THE Justice Department on Sunday expressed optimism that the recent meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will further delay the execution of convicted drug courier Mary Jane Veloso after Widodo declared they will await the judgment on the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he believed Indonesia would not execute Veloso pending the resolution of the criminal case against her alleged recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao before a court in Nueva Ecija.
“Their judicial process is waiting for the outcome of the case in the Nueva Ecija court,” Aguirre said.
“So I believe that Indonesia will still keep an indefinite action on the case of Mary Jane precisely because of the Nueva Ecija case.”
Aguirre said there was even the possibility that Veloso would be released depending on the outcome of the case against her recruiters.
“For example, if the Nueva Ecija court rules that Mary Jane is indeed a victim, then Mary Jane could be released,” Aguirre said.
Veloso claims that she was duped by Sergio and Lacanilao into bringing her drug-laden luggage to Indonesia in 2010, where she was arrested at the Yogyakarta airport.
But her death sentence was temporarily put on hold on April 29, 2015, after then President Aquino appealed to Widodo.