#SaveMaryJane TIMELINE OF EVENTS: What happened in the last 5 years

It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief for now. The past weeks has been a rollercoaster of emotions but now is the time to look back and see what our country learned from this crisis situation . I only noticed Migrante International this month of April and I admired how they worked hard to #SaveMaryJane . What disturbed me most is why did they just enter into the picture lately? Migrante International told me that they were kept in the dark as well and they just knew about Mary Jane’s situation on February 2015. Now that there is a temporary reprieve for Mary Jane, I requested Migrante to post a timeline of events from the time Mary Jane was arrested to the time of her reprieve.  Migrante promised to post a timeline after they have rested from all the vigil and rallies. Today, Migrante finally finished the timeline. The timeline is meant to learn from the past and not to repeat a similar crisis situation.

Here is the timeline from Migrante International. You can compare this with the timeline from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

#SaveMaryJane TIMELINE OF EVENTS: Let the facts speak for themselves

By Migrante International as originally posted#SaveMaryJane TIMELINE OF EVENTS: Let the facts speak for themselves

This timeline is based on the sworn affidavits of Celia, Cesar and Maritess, Mary Jane’s mother, father and sister; a timeline given, upon request, by the DFA to the Velosos; the personal knowledge of Migrante and the National Union of People’s Lawyers of actions taken for the #SaveMaryJane campaign; and, Department of Foreign Affairs and Malacanang statements released to the media.
All formal and official documents mentioned in this timeline are kept in file by Migrante and NUPL.
In the spirit of transparency.

In the spirit of transparency, Migrante is re-releasing the sworn and notarized affidavits of Celia, Cesar and Maritess Veloso, Mary Jane’s mother, father and sister, respectively.

2010

January – Mary Jane returned to the Philippines after working for ten months as a domestic worker in Dubai. She returned to Manila without finishing her two-year contract because her employer attempted to rape her.

April 18 – Mary Jane was approached by her friend Ma. Kristina “Tintin” Sergio, a resident of Talavera, and was promised a job as a domestic worker in Malaysia. She was illegally recruited.

April 21 – Mary Jane and Tintin left for Malaysia. When they arrived in Malaysia, Tintin told her that the supposed job was no longer available but she could still find work elsewhere. They stayed there for a few days before Tintin sent her to Indonesia allegedly for a seven-day holiday, after which she would go back to Malaysia for employment.

April 25 – Mary Jane was apprehended by the Customs and Excise Authorities at the Audisucipto International Airport in Yogjakarta, Indonesia, upon arrival due to alleged possession of 2.6 kilograms of heroin.

April 27 – Mary Jane’s parents received a call from her in-laws informing them that Mary Jane arrived safely in Malaysia. They visited Tintin in Talavera and she told them that Mary Jane’s employer was “very kind”. Tintin also gave them clothes and milk, supposedly bought by Mary Jane for her youngest son, Mark Darren.

May 9 – Mary Jane called her family to wish her father a happy birthday.

May 11 – Mary Jane’s sister Darling received a cryptic text message from her telling her to take care of her children.

May 12 – Darling received another cryptic text message from Mary Jane, prompting the family to call her up. Mary Jane then told them that she was in jail. A few hours after, they called her up again and she told them the events that transpired before she was apprehended in Indonesia.

May 13 – Mary Jane’s family went to Tintin’s house in Talavera. Tintin told them to “keep silent, don’t tell anyone and don’t approach the media”. Tintin also allegedly told them that should they fail to keep quiet, Mary Jane and the rest of the family would be in grave danger because “she (Tintin) belongs to an international drug syndicate”. Tintin also allegedly told them that the syndicate would spend millions just to get Mary Jane out of jail.

August – Mary Jane’s family decided to go to Manila despite Tintin’s warning to ask for help from some media outfits. They also went to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to report Mary Jane’s case. They were met by case officer Patricia Mocom who promised to assist them and help Mary Jane.

Since then, the family religiously went back to the DFA Manila to request for updates on Mary Jane’s case. They also sought the help of their Mayor and Governor, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation, police and authorities in Cabanatuan City. They were told by the NBI that they could not file any complaints against Tintin due to lack of evidence.

October 4 – Public Prosecutor Sri Anggraeni presented before the Sleman District Court the recommendation for life imprisonment as penalty for Mary Jane’s offense. Mary Jane was represented by court-appointed pro bono lawyer Edy Haryanto.

