James Deakin under fire for photo, video with Bongbong Marcos

Rappler.com
James Deakin under fire for photo, video with Bongbong Marcos
Netizens say Deakin should've known better than to associate himself with the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, but the journalist says talking to 'a whole range of people' is part of being 'objective'

MANILA, Philippines – Automotive journalist James Deakin drew flak on Sunday, January 21, after he was shown in a photo and video with former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The photo was posted on Instagram by Filipino-American mixed martial artist Brandon Vera last Wednesday, January 17. It showed Vera, Deakin, and Marcos, as well as architect and urban planner Jun Palafox.

Deakin and Marcos also discussed Metro Manila’s traffic problem in a 12-minute video. It is the second in a series of video blogs (vlogs) posted on the official Facebook page of the defeated vice presidential candidate.

Netizens said Deakin should have known better than to associate himself with the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who placed the Philippines under Martial Law from 1971 to 1983.





 

In response to critics, Deakin said he is neither a “BBM defender” nor a “BBM detractor” but “a transport journalist and road safety advocate [who] is passionate about finding solutions to this traffic crisis we are all going through.”

“It is just one of the thousands of recorded conversations I’ve had with lawmakers, politicians, and other government officials through the course of my career,” he added in a statement posted on Facebook. “It is what I do.”

Deakin also said talking to all sorts of people is part of being “an objective journalist.”

“[It] requires having conversations and interviews with a whole range of people. Not just people [who] I like or who agree with me,” he added. “And that is the very least you should expect from an objective journalist.”

But Deakin’s explanation did not sit well with some.

“Please don’t portray yourself as a victim of hate. Please lang. Konting perspective naman. Maraming buhay ang sinira ng BFF mong si BBM at ang pamilya niya (Please. Just a little perspective. A lot of lives were destroyed by BBM and his family). The Marcoses destroyed Toyota. They plundered the economy. Why do PR for BBM wittingly or unwittingly?” columnist Tonyo Cruz said on Twitter.

“[We] expect better from a journalist who benefits from freedoms restored by the anti-Marcos struggle,” he added.




 

Marcos lost to Vice President Leni Robredo by only 263,473 votes in the 2016 elections. He accused Robredo and the Liberal Party (LP) of robbing him of victory, and filed an electoral protest against the Vice President in June 2016. – Rappler.com