Mary Jane Veloso Escapes Death, 8 Others Executed by Firing Squad

Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina on death row in Indonesia, got a last-minute reprieve early Wednesday morning, while 8 other convicts were executed by firing squad after all pleas for clemency were rejected.

The eight were Indonesian Zainal Abidin, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerians Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Raheem Agbaje Salami and Okwudili Oyatanze, Ghanaian Martin Anderson.

President Joko Widodo , a vocal supporter of the death penalty for drug traffickers, defied international criticisms even the appeal of United Nations and executed eight death row prisoners early on Wednesday on Nusakambangan prison island near Cilacap in Central Java.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s Attorney General’s Office said the execution of Veloso was postponed after Maria Kristina Sergio, the recruiter who allegedly tricked her into bringing a suitcase laden with 2.6 kilograms of heroin to Indonesia on April 2010, turned herself in to authorities on Tuesday.

In an article from Inquirer, Minerva Lopez of the National Union of People’s Lawyer said that according to Attorney Edre Olalia (Veloso’s private lawyer), the implementation of the sentence as regards Mary Jane Veloso was suspended until the proceedings in the Philippines against the alleged recruiter Christina Sergio shall have been commenced and concluded

Veloso’s family were ecstatic after learning that her execution has been suspended.