog, chairperson of KMU said in a statement that Veloso was only “tricked into carrying the said baggage.”

“She was illegally recruited to go to Malaysia, told that the job for which she went to the country was already closed, and was made to immediately travel to Indonesia for a new work,”Labog said.

Labog said Veloso was unable to defend herself with her trial conducted in Bahasa Indonesia “a language she does not understand, and her translator and lawyer were both provided by the Indonesian government.”

“Mary Jane’s case shows the continuing chronic unemployment in the country despite successive governments’ claims of ushering in inclusive growth. It shows how Filipinos desperate for jobs are being taken advantage of by criminal syndicates,” Labog said.

The group said Veloso’s case shows the government’s failure to defend OFWs who are victims of human trafficking.

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