Farmers under Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) are joining the strong appeal of Filipino people to save the life of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina convicted of drug trafficking, who is scheduled for execution by firing squad in Indonesia tomorrow.
“Mary Jane’s plight is the classic story of a poor farmer’s daughter. A tale of poverty spawned by landlessness and unemployment,” said KMP Secretary General Antonio Flores.
“Mary Jane and millions of Filipinos are forced to find employment abroad because they don’t have their own land to till and job opportunities here. Mary Jane is a victim twice over — by the country’s unjust social conditions and the Aquino government’s neglect of her legal case in Indonesia,” Flores said.
“A daughter of farm workers in Nueva Ecija, Mary Jane, the youngest in a brood of five siblings, skipped school due to poverty and worked at a young age to help her family.
She worked as a domestic helper in Dubai, but went home to the Philippines after she almost got raped. In 2010, in the hope of finding employment abroad to support her two young kids, she went to Malaysia to work as a house help. In an unfortunate turn of events, she got framed up and ended at Indonesia’s death row.”
Flores said President Aquino should also rethink the Philippines’ land lease and business deals with Indonesia.
Indonesian GOCCs PT Perkebunan Nusantara and Pertamina are planning a multi-million investment to expand their palm oil production in the country by acquiring 60,000 hectares of palm plantation in Agusan del del Sur in Northeastern Mindanao.
PT Mayora Indah Foods, an Indonesian manufacturer of coffee and candy products, has targeted the Philippines as its biggest customer base in the Asean region. Philippine-based companies, on the other hand, are looking to invest in Indonesia’s energy sector and water distribution and waste-water services.
“Indon-PH diplomatic and economic relations and these business interests will be affected by President Widodo’s adamant stance on Mary Jane’s execution,” Flores said.
KMP will join the Bayan and Migrante-led protest vigil tonight opposing Mary Jane’s scheduled execution. ###