The mother of a reprieved drug convict, who was spared in the last minute after being sentenced in Indonesia, told the media of the latest development: miracles do come true. The convict, Mary Jane Veloso, was reprieved after another suspect, who allegedly recruited her and tricked her into transporting drugs to Indonesia, turned herself in to authorities in the Philippines. The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs was quick to confirm Veloso’s reprieve.
“We are relieved that the execution of Mary Jane Veloso was not carried out tonight,” said DFA spokesperson Charles Jose. “The Lord has answered our prayers.”
One other local man and seven foreigners were executed on April 29 for drug related charges inside an island prison, after Indonesia refused to succumb to international pressure and tear-jerking pleas from relatives of those convicted.
“We are so happy, I can't believe it. I can't believe my child will live,” Mary Jane's mother Celia Veloso told the media. “We had no more hope. My (other) children were already in the island waiting to pick up her body… We are all so happy. Her (Mary Jane's) kids were all awake, yelling 'Yes, yes, mama will live! I will tell her (Mary Jane Veloso) it is true what she said, if God wants you to live, as long as there is a minute left, he will save you. Miracles do come true.”
Born into a poverty-stricken family in the Philippines, Mary Jane is the single mother of two sons, aged 7 and 12 respectively. She has insisted that she went to Indonesia for a job as a maid, where she was duped by an international drug syndicate. In 2010, Veloso was arrested with 2.6 kg of heroin, stitched into the lining of her suitcase that was allegedly handed over to her by an African based in Malaysia. Veloso said that the lead for her job was brought to her by a friend in Malaysia, who said upon her arrival that the job was in fact in Indonesia. Veloso made quick arrangements to fly to Indonesia but she believes by then, the heroin had already been stitched into her suitcase.
Veloso’s case has drawn a lot of media attention, with social reformers carrying out rallies in her support on a daily basis and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao appealing for her life to be spared as well. Her entire family, comprised of her mother, two sons and two sisters, visited her in Indonesia before she was sentenced.
According to media reports, outside the Indonesian embassy in Manila, where a group of reformers had been staging a demonstration for Veloso’s release, the crowd cheered and celebrated the moment they received news of her reprieve. Extended family members in her home province of Nueva Ecija burst out in tears and celebrated the news as well.
Photo Credits: Get Real Philippines