Mary Jane Veloso’s mother Celia aired her grievances in a press briefing in Quezon City. She directly criticized President Benigno Aquino III for supposedly grabbing credit for her daughter’s reprieve.
“Now that we’re back in the Philippines, we will be going after the government who up to the end tried to fool us,” Celia said. “They told the public that it was Aquino who saved my daughter’s life. That’s not true,” she added.
Mary Jane’s sister Darling also had strong words for the Aquino government.
They gave up. It was the people who helped us,” Darling said. She was reacting to Malacañang’s statements crediting Aquino for Mary Jane’s last-minute stay of execution.
Meanwhile, the President responded to the mother of Mary Jane who denied claims that the government saved the Filipino migrant from execution.
“We did what we could?. We were not involved in the creation of the problem. You must remember she was arrested, if I am not mistaken, April of 2010,” Aquino said. PNoy detailed the government efforts to save Veloso such as the appeals to Indonesian foreign ministers, the attorney general and President Joko Widodo.
He also added that our government also provided legal counsels to Veloso and brought her family to Indonesia.
On May 1, The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disputed the claims of Veloso’s family.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said, “The Philippine government has and continues to extend its assistance to Mary Jane Veloso and her family. We have already gone on record on this.”
He enumerated the government’s moves to help Veloso, which include:
- Providing legal assistance
- Appealing her case before the highest levels of the Indonesian government
- Coordinating prison visits of Mary Jane’s family
- Covering their cost of travel
Mary Jane Veloso’s execution was canceled on Wednesday after Pres. Aquino proposed to the Indonesian government that Veloso be made a witness against the drug syndicate that duped her into smuggling heroin.
PHOTO CR: Ritchie Tongo/EPA/Rappler