Letter to Mary Jane

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mary jane

Letter to Mary Jane is addressed to Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina who is set to face the firing squad today, April 28 in Indonesia.  She was  arrested when she unknowingly became a drug courier after consenting to bring with her a  luggage which turned out to contain heroin, upon the request of her godsister/recruiter. That crucial decision dashed a young mother’s dream for a better life for her family.

Dear Mary Jane,

I was reading through your letters yesterday splashed all over the news and social media and marveled at its dignity in the face of almost certain death. With the many failed appeals our country had in trying to save lives of Filipinos who met the same fate as you did, I am tempted to resign to the inevitable. Upon seeing your recent picture at a certain program held in prison however – young, beautiful, and full of life, I couldn’t help but be angry with the unfairness of it all.

You, who only wanted to have a decent paying job languished in jail for 5 years and now face execution by firing squad while the drug syndicate who got you into this mess goes scot-free and is probably victimizing other men and women desperate for jobs abroad – all in the name of a better life for family.

Filipino Death Row Prisoner Mary Jane


Like many men and women who came before you, you learned the hard way that working overseas is not necessarily the answer to your financial woes. But I don’t blame you. The options given to many Filipinos are so limited in our own country that it makes risking our lives to go to another country seem like the only option.

For every 1 successful OFW, there are probably twenty or more who would return home worst off than their original situation when they left. I even read a report that 60% of OFWs remain poor and who knows how many percent end up dead.

My heart goes out to you especially since you have your own young kids to think of. Honestly, I do not know what it will take to stay your execution but I certainly hope that some miracle will make that possible. I hope that the next thing I read about you is that you are on your way home, back into the loving arms of your family, alive and safe. In case the bleakest scenario is realized, let your story be at least a wake-up call to us all. The likes of your story Mary Jane, is becoming too familiar for comfort.

Letter Writer


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Teresa Martinez

A freelance researcher-writer who has continuously been in such field for more than 10 years. Previous to that, her work experiences are in the banking, advertising, and cooperative industries. More of her work in Google+

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