The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad will not be delayed despite last-minute appeals by the Philippine government, the Attorney-General said on Tuesday.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier met with a migrant workers’ group to discuss the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who is one of nine people set to be executed on Tuesday night.
Earlier Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he made one last appeal to the Indonesian government to spare Veloso, saying she could be a vital witness in prosecuting drug syndicates.
It was Mr Aquino’s third personal appeal, after the Indonesian attorney-general rejected the Philippines’ request on Monday for a second judicial review of the case of Veloso, who lawyers say merely served as an unknowing mule to drug traffickers.
Mr Aquino told reporters in the Malaysian resort of Langkawi, where he is attending a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders, that Veloso has started to cooperate with authorities after showing hesitation in the past.
“She does present an opportunity right now to be able to uncover all the participants and start the process of bringing them to the bars of justice. So we presented that,” Mr Aquino said.
“It seems to serve both of our interests to keep her alive to be able to testify, and it serves the ends of justice for both our concerns,” he said.
Veloso’s lawyers filed a human trafficking complaint recently against her recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio, who they allege promised the death-row inmate a job as a domestic worker but instead led her to become a drug mule.
Sergio voluntarily surrendered to police on Tuesday in Nueva Ecija province north-east of the capital Manila, seeking protection after receiving death threats via her social media accounts and mobile phone.
Veloso is one of nine drug traffickers ordered by Indonesian authorities to die in a mass execution.
Indonesia has harsh punishments for drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.