President Rodrigo Duterte says he will proceed to Indonesia for a working visit after the ASEAN Leaders Meeting in Vientiane, Laos. Duterte flew to Laos on Monday, September 5. (Medel V. Hernani/davaotoday.com)
DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte would plead for mercy from Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the case of Mary Jane Veloso who is in death row for drug trafficking but said that he is ready to accept whatever Widodo’s decision is.
“I may just have to ask President Widodo in a most respectful and very, very courteous way and if my pleadings will fall on deaf ear, I am ready to accept it,” said Duterte during his pre-departure message before leaving for the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Vientiane, Laos Monday afternoon, September 5.
Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in Indonesia on April 26 last year but she was granted reprieve on a case hearing of her alleged recruiter who also surrendered to the authorities.
Duterte said he does not doubt the judicial system of Indonesia.
“I have been there once upon a time. And I was able to observe how it works,” he said.
He said if President Widodo will deny his pleading he will accept it and will be grateful for treating Veloso well.
“But if President Widodo will deny it, still I will be grateful that she has been treated very well. For after all we have our laws to follow. If it had been the other way around, I might also be at the receiving end of so many pleas for mercy, and I would never know what or how to react,” said Duterte.
Duterte said after attending the 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) summits in Laos, he will head to Indonesia for a working visit where he is expected to discuss bilateral issues with President Widodo.