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DFA: Jakarta Post headline on Duterte ‘endorsement’ of Mary Jane execution ‘erroneous

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday tagged as "erroneous" the Jakarta Post headline that said President Rodrigo Duterte had given the "green light" to the execution of Mary Jane Veloso.

In a statement, the DFA quoted Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. as denying that Duterte issued the go-signal in his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Here, Yasay maintained that Veloso's execution "has been indefinitely deferred."



"Yasay gave credence to a later paragraph in the Jakarta Post story which said: 'Veloso was excluded indefinitely fromt he list of the third round of executions prepared by the Attory General's Office (AGO) in April, as legal procedures continue in a separate but related case," the statement read.

It added: "Yasay clarified further that never did Duterte give the green light to the execution of Veloso other than to tell the Indonesian President that he respects their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case."

In a separate post on his Facebook account, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza echoed this clarification, saying the Jakarta Post article was a "spin."

Dureza quoted Yasay as saying that "the president even asked for a thorough review of the case in the Indonesian court."

"He asked about her personal situation and said that he was willing to help her in anyway (sic) to get justice. Mary Jane's name had been previously removed from the list for execution pending review of her case. If the Indonesian court eventually renders the final ruling, then President said he would respect and abide by such ruling. (Note: obviously this last sentence was the source of that spin of 'Jakarta Post' in coming out with that story.)," Dureza wrote.

A report on Jakarta Post on Monday said Duterte gave President Jokowi the "go-ahead" to execute Veloso, who is on death row for drug trafficking.

However, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella denied this, quoting the President as saying, "Follow your own laws. I will not interfere."

Abella said Duterte had no categorical statement telling Widodo to push through with the execution.

"There was none. There was no endorsement. He simply said, 'Follow your own laws'," he said. — Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/RSJ, GMA News