Senator Leila De Lima criticized on Monday the alleged go-signal of President Rodrigo Duterte to Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo to push through with the execution Mary Jane Veloso on charges of drug trafficking.
“This means he will no longer intercede, and that saving Veloso’s life is no longer the policy of the President,” De Lima said in a statement.
She also called on Malacañang to clarify on whether Duterte made the pronouncement during his meeting with Widodo in Indonesia.
“There is still much confusion in this, as Secretary Yasay has said that as a result of the meeting of the two Presidents, the execution has been held off indefinitely,” she said.
A report on Jakarta Post quoted Widodo saying Duterte “has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution.”
ABC Indonesia Correspondent Adam Harvey said Duterte made the statement during his working visit in Jakarta last Friday.
However, a Palace official dismissed the reports saying Duterte had a different position during his meeting with Widodo.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella recalled Duterte saying “Follow your own laws. I will not interfere” to Widodo.
Abella added Duterte made no categorical statement allowing Veloso’s execution.
“There was none. There was no endorsement. He simply said, ‘Follow your own laws’,” Abella said.
Meanwhile, De Lima said it’s no longer a surprise should Duterte’s statements turn out to be true since he’s a staunch supporter of the death penalty and has intensified the war against illegal drugs.
“But then again, magtataka pa ba tayo, e sa mismong bansa natin araw-araw mahigit kwarenta katao na ang napapatay ng walang paglilitis,” De Lima said.
“So ano pa ang kwenta nga naman talaga ng buhay ng isa pang Mary Jane Veloso. Mapa judicial o extra-judicial execution, yan na ang polisiya ng gobyerno. Nakakalungkot. Nakakaiyak. Nakakahindik,” she added.