The case of Mary Jane Veloso
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The country is now agonizing over the fate of a compatriot, a Filipina, who is facing a death sentence in Indonesia and whose execution that had already been set had been extended for a few days, is due soon.
The extension is not expected to be stretched further, and, as in the cases of other Filipinos who faced similar fates abroad, we will lose another kababayan to a shameful end in a foreign land.
The case of Mary Jane Veloso is not the first of its kind. Like her, several others had met the same predicament when they were gullible enough to fall for the tricks of some smooth-talking drug traffickers who pretended to befriend a fellow Pinoy, innocent and ignorant about life in other countries. But their hidden intention is to use them for their own nefarious business involving prohibited drugs, the mere possession of which could lead one to very serious trouble with the law.
Now we are all concerned and hearts are bleeding for Mary Jane Veloso and her stricken family who never imagined, that her plan when she left for what they all believed would be an opportunity to earn better for her children, would end this way.
So far, the efforts of our government offices abroad, and even our top Foreign Affairs officials have not managed to win a commutation of her sentence. Appeals from various groups have also not made inroads on the intractable system her host country adheres to.
With all the other cases involving our fellow Filipinos brought on by similar circumstances, it is a wonder that our concerned offices, like the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, have not managed to thoroughly brief all outgoing overseas workers on the pitfalls and dangers they could encounter from their own countrymen abroad. Would more concern and adequate warnings have prevented cases like what Mary Jane Veloso is facing now?*