October 11 – The District Court of Justice of Sleman in Yogjakarta sentenced Mary Jane with the death penalty.

October 22 – The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta reportedly filed an appeal with the Appeals Court of Yogjakarta.

October 25 – Mary Jane’s family received a call from her to wish her son a happy birthday. Since then, they had been able to communicate with Mary Jane regularly via phone. They told Mary Jane to write an affidavit, and sent it to them via mail, detailing the events that led to her arrest to be used for the complaint they wanted to file at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against Tintin.

October 27 – PH embassy recommended the hiring of a private lawyer for Mary Jane for the appeal stage, prompting OUMWA to authorize the disbursement of USD$5,000 from the Legal Assistance Fund to hire the services of the Rudyantho & Partners Law Office.

November – The family received post mail from Mary Jane containing photos but no affidavit. They called Mary Jane who was in turn surprised that her affidavit did not reach the family. She said that she would be sending them her affidavit again soon.

December – The family received another post mail from Mary Jane, again containing photos and a bandanna from a priest, but still no affidavit. They immediately reported this to Mary Jane who confirmed that she sent her affidavit along with the rest of the mail’s contents.

2011

The family reported the missing contents of Mary Jane’s mail to Joseph Ladip of PDEA.

February 10 – The Court of Appeals of Yogjakarta upheld Mary Jane’s death penalty sentence.

February 21 – Embassy-hired lawyer Rudyantho filed a Memorandum of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Indonesia on behalf of Mary Jane.

February 22 – The Philippine Embassy reportedly appealed the case to the Supreme Court in Jakarta.

May 31 – The Supreme Court upheld Mary Jane’s death penalty.

August 23 – Pres. Benigno Aquino III intervened a year after Veloso had already been sentenced to death, through a request for clemency with then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono who imposed a moratorium on executions during his term.

October 10 – Ambassador Maria Rosario Aguinaldo forwarded Pres. Aquino’s Letter of Clemency to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2012

October 11 – The Veloso family received a hysterical call from Mary Jane. She begged them to help her because her sentence had been upheld in all courts. She told them that she was to be executed in a week’s time.

On the same day, the family rushed to the DFA. They were able to talk to Patricia who told them that the news was false and that the DFA had not received any news or reports from Indonesia.

The family also went to PDEA for another attempt to file a case against Tintin. They were told that they could not file due to lack of evidence.

October 12 – The family called Mary Jane to tell her about what Patricia said. She tearfully asserted that what she told them was true and that it was already all over the news. They called Patricia but she again denied Mary Jane’s claims. A few minutes after, Patricia called them back and told them that the news was indeed true.

2013

April – Mary Jane called her parents and told them to apply for passports because her police friends, Puri and Bita, and her fellow inmates agreed to sponsor their visit to her in jail.

June 5 – Mary Jane’s parents and eldest son Mark Danielle left for Indonesia. They stayed there for almost a month and were able to visit Mary Jane daily during the duration of their stay.

June 29 – The family arrived back in Manila.

July – Mary Jane sent her sister Maritess her hand-written affidavit via courier (LBC).

2014

December 30 – Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo issued Presidential Decision No. 31/G – 2014 rejecting the request for clemency on behalf of Mary Jane.

2015

January – The family received a call from Mary Jane. She told them to seek assistance from anyone willing to help because she was scheduled for execution soon. Maritess called the DFA and was informed that Patricia had been replaced by Violet Ancheta as case officer for Mary Jane’s case. Violet told them that the news was false.

January 19 – Atty. Rudyantho filed the Application for Judicial Review of Mary Jane’s case at the District Court of Justice of Slemen, Yogjakarta.

January 28 – DFA Sec. Del Rosario handed a letter to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retnu L.P. Marsudi at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat in Kota Kinabalu, requesting Indonesian authorities to give due course to the Application for Judicial Review of Mary Jane’s case.

February 2 – Migrante learned that a Filipina is set to face death row by firing squad in Indonesia. The name of the Filipina had not been released yet. Migrante immediately contacted its allied migrant organization in Indonesia, ATKI, to inquire and verify.

February 4 – Marsudi replied to Sec. Del Rosario ensuring that all available legal measures have been undertaken in accordance to Indonesian laws.

February 6 – Migrante got an email from its networks in Indonesia confirming that a certain “Mary Jane” is indeed on death row in Indonesia.

February 9 – Pres. Aquino reportedly appealed Mary Jane’s case to Pres. Widodo during the latter’s state visit to the Philippines.

