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Philippines Daily | February 23, 2018

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Targeting Drug Network Saves Mary Jane’s Life

Targeting Drug Network Saves Mary Jane’s Life

| On 30, Apr 2015

A deal to work out as a team to target the bigger problems of drugs might have saved the life of Mary Jane Veloso.

After it was announced that Veloso was spared from the firing squad, there was jubilation.

“We did it!” said Philippine Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras via  a text message to his colleague.

He also explained that the Southeast Asian neighbors had agreed to target a drug network rather than one small-time drug mule like Veloso.

“I think both sides… have decided let’s pursue this legal angle of not just hitting a mere courier and trying to go to the bigger root of the problem,” Almendras told the reporters in Manila.

From her arrest, to the trial and waiting for the execution of her death penalty, Veloso, 30 and a mother of two, maintained her innocence. She insisted that she never knew that there was 2.6 kilograms of heroin hidden in her bag.

Migrant Group Consulted

President Jacowi Widodo Consulted a migrant group hours before the execution.

Anis Hidayah, the executive director of Migrant Care Indonesia, said on Tuesday, President Widodo talked to her about the case of Veloso, to where she explained that she is just a victim of illegal recruitment.

“We are also talking about the issue of Mary Jane. We talked to him that actually Mary Jane is the victim of human trafficking that also happened with many Indonesia migrant workers abroad also facing death penalty,” said Hidayah.

Aquino’s Effort

The efforts of President Benigno Aquino III were not forgotten.

Aquino first appealed to President Widodo during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Malaysia to consider the case of Veloso. He was rejected.

There are also reports noting that Aquino also made a personal call to the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to propose to make Veloso a state witness to catch bigger fishes.

Maria Kristina Sergio, the alleged recruiter of Veloso, surrendered to the local officials following the reports that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed criminal cases against her and two more.


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