The fate of the Filipino drug courier Mary Jane Veloso, who was arrested for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin in 2010, remains undecided as Philippines and Indonesia gave different statements regarding her execution.
The bilateral ties between the two countries have been put to test after Indonesia's President Joko Widodo said that his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Duterte had showed green signal for Veloso's execution. However, the statement sparked severe criticism.
According to The Jakarta post, Jokowi was quoted by Antara news agency in Serang, Banten saying "President Duterte, at that time [during the bilateral meeting], said [Indonesia could] press ahead if [she is] indeed to be executed."
The Indonesian President also said the legal process will be followed up by Attorney General M. Prasetyo.
"I have explained to [Duterte] about Mary Jane's situation and I told him that Mary Jane [has been found guilty] for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin," Jokowi said.
"I also told him about the delay in the execution during the meeting," he added.
However, Manila dismissed Jokowi's claim and Philippines' Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Duterte did not give any green signal for Veloso's execution. The minister further explained that Duterte simply told the Indonesian president that he respects their judicial process and will accept the final decision they arrive at regarding this case.
Earlier in September, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sympathised with Veloso and was hopeful that he will be able to help her.
"I pray I can do something for her," Duterte told Philippine Daily Inquirer.
In 2010, Veloso was arrested at the Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta for carrying drugs. She was scheduled to be executed on April 25 in 2015. But, she was excluded from the list of the third round of executions prepared by the Attorney General's Office (AGO).
She was spared temporarily after the woman, who allegedly recruited her to act as a drug courier, surrendered to authorities. The Philippine government has since asked for her to testify as a witness in the ongoing trial of her trafficker.