The public relations disaster that is Celia Veloso

As I wrote in my previous article The Philippines’ shame: Bickering over the Mary Jane Veloso case, the five-year plight of Mary Jane Veloso leading to the 11th-hour stink raised by the Philippines’ “activist” community which, in turn, spurred the government of President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III to get on the ball negotiating a stay of her execution in Indonesia on charges of drug trafficking provides full and sufficient context behind the rage exhibited by her mother, Celia Veloso, today. Indeed, if your daughter had been on death row in a stinky Indonesian jail for five years, then “rescued” from her executioners only because the profile of the case was raised by a swelling of popular support just weeks before the execution date, you would be hopping mad seeing President BS Aquino taking credit for that “miraculous” escape.

That is exactly the point that celebrity activist Monique Wilson hoped to bring across in her impassioned plea to a Filipino public suddenly repulsed by a speech delivered by Celia on Labour Day, the 1st of May after arriving from Indonesia following her daughter’s narrow escape from death. Wilson writes…

I urge netizens not just to know the full story first – and the story does not merely begin in the hour leading up to her suspended execution), but to look at the entire CONTEXT of the case, and more importantly, to also IMAGINE if this happened to you and to your loved one. Would your pain not make you rage, too? Would you not be shouting even louder than Nanay Celia for what you felt were your privileges?

Indeed, perfectly understandable.

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The trouble with the Veloso family is that they found comfort in the arms of the wrong mob — those communists.

celia_velosoThe militant “activist” group Migrante who, it seems, put Celia up to that Labour Day speech are part of a whole social movement sector — the militant Left — that had long ago been discredited and are now no longer regarded as a community of serious reformists. These people had long been known for their shrill tireseome anti-any-government anti-American rhetoric. Though creditable for their monomanic consistency, the militant Left have failed to evolve into a modern activist force adept at navigating the vastly more complex 21st Century public relations landscape.

Indeed, keeping a famously attention-deficited Filipino public engaged in Mary Jane’s on-going plight (she is still on death row and, therefore, not quite out of the woods yet) would have been paramount after this first win that was her temporary reprieve. As such, Celia’s speech, in essence, turned the whole effort into an absolute PR debacle. As evident in the reactions to that speech raging across the Philippines’ social media scene, not even Monique Wilson’s star power could stem the turning of the PR tide against the Veloso cause.

The fact is, Filipinos were first willing (or emotionally conditioned) to overlook the fact that people like Mary Jane Veloso are products of generation-spanning poverty and victims of administration-transcending systemic exploitation that found themselves subject to a legal system that cares for neither. Celia’s screechy misguided tirade brought that reality back to the public consciousness and tragically eroded the gloss of Mary Jane’s initial media packaging as a hapless damsel in distress.

In short, the decades-in-the-making walking PR disaster that is the Philippines’ militant Left had fatally rubbed their eyesore-inducing dysfunctional media image off on the Veloso cause in a single ill-advised public address. If there was a bigger tragedy than Mary Jane’s erstwhile already-tragic situation, that unfortunate development would be it.

16 Replies to “The public relations disaster that is Celia Veloso”

  1. The members of the militant left are not reformists; they are revolutionaries that aim to replace the whole rotten system that we have here.

    Who organized those mass movements to pressure BS Aquino and perhaps the Indon government? Those “stinking communists”. Please state, in full detail, why the militant left is now largely discredited.

  2. So Celia really followed the lead of the commie groups? I was under the impression they merely free-rode on her. Well, not surprising since her husband was once a slave/farmer at Hacienda Luisita.

  3. Who is Monique Wilson appealing to? The same easily misguided masa like the easily misguided Veloso mom? Oh, look, it’s Pacquiao everywhere in the live TV news again!

    What can some smart guys do for these people really?

  4. Is this MJ Veloso’s Mommy an idiot? Or is she educated? the answer to that question may better explain whatever it is she did…and why? If she is uneducated she may have latched on to the 1st available ship that sailed by and lashed-out at the people who have been failing her daughter all these lonely 5 yrs…..the current admin..If she were educated, she MIGHT have just kept her mouth shut….I’m guessing the former would be the case.

  5. There is no end to the exploitation. She’s exploited as a migrant worker. Her story is exploited by the media. The politicians are exploiting her to grab credit. The leftist are exploiting this to grab attention and get on their soapboxes.

    This is our society, ladies and gentlemen. A society of exploiters and the exploited. It never ends and they’re too blind to see what they’re doing. In the end, it’s not about her. It never was.

  6. if anybody wants the entire context, then we should start with how celia ended up with 5 children. never mind that this country is either lacking in jobs or has an excess of people. do your part naman! or did she treat making children as a lottery game?

  7. Whoever profit from the May Jane Veloso case, will be like “Vultures”, descending on her for their share of pound of her flesh.

    Whether, it is the Credit Grabbing Aquino, who thinks himself , as a miracle worker, and an eleventh hour hero.

    Or the discredited Militant Left, who have also their own agendas; to promote their movement.

    The Reality is : Mary Jane Veloso is in Death Row. Sooner or later, she will face the Firing Squad, for being a Drug Mule…

  8. Fortunately, a lot of Filipinos don’t go for that kind of BS anymore. The reactions of netizens to CV are largely negative.

    Velosos look like a family of lying hustlers out for money to me not like real victims.

  9. So I guess the Veloso family was thrice screwed-over?

    1. The Veloso father worked at Hacienda Luisita, but his family was still in poverty.
    2. He’s gone, so his family has to fend for themselves, so the daughter tries to become an OFW, ends up becoming a drug mule.
    3. Mother is used by Migrante to speak against Aquino, although the above supplies context for it.

    There, thrice screwed-over?

  10. Ipa-deport na sina Celia Veloso at mga miyembro ng Migrante sa Spratly Islands at bombahin sila ng tubig na galing sa isang Chinese Coast Guard ship doon.

  11. I don’t think the “Mary Jane Case” has anything to do with OFW’s being “exploited”. What I read so far is that she came from a poor family, was left by the (filipino) father of her two kids (like millions other mothers in this country)and hoped to work abroad. A relative of hers flew her to Malaysia because there was a “job offering”,surprise surprise the “job” was already taken by somebody else but there is this new Job offer in Jakarta (hello?? Indonesia who “exports” household helps all over the world now needs Filipino domestic helpers?) and the Nigerian boyfriend of her relative gives her a suitcase full of drugs. Looks to me she was exploited not by any “evil foreign employer” nor by the “evil Indonesian Government” but by her own FILIPPINO closed friend/relative. Looks to me like one of the many cases where relatives screw each other for “easy money”.

  12. They live in a country called the Failippines, where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.

  13. A lot of people are fooled by anti-Veloso sentiment, even calling for the mother to be hanged. Even if she isn’t the one on trial. Is that really the mark of a civilized society?

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