Veloso's mother bashes Aquino; netizens call her an ingrate

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Celia Veloso, mother of convicted drug mule Mary Jane Veloso

(CNN Philippines) — Days after her daughter was spared from execution in Indonesia, Celia Veloso, mother of convicted drug mule Mary Jane Veloso, caused a stir online for the strong statements she made against the Philippine government — particularly against President Benigno Aquino III — on Friday (May 1).

In a news conference held by the Veloso family and advocacy groups Migrante International and Kilusang Mayo Uno, Veloso expressed her dismay over the efforts of the government in helping save her daughter — or rather, the lack of it.

According to Celia, there was no truth to Aquino's supposed claims that he was responsible for the last-minute reprieve given to Mary Jane by the Indonesia government on Wednesday (April 29).

It was Indonesian President Joko Widodo himself who said that his decision to grant Mary Jane a stay of execution was out of "the Indonesian government's desire to cooperate with the ongoing case in the Philippines."

"There was a letter from the Philippine government saying that there is a legal process related to human trafficking there. So we need to respect this legal process," a CNN report quoted Widodo saying.

But during the conference on Friday, Celia Veloso said: "Ibinabalita na niya [Aquino] sa buong mundo na siya, na sa kanya nanggaling ang pagkabuhay ng anak ko kaya nakaligtas sa bitay. Hindi po totoo yun, wala pong katotohanan yun."

[Translation: "He's reporting to the whole world that he was responsible for my daughter's being spared from execution. That's not true. There's no truth in it."]

Veloso added that they mean to make the government pay for their shortcomings in terms of providing Mary Jane with the assistance she was entitled to.

"Dumating na kami dito sa Pilipinas para maningil. Maniningil kami, marami kaming singilin — marami kaming pautang eh, kaya lang hindi pera. Pautang sa gobyerno natin dahil hanggang sa huli, niloko pa rin kami," Veloso said.

[Translation: "We arrived here in the Philippines to collect. We will collect from a lot of people — a lot of people owe us a debt, but it's not monetary. Our government owes us a debt because until the end it has tricked us."]

Veloso also warned the government: "Humanda kayo. Nandito kami para lumaban. Haharapin namin kayo."

["Prepare yourselves. We are here to fight. We fill face you."]

Aquino: We did what we could

But Veloso wasn't the only one who packed a punch. When asked by the media to comment on Mrs. Veloso's statements hours after the press briefing, Aquino also used powerful words.

"We did what we could. We were not involved in the creation of the problem," he said.

Aquino detailed how they helped the family through the ordeal by providing legal counsel and by carrying out intercessions between the Philippines and the Indonesian government.

He also mentioned how they brought the Veloso family to Indonesia.

"What more can the government do?" he added.

Aquino then requested for the media drop the topic because he had not seen or read Mrs. Veloso's statements at that time.

Netizens: Celia Veloso is an ingrate

While Veloso and Aquino have both addressed the matter, netizens took to social media to make their thoughts known.

Given the situation and the acid statements that Veloso made, Twitter users bashed Celia for being thankless. They even referred to her as an "ingrata," an ingrate, in English.

Concerned citizen Lady Bugayong advised the elder Veloso to use her head, saying that their plea to spare Mary Jane from the firing squad wouldn't have been heard without the government's mediation. She then used the hashtag, #ingrata.

Also seen in one of singer Jim Paredes's tweets was the word ingrata — perhaps spelled in uppercase for emphasis. Although he didn't mention Veloso or any group, he also said that a new militant group has risen.

Mary Jane Veloso was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to die by firing squad in Indonesia in 2010. According to Migrante International, it was only a year after Mary Jane was put on death row that President Aquino intervened. Her execution in Indonesia was delayed at the last minute, following the surrender of Veloso's alleged recruiter, Maria Krisitina Sergio.

Related: Veloso's execution suspended