MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III finally responded to the accusations hurled against his administration by Cecilia Veloso – mother of overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane who was spared execution in Indonesia – by, well, not responding.
In an interview with Bombo Radyo aired on Thursday, May 14, Aquino said he would rather not “waste time” exchanging words with the older Veloso, who has been vocal about what she perceives as the inaction of the government to save her daughter’s life.
“All I will say is we have an obligation to care for all Filipinos and that’s what the government did since 2011, even starting 2010. But it was clear that in 2011 we kept talking about Mary Jane’s status,” he said.
“If her mother thinks what we did was not enough, I won’t waste my time responding. What’s important to me is to care for Mary Jane’s life especially those of her children.”
Mary Jane was arrested in 2010 with 2.6 kilograms of heroin sewn into the lining of her suitcase. She claimed she went to Indonesia for a job as a maid and was duped into carrying drugs by an international drug syndicate. On April 29, President Jokowi Widodo spared Mary Jane from execution. (READ: Aquino 'broke protocol' to save Mary Jane Veloso)
Celia said her family is grateful for the overwhelming public support they received during their ordeal in Indonesia when Mary Jane was scheduled to be executed by firing squad.
But Mary Jane’s sister Darling, had strong words for the Aquino government.
“Sumuko na sila. Taumbayan ang nakatulong (They gave up. It was the people who helped us)," Darling said.
She was reacting to Malacañang's statements crediting President Benigno Aquino III for Mary Jane's last-minute stay of execution. (READ: Jokowi on Mary Jane Veloso: I listened to rights groups)
While the Indonesian government acknowledged Aquino's plea, it also recognized the efforts of human rights organizations that campaigned to save the life of Veloso. (READ: DFA hits Velosos' claims: We helped Mary Jane) – Rappler.com