DID President Duterte sway Indonesian President Joko Widodo with his “Duterte diplomacy” in the case of Filipina convicted drug mule Mary Jane Velso?
“Not for public consumption,” said the President in a short talk with media after concluding his meeting with Widodo in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Duterte said that he had discussed Veloso's case with his Indonesian counterpart Widodo behind closed doors.
But Duterte said he was not at liberty to reveal details of the discussion as he first wanted to talk to Veloso’s parents.
“This was one of the topics of our conversation. Everybody was excluded and there was a lot to cover regarding security arrangements including the Filipinos who are in jail facing charges in Indonesia,” Duterte said upon his arrival from the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane and a working visit in Jakarta.
“There are matters that I cannot tell you now. I’m sorry I am not at liberty but maybe I can talk to the family first before anything else. It would be improper really for me talking about it before I get hold of the family and tell them the developments of the case,” he added.
Both Duterte and Widodo have a firm and strong policy against illegal drugs.
Indonesia penalizes drug trafficking with death.
More than 1,000 drug suspects have been killed since Duterte took over the presidency on June 30.
The Department of Foreign Affairs had said that there was no urgency in the Veloso case.
“It’s not urgent (to discuss Veloso's case),” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay had explained. “It (the execution) has been postponed indefinitely. She has been off the execution schedule.”
Veloso was convicted for bringing in 2.6 kilograms of heroin at the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010.
Her execution by firing squad was put on hold in 2015 to allow her to testify against the recruiters who allegedly duped her into bringing the illegal drugs to Indonesia.