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Pinoy Abroad

DFA denies report another Pinoy sentenced to death in Indonesia

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday denied reports that another Filipino was sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling.

"No Filipino has been sentenced to death in Semarang, Indonesia," the agency said in a statement.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta, the DFA said the only Filipino sentenced to death in Indonesia is Mary Jane Veloso, who is presently detained in Yogyakarta, and not in Semarang.

"There is a Filipino in prison in Semarang but she is serving a life sentence for illegal drugs-related crimes," the DFA said.

Meanwhile, Veloso, who has been in prison for four years, is healthy and in good spirits, and was visited by her family last month, the DFA said.

Veloso was found guilty of carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. She was arrested in Yogyakarta airport in 2010.

The mother of two denied she was a drug courier, saying she was tricked by her Filipino recruiter into bringing the drug-laden suitcase to Indonesia.

Indonesia spared Veloso from imminent execution by firing squad in 2015 after then President Benigno Aquino III pleaded for her life.

She was among the nine foreign and local death row prisoners, including Australians, scheduled for execution by firing squad on April 29, 2015 for drug-related charges.

All eight were put to death, except Veloso. The Indonesian government ordered a stay in her execution following President Aquino’s last minute appeal to Jokowi to turn her into a witness.

The Philippine government is hoping the Indonesian government would reconsider the death penalty on Veloso and commute her death penalty to a lower sentence if it could prove in an ongoing hearing in a Manila court that she was a victim of human trafficking. — BAP, GMA News