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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 27, 2015
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Only a miracle

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Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
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Unless a miracle happens today, the fate of our countrywoman, Mary JaneVeloso is sealed, and she will die tomorrow in that island prison in Indonesia where convicted prisoners on death row are brought for execution.

The Indonesian government has been intransigent, it will stick to the decision of its court, and will not brook any appeals from the governments, even the top leaders of the countries where the convicts come from.

Not even direct appeals to the President of Indonesia who was a recent visitor in our country, has helped, so far. What he would only say to those seeking, at least, a commutation for Mary Jane, is that his country is now on a very strict campaign against illegal drugs.

It was because of illegal drugs that the Filipina mother of two, who had hoped for more gainful employment in other countries fell into the hands of the law. According to her testimony, she had no idea what was in the suitcase a fellow Filipino who had befriended her on her way to another country gave her, on the pretext that she pitied her for having only a backpack.

The suitcase turned out to have a secret compartment where Indonesian drugs operators discovered more than two kilos of heroin concealed. For that, Mary Jane was charged, convicted, and meted the extreme penalty of execution.

Tomorrow is the day scheduled for it, and, at least, she was allowed to see the members of her family for a few hours. The group had arrived in Indonesia, not aware that she had already been transferred, together with the nine other scheduled for execution. A humane concession was that they were allowed to see each other, but they may never see her again.

As in the case of the unfortunate Flor Contemplacion, who was also executed in Singapore several years ago, what is going to happen to Mary Jane is another tragic commentary on the circumstances that await our unsuspecting people who dream of a life abroad, unprepared for the deadly traps they can fall into.

After seeing what happened to several of our people like Mary Jane and Flor Contemplacion, surely our Labor Department is doing something to prepare prospective overseas workers for what could await them in foreign lands?*



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