Manny Pacquiao prays with Philippine death row inmate in Indonesia

Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao on Friday held a prayer session in an Indonesian prison with a Philippine woman on death row for drug trafficking, in hopes of drawing attention to her plight and getting her sentence commuted.

Reuters| Last Updated: Jul 10, 2015, 13:19 PM IST
Manny Pacquiao prays with Philippine death row inmate in Indonesia

Jakarta: Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao on Friday held a prayer session in an Indonesian prison with a Philippine woman on death row for drug trafficking, in hopes of drawing attention to her plight and getting her sentence commuted.

Mary Jane Veloso won a last-minute reprieve from execution in April, after officials in Manila asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to let her give evidence in an investigation into the network accused of recruiting her. 

Pacquiao, one of many celebrities campaigning to save Veloso, prayed with her in the Yogyakarta prison where she has been jailed while testifying against a couple alleged to have recruited her to smuggle 2.6 kg of heroin into Indonesia.

"We`re hoping for help to save Mary Jane`s life," Pacquiao told reporters after his visit. 

"According to my information, she is innocent ... and a victim of illegal recruitment." 

Pacquiao was later expected to meet Indonesian lawmakers in Jakarta to plead for clemency for Veloso. 

Widodo has taken a tough stance on drug trafficking in Southeast Asia`s biggest economy and ignored repeated pleas from foreign governments for clemency for their nationals.

Indonesia has executed 14 drug traffickers, mostly foreigners, this year, ending a five-year unofficial moratorium on the death penalty.