​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizen reshares old report on OFW execution

A Filipino netizen misleadingly shared last month a four-year-old television news report on the suspended execution of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia in 2015.

The netizen’s Sept. 25 post on DDS OFWGME KP MADRID, a public Facebook group for OFWs in Madrid, Spain, was flagged by Facebook’s fact-checking platform on Oct. 9, having been shared more than a thousand times in 24 hours.

The post from a self-proclaimed member of party list group Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS), is the 19-minute report of GMA News’ Balitanghali program on April 28, 2015, the day set for Veloso’s execution by firing squad. But she was spared by a temporary reprieve granted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo a few hours before she was to be executed.

Veloso made local and international headlines in 2015 after she was meted the death penalty in Indonesia for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin into the Yogyakarta airport in 2010. Drug smuggling is punishable by death in the Southeast Asian country.

The Filipino worker, who remains in death row in a Yogyakarata jail, has claimed innocence, saying she was a victim of human trafficking by recruiters Ma. Kristina Sergio, Julius Lacanilao, and a certain "Ike." Veloso alleged that Sergio, who has since surrendered to the police, tricked her into carrying a piece of luggage containing drugs to Indonesia Veloso has been named a witness in the case against her alleged traffickers.

The Philippine Supreme Court just last Oct. 11 finally granted the out-of-court deposition of Veloso by means of written interrogation in the illegal recruitment case filed against her recruiters.

GMA News’ 2015 report was also shared on Twitter, reaching over 17,000 social media users, but with one Twitter user debunking the outdated post.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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