Two days after the scheduled execution of Mary Jane Veloso was canceled at the last minute by the Indonesian government, her family is now back in the country, and they are doing so with a bang.
Celia Veloso, Mary Jane’s mother, immediately proclaimed that it is “payback time” for her family, slamming President Benigno Aquino III for allegedly doing nothing regarding her daughter’s predicament.
There is a universal agreement that the Philippine government came in late in helping Mary Jane Veloso deal with what appears to be a self-inflicted problem. Nevertheless, when they assisted her family, it mattered! The Veloso family is now saying that the administration’s involvement didn’t matter, and that belief smacks of ungratefulness.
Some observers theorized that the remarks of Veloso’s mother may have been a reaction to the pronouncement by Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose that the public support for the Filipina was a major factor in the Indonesian government’s decision.
It’s unfortunate that some sectors see this situation from the one-side-did-all prism. They don’t appreciate the reality that the various stakeholders’ concerted efforts resulted in this positive development. In other words, to say that success could have been achieved without the other side is definitely wrong.
First, had Migrante and its allies not raised the alarm about Veloso’s scheduled execution, the media and perhaps most Filipinos would have been unaware of her case. More importantly, without public pressure, the government would not have launched its last-ditch but ultimately successful (for now, at least) attempt to save her life.
Also, if not for the intense public interest on the case, would Kristina Sergio even bother surrendering to the police – the only reason cited by the Indonesian government in deferring Veloso’s execution?
Nevertheless, you can never deny that what the government did behind the scenes helped the case. You can rally all you want in front of the Indonesian embassy but unless those in power do something, walang mangyayari.
Imagine how the admin set aside OUR national pride to save a single woman’s life. You have P-Noy essentially badgering President Joko Widodo about Mary Jane’s case during the ASEAN summit, when there were other more important issues that should’ve been prioritized.
You also have Vice President Binay going to Indonesia with the same purpose. No other self-respecting nation will do that! Can you imagine United States Vice President Joe Biden going to the Philippines to plead for our government to pardon Joseph Scott Pemberton’s life if and when the latter is found guilty of murdering Jennifer Laude? That’s impossible.
As a final point, is Veloso really innocent? I find it hard to believe that someone will just carry with her a heavy baggage (at least 2.6 kilos) from someone without asking what it contains. I think it’s just normal. Now, it’s either she’s lying or she’s full of naivete. Whatever happened to the concept of personal responsibility especially in complying with the laws in foreign countries? In any case, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong later on.
You cannot go to another country and break its laws and then expect your government to save your ass every single time.