February 14 – Migrante got Mary Jane’s full name from Indonesian contacts and started to locate the whereabouts of her family in the Philippines. It was around this time that it was relayed to Migrante that Mary Jane told her spiritual adviser, Father Kiser, that she preferred not to involve her family because she feared for their safety and to just wait for the decision of the first judicial review.

February 16 – DFA forwarded to the Indonesian Embassy in Manila a copy of Pres. Aquino’s letter to Pres. Widodo on the Petition for Judicial Review of Mary Jane’s case. DFA also forwarded said letter to the PH Embassy in Jakarta.

February 18 – Mary Jane’s parents, Maritess and her two sons were able to visit Mary Jane in Indonesia through the DFA. They were accompanied by Violet.

February 22 – The family returned to the Philippines. Before they returned, Chito Mendoza of the Philippine Embassy asked for Mary Jane’s hand-written affidavit from Maritess.

March 3 – The Sleman District Court held the first hearing where the Defense informed the court of the reasons for the Application of Judicial Review relating to the lapses in the proceedings at the trial court in 2010: 1) the problem in translations, 2)the qualifications of the court-appointed translator, and 3) the language barrier.

March 4 – The lower court handed down its decision ordering the endorsement of the case files to the Supreme Court in Jakarta to proceed with the Judicial Review. This initial stage of the Judicial Review was for the trial court to determine if there is merit for the review of the case by the Indonesian Supreme Court.

March 9 – OFW Joven Esteva was executed via beheading in Saudi Arabia. His family was surprised to learn about his execution in the news, after the fact. In a statement, Migrante called on the DFA to divulge its plans for Mary Jane in light of Esteva’s execution. No statement was released by the DFA to acknowledge, confirm or deny Mary Jane’s predicament.

March 25 – The Indonesian Supreme Court rejected the Petition for Judicial Review.

March 30 – Migrante was finally able to locate the Veloso family in their home in Brgy. Caudillo, Cabanatuan City.

March 31 – PDEA submitted a report to the PH embassy based on Mary Jane’s testimony after its visit with her last March 29. The report was in English and needed to be translated officially to Bahasa.

March 31 – Migrante released an Appeal for Urgent Action to all its networks, allied organizations and member organizations worldwide. The Appeal circulated quickly and gathered overwhelming support.

April 1 – Migrante held a picket at the Indonesian embassy, and submitted an Open Letter to Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo

April 6 – Nanay Celia, Tatay Cesar, Maritess and the two children arrived in Manila. Migrante held a metro-wide candle-lighting in different communities.

April 7 – The Veloso family held a press conference in front of the DFA main office in Manila bewailing the government’s lack of action and transparency on Mary Jane’s case.

April 7 – Migrante sought the help of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL). The Veloso family agreed to take on the NUPL’s pro bono services for Mary Jane’s case in a meeting held at the Migrante office with NUPL secretary-general Atty. Edre Olalia.

April 8 – Nanay Celia, Tatay Cesar and the two kids went to the Indonesian embassy to submit their appeal letter to Widodo.

April 8 – Migrante issued a press statement calling on PH authorities to arrest Tintin because it will be crucial to Mary Jane’s appeal. During this time, Tintin was just sitting pretty in her house in Talavera.

April 9 – Nanay Celia, Tatay Cesar and Maritess accomplished their affidavits for review and verification by the NUPL.

April 10 – Mary Jane’s supposed original schedule of execution. Migrante held a rally in Mendiola with the Veloso family. No word nor statement from the DFA or Pres. Aquino came out. On the same day, the Indonesian government released a statement to the media that no executions were to take place until after the commencement of the Bandung Conference on April 24.

April 10 – Nanay Celia and Tatay Cesar submitted a letter to the DFA requesting all documents pertinent to Mary Jane’s case.

April 11 – Migrante and NUPL held a Skype meeting with ATKI and the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) and foreign lawyers who volunteered to help in Mary Jane’s case. By then, ATKI was already trying to get in touch with some lawyers from Rudyantho & Partners (R&P) and efforts to connect NUPL with them were underway. The trafficking angle for the filing of the second judicial review was discussed after fast and furious research done by the NUPL.

April 13 – The DFA replied to Nanay and Tatay’s letter only to inform them that they still do not have custody of the documents they requested and that all documents are still in Bahasa.

April 14 – NUPL submitted a formal letter to the DFA to request pertinent legal documents on Mary Jane’s case as the Velosos’ private legal counsel. NUPL also asked DFA to connect them to R&P as the retained PH lawyers of Mary Jane and the Velosos. The DFA did not acknowledge or reply to this letter.

