Veloso family backs Manny Pacquiao in ‘Fight of the Century’
The family of Filipina domestic helper Mary Jane Veloso threw their support behind Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao in his fight against undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr on Sunday.
In a photo posted on the “Save Mary Jane Veloso” Facebook page on Sunday, Celia and Cesar Veloso, Mary Jane’s parents, sister Marites and other family members were seen holding a cardboard with the message: “Maraming Salamat, Pacquiao! Suportado ka ng Pamilya Veloso at Sambayanang Pilipino (Thank you, Pacquiao! The Veloso family and the Filipino people support you).
The Velosos are thanking Pacquiao for his help in sparing the life of Mary Jane. The Filipino boxing champion, who is also the acting chair of the House committee on overseas workers, pleaded with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to save the life of the Filipina drug convict.
Pacquiao read a statement on live television last April 27 asking Widodo to grant Veloso executive clemency.
“His Excellency, President Joko Widodo, I am Manny Pacquiao. On behalf of my countryman, Mary Jane Veloso and all of the the Filipino people, I am begging and knocking on your kind heart that your excellency will grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her life from execution,” Pacquiao said.
Veloso was saved from execution last April 29 after the Indonesian government granted her a temporary reprieve following the surrender of her alleged recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio. President Benigno Aquino III reportedly asked Widodo to spare Veloso’s life so that she can be a witness against Sergio and divulge her knowledge on the drug syndicate which duped her to be a drug courier.
The Indonesian government said that execution of Veloso, who was caught with 2.6 kilos of heroin at Yogyakarta Airport in Indonesia in 2010, was only postponed.
The Veloso family, however, said that the reprieve was not due to Aquino’s help but due to the help and support of the Filipino people. The family drew flak from netizens following their criticisms on the Aquino government’s role on Mary Jane’s case.
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