02574: In Politics, Perception is Often Reality

So the above Instagram update apeared on Brandon "The Truth" Vera's Instagram account and sent ripples across social media. Transportation advocate James Deaken (in the passenger seat) posted his response to the social media hoopla on Facebook stating he was being an objective journalist by agreeing to appear in this Bongbong Marcos video. It was accompanied by comments about this being why he has chosen to stay out of politics and all that drama.

The Marcos Family will always be an emotionally sensitive subject in this country as it is largly felt that restitution for the abuses of the Marcos Martial Law years still hasn't been made and yet we have also seen them rise back into power. BBM's on-going electoral protest has him still fighting for the position of Vice President against Leni Robredo - a drawn-out legal dispute that is more than likely being paid by money stolen by the country back then but the paper trails are hard to trace after so many years.

And it has been clear that in recent years the Marcos family, whether directly or indirectly through agents of a sort, have been making a major push to clean up their image and win support. Just look at all those factually inaccurate videos claiming how Ferdinand Marcos was the best president the country ever had because of a whole lot of things he never did. More and more any time we see BBM  in the spotlight, one can't help but feel it's part of a larger agenda.

Whether you like it or not, appearing in a video series with BBM is going to be political to a large degree. In a country where a lot of people invest in Messianic figures to save them from their hardships, celebrities and other figures of public reknown become people to trust in and people to believe. Investing one's political clout by appearing together with a man who represents a lot of ugly things about our country's recent history will feel like an indirect endorsement to many because of this line of thinking. Throw in a popular mixed martial arts fighter in the mix and it definitely feels more like an endorsement tour than just a serious discussion about Metro Manila traffic.

But hey, I get it, Deaken was largely a hero in last year's Uber/Grab snafu with the LTFRB and it's hard to let go of heroes. The same mindset that makes people look up to movie stars hoping they're like the rags-to-riches underdogs that they portray on screen is similar to the line of thinking that makes people want to support well-spoken, good-looking public figures like him. And it's okay to want to defend him and ignore the messier side of politics because people are selective in their measurement of people that way. We all have our priorities and we're not all going to agree.

And thus lines continue to be drawn as social media allows us to reveal more about where we stand on just about any subject matter.