James Deakin gets flak for photo with Bongbong Marcos; takes Kris Aquino as ‘shield’
Multimedia motoring journalist and road safety advocate James Deakin was faced with backlash after a photo of him with former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was discovered. The photo was uploaded on Instagram last Jan. 17 by Brandon Vera, a Filipino-American mixed martial artist.
In the photo, Deakin can be seen sitting right next to Marcos on the front seats, while Vera and architect Jun Palafox sat behind them.
As the photo gained traction, Deakin took to Facebook to give a piece of his mind. Deakin defended himself after waking up to a lot of hate from Twitter users, and said that the photo was for an upcoming vlog of his, called “How do you solve a problem like Manila”.
Even more, Deakin denies that he is a BBM defender but at the same time, also says he is not a detractor. “So for the record, I’m not a BBM defender. Nor am I a detractor,” wrote Deakin. “I’m a transport journalist and road safety advocate that is passionate about finding solutions to this traffic crisis we are all going through.”
In follow-up comments, Deakin said, “On a side note, for those who have always asked me why I don’t run for office, this the exact reason why. Politics is too divisive. Blinding. It relies on hatred.”
Deakin asked further, “Why do some assume that if you participate in a recorded conversation with a public official, you are automatically pro?”
Netizens, however, weren’t happy with Deakin’s explanation and tried to engage with him on his own Facebook wall.
“Perhaps sir you could have been more circumspect. That’s BBM right there, a guy known for hiring a social media army to shore up his family’s age,” one commenter wrote. “Are you that naive?” Points about Marcos no longer being a senator and not involved with policy-making were also raised.
Others recommended that Deakin should have asked Marcos about the “billions” his family accumulated from “[skimming] off government coffers.”
Meanwhile, in a now deleted comment, Deakin was found saying that he interviews or shares his advice with all sorts of people, including the Aquinos.
Deakin then proceeded to post a YouTube video link of Kris Aquino with him last May 2017 to prove his point. The video, “The Kris List Ep. 4 Driving with Deakin”, was uploaded on the official YouTube account of Aquino called “The Aquinos”. The video can be watched through this link: The Kris List Ep. 4 Driving with Deakin
The Queen of All Media Kris Aquino, however, was not happy with Deakin’s comment. She took to her own Instagram and uploaded a photo last night which took a jab at Deakin to “woman up.”
Aquino did not mince words. She wondered out loud why a certain Road Safety Enthusiast and Influencer had to drag her into the discussion as a “shield.”
“Was peacefully recuperating but a Road Safety Enthusiast and Influecer had to drag me as a ‘shield’ when he got some unwanted reactions because of a picture that had been posted to drum up some noise for an upcoming vlog,” she wrote.
Aquino did not stop there. She also uploaded a blog post in her Facebook account which she entitled “Blog #3:WO-MAN UP”. There, she had more to say to Deakin:
“Let’s be HONEST. We were both hired by Petron to do a webisode for them. NAGTRABAHO TAYO (We worked). BINAYARAN TAYO (We were paid). You were informative & very good for on cam conversation… Now i understand the need to ‘explain’ yourself but really? You’ll use 5’3 me as a ‘shield’?”
In a more recent Instagram post, however, Aquino posted text messages of Deakin to her, explaining himself to clear things up. It was noted that it was Luis Manzano, Aquino’s inaanak (godchild), who connected Deakin with Aquino by giving him her number.
Deakin told Aquino that he was working when the photo of him with BBM was taken, but people mistook it for an endorsement of Deakin for the latter.
Aquino replied, saying she appreciated him reaching out to her to explain himself. And, as in all things in life, she told him that this too shall pass.
After things were patched up, Aquino addressed Deakin personally in her Instagram, saying, “And to James Deakin, I sincerely appreciate the humble gesture to reach out, apologize & clear the air quickly.” JB
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