April 15 – Nanay Celia, Tatay Cesar and Maritess finalized their affidavits, signed, sworn and notarized by the NUPL.

April 16 – NUPL submitted a first batch of letter-complaints to the PDEA, NBI and Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT)/Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting that “the appropriate steps and investigation be initiated and conducted on Maria Kristina P. Sergio @ Tintin, for violation of both local and international laws such as Republic Act 10022 or the Amended Migrant Workers Act and pertinent international laws against drug trafficking as well as for possible violations of the human trafficking laws, laws on illegal recruitment and for other related crimes”.

April 17 – NUPL submitted follow-up letters to PDEA, NBI and IACAT, attaching sworn affidavits of Nanay Celia, Tatay Cesar and Maritess. NUPL also asked IACAT/DOJ to “undertake the necessary and appropriate measures…to ensure the safety of (their) clients as well as other members of their immediate families who are vulnerable to reprisals from the malevolent malefactors responsible for putting Mary Jane in such horrible situation”.

April 17 – Maritess and Connie Bragas-Regalado of Migrante flew to Indonesia to coordinate with ATKI and other networks in Jakarta for the campaign to save Mary Jane’s life. Purpose of their trip was to act as “advanced team” for the consequent trip to Indonesia of NUPL and other members of the Veloso family.

April 20 – Migrante and supporters of the Save Mary Jane campaign held a picket at the Indonesian embassy in time for the opening of the Bandung Conference. NUPL held a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The IBP had agreed to help NUPL in Mary Jane’s case.

April 21 – Atty. Edre Olalia and Atty. Minnie Lopez of NUPL flew to Indonesia together with Tatay Cesar.

April 21 – Migrante issued an Open Letter to ASEAN Heads of State, distributed and signed by various ASEAN organizations during the ASEAN People’s Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

April 22 – Nanay Celia led a picket rally in front of the DFA together with families of other OFWs on death row.

April 22 – Atty. Olalia, Atty. Lopez, Connie of Migrante, Tatay Cesar, Maritess and Iweng of ATKI met with Atty. Agus Salim and Atty. Ismail Muhammad of R&P. In the meeting they were able to confirm the following:

– That R&P was not able to receive any communications from the NUPL, directly or coursed through the DFA. It was only after Connie and Maritess talked to Yuni of Komnas Perempuan, an Indonesian women’s organization and network of ATKI, and through Yuni’s help that they were able to establish contact with the lawyers on April 20.

– That the PH embassy only availed of R&P’s services on the appeal stage. Prior and during the trial, a court-appointed lawyer, similar to PH’s Public Assistance Office (PAO), represented Mary Jane.

– That R&P had already requested the Aquino government to investigate Kristina “Tintin” Sergio, Mary Jane’s alleged recruiter and trafficker in 2011, even BEFORE the filing of the first petition for judicial review. This would have been instrumental for the appeal. They were, however, dismayed to learn that the PH government only attended to this AFTER the judicial review had been rejected by the Indonesian Supreme Court on March 25, 2015.

– That it was only last week that the PH Embassy gave R&P the official translations of the first and second verdicts on Mary Jane’s case.

– That the PDEA report submitted to the embassy on March 31 was yet to be translated into Bahasa. R&P confirmed that the PH Embassy promised to give them the translated document on April 23, almost a month after it was accomplished.

– That the PDEA was yet to coordinate with its Indonesian counterpart, the Basan Narkotika Basional (BNN), for the comparison of the results of their respective investigations. Both R&P and the PH legal team were yet to be provided with the reports.

– That the R&P and NUPL agreed to work hand-in-hand for the filing of the second judicial review on Mary Jane’s case pending all documents required from and provided by the PH government.

April 22 – Immediately after meeting with R&P, Atty. Olalia sent a text message to DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima urgently asking for a certification from the DOJ that a complaint had been filed against Tintin.

April 23 – NUPL sent a formal letter-request to the DOJ asking for the certification.

April 23 – Nanay Celia and the two children flew to Indonesia with Pamela Pangilinan of Migrante.

April 24 – Mary Jane was transferred to Nusa Kumbangan Island at 2:00am, Indonesia time.

