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Rody eyes meet with Mary Jane

President Duterte will attempt to secure a meeting with drug convict Mary Jane Veloso during his visit to Indonesia next week, Malacañang said yesterday.

“Given the opportunity, I think he will,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told Palace reporters when asked about the President’s possible meeting with Veloso.

The President is scheduled to visit Indonesia on Sept. 8 and 9, shortly after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Laos.

Duterte earlier said he intends to look into drug cases involving Filipino workers in Indonesia, including the case of Veloso who is currently on death row. “I’m praying that I could do something for her,” the President said last Wednesday.

Veloso was convicted of drug smuggling in Indonesia and has been sentenced to death. Last May, she was excluded from the list of persons to be executed.

In April 2015, Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave a last-minute reprieve to Veloso just hours before she was set to be executed. The Philippine government earlier appealed that Veloso appeared to be a victim of human trafficking and could serve as witness to recruiters who duped her into bringing drugs into Indonesia. (GK)