In a Facebook note called “Blog #3: WO-MAN UP,” Kris Aquino chided American motoring journalist James Deakin for using her as a “shield” in defending himself from the negative feedback he had received as a result of an Instagram photo that saw him seated inside a car beside former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Deakin took a lot of heat after the photo was posted on Instagram by Filipino-American mixed martial artist Brandon “The Truth” Vera. In his defense, Deakin said the photo was “for an upcoming vlog I call ‘How do you solve a problem like Manila’ it is just one of thousands of recorded conversations I’ve had with lawmakers, politicians and other government officials through the course of my career.”
“Just to be clear, a photo of me posted by someone else on their Instagram account is NOT an endorsement. I’ve never endorsed any politician and I do not plan on starting now. I’m sorry if the perceived association offended anyone. That was not my intention.”
“So for the record, I’m not a BBM defender. Nor am I a detractor. I’m a transport journalist and road safety advocate that is passionate about finding solutions to this traffic crisis we are all going through. And that requires having conversations and interviews with a whole range of people. Not just people that I like or who agree with me. And that is the very least you should expect from an objective journalist.”
Deakin then proceeded to defend himself more in his post’s comments section with photos of himself beside other prominent personalities like recently resigned Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada. In an apparent display of his “objectivity,” Deakin also posted a link to an episode of Kris Aquino’s “The Kris” webisode that featured him as a guest.
“And lastly, for those saying, ‘why talk to BBM about traffic, he’s not a transport official’ I interview or share my advocacies with all sorts of people including the [A]quinos,” he further wrote.
In response, Kris revealed that the particular webisode that Deakin posted was actually paid for by petroleum company, Petron.
“NAGTRABAHO TAYO. BINAYARAN TAYO. (We worked. We got 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’,” Kris wondered.
“I am a celebrity with a political last name- but up until today i haven’t entered the political arena…In life we make personal, professional, and political choices. You struck me as being an intelligent man- so a picture will always say much more and mean so much to so many people.”
Kris then proceeded to further castigate Deakin about professionalism and taking responsibility for one’s actions even as she also mentioned some brands and products/services that she is currently endorsing.
“I’ve always believed in having the courage to be answerable for the choices in life I make & continue to make…PROFESSIONALISM means you show up, you woman (or man) up, you give them their millions’ worth, and you have the wisdom to separate whatever divisive political views you may have from your endorsements or brand partners. That is simply RESPECT.”
“I shall leave you with something I keep in my quotes folder, it has been attributed to both Winston Churchill & Eminem “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
Kris later revealed that Deakin reached out to her through fellow TV host Luis Manzano and texted his apology. Kris posted a screenshot of their exchange.
“I was also working when I did the bbm conversation. But it was taken as an endorsement. I really wanted to clear that up. So brought up our video as an example because I can’t be endorsing both you. But again I see in hindsight how I shouldn’t have gone there and for that I am truly sorry. You’ve been nothing but gracious with me. And you don’t deserve to be dragged into this mess. I do hope you can accept my apology,” Deakin texted.
In accepting Deakin’s apology, Kris posted, “[I] sincerely appreciate the humble gesture to reach out, apologize & clear the air quickly.”