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Pacquiao makes personal appeal for Mary Jane Veloso’s life


Days before his megafight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxer and lawmaker Manny Pacquiao on Monday made a televised personal appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to save the life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso who is on death row for drug trafficking. 

“On behalf of my countryman, Mary Jane Veloso, and the entire Filipino people, I am begging and knocking on your kind heart that your excellency will grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her from execution,” Pacquiao said in a live report aired over GMA News TV’s Balitanghali. 
 
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will be on May 2 (May 3, PHL time), in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
Veloso has been scheduled to be executed Tuesday, over drug charges. Veloso was arrested after authorities found 2.6 kilograms of heroin sewn into her suitcase at the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010. She has maintained that she did not know that there were drugs in her luggage. 
 
Earlier Sunday, President Aquino said he will talk to Widodo about Veloso's case when they meet in Malaysia, where the Association of Southeast Nations summit is being held. Aquino flew to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday morning.

Morale booster
 
Meanwhile, in his appeal, Pacquiao referenced his upcoming fight, and said he makes the appeal to save mary Jane Veloso’s life to help save a life, adding that if she survives, it will be a “morale booster” for him. 
 
“Mr. President, on May 2nd, I will [be] fighting in Las Vegas, Nevada against Floyd Mayweather. It is considered the fight of the century. It will be a great morale booster if in my own little way I can save a life. I am dedicating this fight to my country and the entire Asian people, to which the Philippines and Indonesia belong. Thank you Mr. President,” he said.
 
Pacquiao then urged his fellow Filipinos to pray fro Veloso. 
 
“Sa ating mga kababayan, ipag pray natin si Mary Jane Veloso. Ipag-pray natin,” he said. — Patricia Denise Chiu/RSJ, GMA News
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