Needs of Various Types of Clientele and Audiences of Communication

Different individuals, groups, and communities have distinct communication needs. They want to send and receive messages to and from other parties. Let us take a look at the following communication context to explore how various types of clientele and audience of communication may be represented in the April 30, 2015 Mary Jane Veloso case. 

On 28 April 2015, the Philippines and the world awaited an execution of a 30-year old Filipina and mother of two together with eight other prisoners in Indonesia. Mary Jane Veloso, was caught with 2.6kg of heroin at Yogyakarta airport in Indonesia and later accused of drug trafficking in April 2010. In October of 2010 she was sentenced to death.

Veloso maintained her innocence and that she was just tricked but all her appeals through her legal team were rejected. She claimed that in her desire to support her two children she sought for work abroad as a domestic helper. She claimed that the person behind her crime was Maria Kristina Sergio, the daughter of one of her godparents, who convinced her to travel to Indonesia to start a new job as a maid. A male friend of Sergio gave Veloso new clothes and a new bag to travel with as her luggage and she was not aware it had heroin sewn into it.

The family of Veloso pleaded for the Philippine government direct intervention and to NGOs and media convinced that she was truly an innocent victim. These efforts were met with resistance from the Indonesian side.

The two appeals which were launched by the Philippine government on the request of Veloso, to the Indonesian government were both rejected. The Philippine government tried to argue that Veloso had poor translators during trial which made her incapable of understanding what was going on during her trial and that she was just a victim of a drug syndicate.

In his capacity, President Aquino had met President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Malaysia to discuss Veloso’s case as well as spoken to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and proposed keeping Veloso alive so that she could testify against drug traffickers. This two did not seem to have worked. On April 28, 2015, Veloso, together with the eight other convicted prisoners found themselves at Nusakambangan Prison Island awaiting their executions as scheduled. Groups of people in the Philippines and around the world gave the case prominent coverage. In Manila the activists protested at outside the Indonesian embassy.

The story of Veloso had reached and received a worldwide sympathy from peoples of all walks of life.

During the time leading to the scheduled execution, Ms. Sergio, the woman accused of duping Veloso, unexpectedly turned herself up to the police station in Cabanatuan City asking police protection saying she was receiving death threats. As time went by Indonesia issued a reprieve, saying Veloso was needed to testify against a “perpetrator suspected of human trafficking.” She was then transferred back to a prison in Yogyakarta.

What followed next were counterclaims by various groups for credit: political leaders, NGOs, human rights groups, lawyers, the families and groups that protested in the streets, and in front of the Indonesian Embassy. Each felt they succeeded in their communication goals.