Deception goes global

By Artchil B. Fernandez

BBM’s debut on the global stage turned out to be a huge faux pas. The Marcoses hoped the global appearance of BBM will contribute big to their effort to whitewash their dark past. Alas, it turned out be a whopping disaster.

To project how “important” BBM is and eager to boast this “achievement” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles bragged “only” his principal was granted the “rare” privilege to have a meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) 77th General Assembly.

“We understand that a lot of requests have been made to the US President, that it is significant that he spoke only with Marcos on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” Cruz-Angeles announced. She went on to emphasize that 48 world leaders requested a meeting with the US president and only BBM was accommodated.

Cruz-Angeles in her excitement and zeal to promote her boss, forgot that she is now dealing with the international community and not with fanatics and paid trolls. Hours after Curz-Angeles’ show-off, she was forced to eat her words. She was unaware or ignorant that she is dealing with the White House which has its official website and press machinery.

White House official website released the meetings of US President Joe Biden with other world leaders at the sidelines of the just concluded UN General Assembly. The US leader met with French President Emmanuel Macron, new United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol among other world leaders.  Malacañang was caught lying flat-footed. A little Google would have saved Cruz-Angeles and her boss from embarrassment and humiliation.

Confronted with the truth and reality, Cruz-Angeles was forced to retract her early boast and apologized. “I apologize for the slight confusion in my earlier statement,” she corrected herself.  But she also doubled down on her lie in a flimsy attempt to cover up the double-talk which cancelled the earlier apology. “The other meetings of President Biden had been previously agreed upon but were postponed and only pushed through in this instance,” was her sly alibi to her lie.

How did Cruz-Angeles know that “previously agreed upon meetings” were cancelled only to push through in the last minute? Is she a White House insider or she has a “deep-throat” in the press office of the US president? Her lame excuse for her lie made it appear the White House is sloppy, making on-and-off appointments and playing with other world leaders. Cruz-Angeles only made her untenable position worse.

This is the problem with perennial and habitual liars. Once they are caught with their lie, they cover it up with another lie. But a lie is always a lie. A lie can never conceal another lie. The layers of lie just pile up.

Prior to her appointment as Press Secretary, Trexie Cruz-Angeles was a vlogger. She maintains the vlog “Luminous by Trixie Cruz-Angeles & Ahmed Paglinawan.” In the administration of Du30, she was a social media strategist. She used to be a critic of the Marcoses, even calling for the jailing of the other half of Conjugal Dictatorship, Imelda Marcos who was convicted of seven counts of graft. The offer of power works in strange ways and she ended up BBM’s official spokesperson. In 2016, the Supreme Court suspended her from practicing law for three years for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility. It is no surprise she is now peddling her lies globally.

Cruz-Angeles thought she is still vlogging and forgot that she is now a government official. She is clearly suffering from role confusion. This is the problem when a non-media entity or someone with no media experience handles sensitive position like press secretary. She cannot distinguish between propaganda and legitimate news.

The embarrassing incident on BBM’s first foray into the international stage is not surprising. BBM’s rise to the presidency is mainly fueled by lies and deception. The Marcoses successfully polluted the social media with falsehoods, distorting history through misinformation and disinformation. Now the Marcos deception goes global.

But the global community is not the same as the local audience. The Marcoses failed to make a distinction, wrongly assuming that they can deceive many Filipinos, the same can be done with the international audience. They transported their myopic mentality globally.  The result went badly for them.

The world community remembers the Marcos dictatorship with its brutality and corruption. While BBM was speaking at the UN, the New York Times ran a story about the victims of the Marcos dictatorship. Contrary to Cruz-Angeles’s lying spin, the international reception to BBM was polite but frosty. He did not generate excitement but protest actions and recollections of the misdeeds of his family during their 20-year rule.

The blatant lying of Cruz-Angeles only served to confirm to the global audience that the Marcoses lied and deceived their way to return to power.It only reinforced and strengthened the reputation of the Marcoses as morally bankrupt. Cruz-Angeles simply made the international community taste first-hand the Marcos deception.

Honesty is always the best policy. If the Marcoses wanted to be accepted and if they genuinely desire to redeem themselves, they can start by being honest and stop the deception. Only by being truthful can they be given a second look. A lie may bring them power and wealth but lie can never earn for the Marcoses respect. Deception will only solidify their reputation as a deceitful family – unrepentant and remorseless, who inflicted on the Filipino people so much horror and agony.