Below is supposedly a verbatim transcript of handwritten account of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino in death row in Indonesia. The original copy of the said account is reportedly still retained by the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta.
This copy was provided to Bulatlat.com by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, a Filipino lawyer rights group who took on Veloso’s case as progressive groups carry on their last ditch efforts to save her from execution.
In broken English, Veloso narrated her despair and harrowing tale on how she ended up as a Filipina in death row.
The Manila Times reprints Veloso’s account with expressed permission from Bulatlat.com.
I’m work to Dubai United Arab Emirates. I’m there as a servant and my contract is two years. But I’m there for 10 months because have someone want to rape me, I decided to come back to Philippines on December 31, 2009, I’m comeback to my country but my money was not enough because my son already go to school… I need to work again…
How many times I go to the Manila in Agency I try to apply again as a servant take to the another country but almost 3 months the agency did not contact me. One day Christine asked me about work!!! Christine is my neighbor in the Philippines and my family know she’s good and every week she go to Malaysia and if she comeback to the Philippines…she bring a thinks like shampoo, lotions, perfume and etc… All people in my village know that… Christine job is buy and sell like this…
When she ask me about work… if I want work in Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur as servant take… my answer I want… but I said I don’t have money to buy a ticket!!! She said to me… don’t worried about that because I can help you… But if you already start to your work… pay me… your 2 months salary!!!
For me this is a blessing so I accept, and I said Thank you!!!
April 21, 2010 Wednesday… Christine and I go to Malaysia to go there… I bring 2 jeans and 2 shirt and underware I put in a bagpack!!! I and Christine stay in Kuala Lumpur in Sun Inn Lagoon Hotel near of Pyramid Mall… In a 3 days stay there… I and Christine always go outside… eat together and buy a dress and a personal needs… so I said… I don’t have bag… I keep things where? She said… don’t worried I tell my boyfriend he buy a bag for you…
Then Saturday evening her boyfriend call and he said his brother there in pariking lot I see a white car… I and Christine go outside the car… I meet brother of Christne’s boyfriend… Christine boyfriend name Prince!!! And the one men I don’t know what his name… I and the one men same color… black but tall… fat and his hair cur but the one man not fat…. Then l.k ask me… you are Mary Jane my brother said you need a bag so I buy for you and I said thank you!!! I and Christine comeback to the hotel and Christine bring the bag… When we were inside the room I hold the bag but I ask Christine why the bag little heavy but she said because its new… I check all zipper and pocket of the bag… all empty so I don’t have thinking negative…
I put all my things inside the bag…. When I’m finish packing… Christine give ne a brown envelope and inside envelopt have 500 US dollar and ticket… Air Asia Airplane… She said to me Im go to Indonesia in 7 days for Holiday In and meet a friends and if im comeback to Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Im start to my work.
So I don’t have any choice that I must go there and that time only in my mine… If im finish go to Indonesia im start to my work, because work is important to me, because of my child…
April 25, 2010 Sunday 3:00 a.m. in the morning I go to the airport with Taxi… 7:00 a.m. in the morning is my flight!!! Christine give a no. of her friends in Indonesia she said if im there… im go to the hotel… any hotel then if im already there in hotel I contact her friends, 8:30 am I already in Indonesia Airport but when my bag put in X-Ray machine… the men said to me he wants my bag put in X-Ray Machine again… in 2 or 3 times… I and Indonesian men go to the office, he said he wants to check my bag again… I said ok you check my bag but he didn’t see anything… then the men said can I cut your bag…? I said why you cut my bag… only he said nothing… only I want to check your bag… so I answer again… Ok you can cut my bag… because I believe don’t have anything inside my bag because I ready check my bag!!! But when bag cut… the men see something inside the back of my bag… a black plastic and inside the black plastic have aluminum foil. When I see the aluminum foil I ask the men what’s the problem? And he said to me nothing. Then he said to me we go to another office/another place… Until that time I’m not thinking negative but when I’m there inside the another office. The Aluminum foil open and inside the aluminum foil have a powder the color is a lightbrown… the men check the powder… then the powder change to become solid. The men said… you know this? I answer I don’t know what that???
All laughing he said this kind of drugs a heroin. Oh my God!!! My body feel so cold… I can’t speak any thing… only I do that time… cry and cry!!! Because I know my life finish. Because drugs is no. 1 illegal… I hate myself why I believe with Christine… Why I don’t have negative thinking about her… and now I’m here… But I don’t know anything.
I worked in Dubai as a domestic helper. My contract was for two years. But I worked only for 10 months because I nearly became a rape victim. I decided to come back to the Philippines on Dec. 31, 2009. Back in my country, my money was not enough because I need to send my son to school. I need to work again.
I went to Manila to apply in an agency several times, again as a domestic helper. But three months later, I found none. The agency did not contact me. One day, Christine asked me about work. She is our neighbor. My family knows her because she goes to Malaysia almost every week to buy shampoo, lotions, perfume, among others. All the people in our village know that her business is buy and sell.
When she asked me to work as a domestic helper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I told her that I want to but have no money to buy a ticket.
She assured me not to worry and that I will have to pay for it with my first two months’ salary.
This is a blessing. I accepted and thanked her.
On April 21, 2010, Wednesday, Christine and I went to Malaysia. I brought only two jeans, two shirts and underwear inside my backpack.
We stayed in Sun Lagoon Hotel near the Pyramid Mall. During our three-day stay, we would always eat out and shop for my personal needs. But I said that it won’t fit my bag. She told me not worry because her boyfriend will buy me a new bag.
On Saturday evening, her boyfriend called and told us to meet them in a parking lot. I saw their white car. We approached them. Christine’s boyfriend’s name is Prince. There were other men whom I don’t know.
One was black and tall, one was fat and has curly hair. There was another one who was not fat. One of them said that they were informed that I needed a bag. So they bought one for me. I thanked them.
We returned to the hotel. Christine carried the bag. When we were inside the room, I asked Christine why the bag was heavy. She said it was because it is brand new. I checked all the zipper and pockets of the bag. All were empty and did not think that something was wrong with it.
I packed all my things in the bag. After packing, Christine handed me a brown envelope that contained $500 and an Air Asia ticket. She told me to fly to Indonesia for seven days for the holidays and meet some of her friends there. She said I will start my work as soon as I returned to Kuala Lumpur.
I did not have a choice. When I get back, I can start my work because it is important for me and my children.
I rode a taxi to the airport at around 3:00 a.m. on Apr. 25, Sunday. My flight was at 7:00 a.m. Christine gave me her friends’ contact number. She said that I can contact them when I reach my hotel. I landed in Indonesia Airport at around 8:30 a.m. But when my bag was put inside the scanner, the Indonesians asked me to do it over and over again, around two to three times. Then I was brought to an office where they asked again if they can check my bag. He checked it but did not see anything. Then the man asked if he can cut my bag and I agreed because I know that there was nothing wrong with it as I have checked it. But when they cut my bag, they saw a black plastic bag, inside was an aluminum foil. I asked what was the problem but then I was brought to another office. Here, they opened the aluminum foil and found a powder that was color light brown. The men checked the powder, which then turned into solid. The man asked me if I know what it is and I answered that I don’t know.
They all laughed at me, saying that it was heroin, a kind of drugs. My body felt so cold. I could not speak. I just cried and cried. I knew my life was finished. Drugs is number one illegal. I hate myself on why I believed Christine and why I never doubted her. Now, I’m here. But I do not know anything.