Until our Mary Janes come home

Features Philippines Nov 8, 2019 at 3:59 pm
Mary Jane-image-a-2_1425898646691

Mary Jane Veloso

By Xandra Liza C. Bisenio

Did you also feel your world stop in 2015 when we thought that Indonesia had executed overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso? Please, not another Flor Contemplacion, not another OFW coming home in a balikbayan box. Putting her kids through school was Mary Jane’s only compulsion for leaving her family and homeland for any available work elsewhere, as opportunities here are quite limited.

Her recruiters surrendered to the authorities right before her death sentence was carried out. They were the ones that gave Mary Jane the luggage with packs of heroin. Long story short, she was granted reprieve on the 11th hour but remains incarcerated and on death row.

The happy story is that the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) recently granted the motion filed by Mary Jane’s family, through the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), for her to be allowed to testify against her recruiters. But this is after a series of appeals and rulings that prevented Mary Jane from telling her side of the story in court. This may just be the very opportunity for her to step closer to freedom, say her family and counsels.

Our wish for Mary Jane is not only for her case to be dismissed but for her to be able to come home. It is a wish not only for her but for all OFWs who would otherwise prefer to stay in the Philippines if not for the lack of jobs and insufficient pay here.

(Read story…)