April 24 – DFA held a press conference in the morning announcing that the second judicial review had been filed. Atty Olalia, however, confirmed that the petition for judicial review had only been filed and received at exactly 3:50pm, Indonesia time, at the District Court of Sleman, Yogjakarta, Indonesia. Atty. Olalia accompanied R&P lawyers in the filing.

April 24 – Christopher, Mary Jane’s brother, and Michael, Mary Jane’s husband, flew to Indonesia.

April 25 – First visit of the Veloso family to Mary Jane at Nusa Kumbangan. They were accompanied by Atty. Olalia and Atty. Lopez.

April 25 – Nanay Celia, Maritess and Atty. Olalia confirmed that Mary Jane was given the 72-hour notice of execution at around 5:00pm Philippine time.

April 26 – Darling, Mary Jane’s sister, arrived in Manila, along with two additional witnesses who gave testimonies to NUPL against Tintin.

April 26 – Migrante started 72-hour vigil at the Indonesian embassy. PH police troops attempted to disperse the vigil.

April 27 – Darling left for Indonesia. Day 2 of vigil ongoing.

April 27 – As of 12:14pm, PH time, Migrante got word that Atty. Olalia was barred by embassy officials from accompanying his clients to their second visit to Mary Jane in the island.

As of 1:04pm, PH time, NUPL confirmed that they just got hold of the received copy of the application for second judicial review. Sleman Court said that they would release official decision by evening.

As of 8:00pm, PH time, Atty. Lopez, straight from the airport, led the press conference held at the vigil site at the Indonesian embassy confirming that the second judicial review had been rejected by the Sleman Court.

As of around 2:00am PH time, PH police again tried to disperse the vigil at the Indonesian embassy.

By this time, the Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/SaveMJVeloso, had already peaked at 16,000 likes in just a matter of hours. The change.org petition launched by the Promotion for Church People’s Response (PCPR) was already the fastest-growing petition, gathering at least 200,000 signatures worldwide.

It was also only on this day that the DOJ, NBI and PDEA filed a formal complaint against Tintin.

April 28 – Pres. Aquino reportedly had a 5-minute side meeting with Pres. Widodo at the ASEAN conference in Malaysia.

As of 8:14am, PH time, Migrante confirmed that Pres. Aquino’s appeal for clemency had been denied by Pres. Widodo, and called out for public support for the vigil at the Indonesian embassy.

At around 10:30am, Tintin had reportedly surrendered to the NBI.

Before lunch time, the DFA had released a statement saying that they have done everything they possibly could for Mary Jane.

As of 5:20pm, PH time, Migrante got news from ATKI that Widodo was in a meeting with Migrant Care, one of its network organizations in Indonesia, to talk about Mary Jane’s case. Migrant Care told Widodo that Tintin had surrendered to PH authorities. Widodo told them that Indonesian government would verify the implications of the surrender to Mary Jane’s case.

As of 6:45pm, PH time, according to Andi Widjajanto, cabinet secretary, change of decision about Mary Jane could happen but it depended upon confirmation of the facts and the possible implications on existing laws. But it was still not clear how this could affect the schedule of the execution.

As of 7:10pm, PH time, Indonesian chief prosecutor announced that nine convicts will face the firing squad. Attorney General said that they do not want to set a precedent. It’s final, they would go ahead with the execution.

As of 7:50pm, PH time, Atty. Olalia, in a text message, told supporters to “intensify further and make stronger and broader calls to pressure/appeal/implore Widodo to still reconsider up to the last moment”.

Indonesian migrant and church workers had also released to the international public the Attorney General’s mobile number, calling on supporters to barrage him with text messages pleading for Mary Jane’s life.

By 9:00pm, PH time, Maritess and Darling had already been transported to the island. The rest of the family refused to go to the island and had already travelled back to Jakarta in protest of the planned execution.

As of 11:02pm, PH time, Atty. Olalia etal confirmed that the Indonesian government had announced that execution would take place at 2:00am Indonesia time (3:00am PH time).

April 29 – At 1:47am, Atty. Olalia called Migrante to give the good news that execution had been suspended until all proceedings in the Philippines are finished.

April 29 – DFA maintained that the local and global outrage over the supposed execution of Mary Jane did not sway Widodo into a reprieve but Aquino’s appeal did.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 11 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and online media publishing and over 21 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.

She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.

Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle) keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.

Disclosure:

She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.

Organization affiliation includes Scrap Pork Network. I do not support or belong to any political party . Family friends with House Representative Pia Cayetano and Former Senator Alan P. Cayetano. I did not vote for any presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.

Updated July 30, 2017

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