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'Don't forget about Mary Jane,' group asks Aquino.

Supporters and members of the #SaveMaryJane movement called on the Aquino administration to ensure that ample legal assistance and other support are provided without delay to Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina whose death sentence on drug charges was commuted by the Indonesian government.

The appeal was made after the group expressed fear in the light of the recent news that the appeal for clemency of French death convict Serge Atlaoui was rejected by the Indonesian government.

Like Mary Jane, the Frenchman was given a temporary reprieve by the Indonesian government and saved from the April 29 executions that killed eight others via firing squad.

"We appeal to the Department of Justice (DOJ), no more delays, please. Release the resolution now. Mary Jane remains on the brink of death for as long as the death sentence is not lifted. Two months has been way too long. The evidence against Sergio etal are solid," said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

Pillas said that they are also gravely concerned by news reports that Atlaoui is set to be executed after the end of Ramadan, along with other death convicts whose names are yet to be announced.

"The latest information that we got from our Indonesian colleagues is that the Attorney General has reiterated that Mary Jane's reprieve is but temporary and they are still waiting for developments on the legal case here in the Philippines. They are still waiting for Mary Jane to testify as a witness against her traffickers. Please, let us not abuse the Indonesian government's patience and tolerance. Every minute still counts," Pillas added.

June 29 marked the second month since the Indonesian government granted Mary Jane a temporary reprieve and it has been the longest two months for her family and supporters from all around the globe.

The basis for the temporary reprieve was to give way to legal proceedings in the Philippines after her alleged traffickers, Kristina Sergio etal, were charged with illegal recruitment, human trafficking and estafa by the Department of Justice.

The cases against Sergio and her accomplices were filed last April 21 on the basis of complaints filed by Mary Jane, her parents, Celia and Cesar, and sister Maritess, and other witnesses and victims who recently surfaced.

The preliminary investigations on the cases ended last June 1 but there seems to be no forthcoming DOJ resolution.


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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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