‘People’s appeal, pressure stop Veloso execution’

People gather at the Indonesian embassy in Makati City to appeal to spare Filipino convict Mary Jane Veloso from execution.

MANILA, Philippines – Mass movement and sustained appealed of the Filipinos here and abroad have pressured both the Indonesian and Philippine government to temporarily stop the execution of Filipino convict Mary Jane Veloso, militant group Bayan said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the appeal of thousands to spare Veloso, convicted of drug charges in Indonesia, saved her from the death penalty.

“It was the board movement and sustained appeal were decisive in pressuring both the Widodo and Aquino governments to act on Veloso’s case. Neither Widodo nor Aquino could ignore the people’s outcry over the planned execution,” Reyes said.

“Aquino’s last minute efforts were clearly spurred by the tremendous support Mary Jane had already achieved,” Reyes said, noting that around 172,000 online signatures have been gathered to stop Veloso’s execution.

Meanwhile, Reyes called on the Philippine government to finally prosecute Veloso’s recruiter.

“We now hope to bring Mary Jane home,” he said, as the protesters continued to vigil and picket in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati City.

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