Claim: Jillian Robredo provoked a vendor at the Baguio City Market to shout discrimination against Igorots and that they should be respected.
The Facts: Jillian Robredo, before her talk to vegetable farmers and supporters in La Trinidad, went to the Baguio City Market (on the inside alley at the souvenir section going to the rice section) at about 3 p.m. to meet and greet with the vendors and market-goers.
The team, which included Baguio councilor and Leni supporter Mylen Yaranon, posed and talked to the vendors and market-goers and some of them had selfies with her. Here is the full link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maw6tjufg80
The daughter Robredo has been courteous throughout and can be heard saying, “Jillian Robredo po.” Some of the vendors brought out their Leni posters and aprons and some even shouted “Leni, Leni, Leni!”
Since it was almost closing time at the market, there was a need to clear the market. A voice can be heard telling the buyers to clear the path. If you are a regular buyer, this is a constant reminder to prevent pickpockets to take advantage.
A person was heard shouting, “Huwag kayong humarang!” Towards the end of the video, he is again heard shouting, “Dayuhan ka lang dito! Kami, Igorot kami!” He was a passerby.
Here is Councilor Yaranon’s take on the situation: “While we were at the rice section, one person started shouting to make way and our group gave way. I even said, ‘Sorry po, sorry po’ to the one shouting but we were shocked as the person came back and the vendors started booing at the person.”
It was Councilor Yaranon who advised the young team to ignore the person.
“But we were all shaken by the uncalled-for shouting,” she added.
Of course, the vendors are used to having tourists in the area. Before the Jillian incident, it was de rigueur for local and national politicians to campaign at the market.
Unfortunately for Leni’s daughter, this “incident” has been used as a powderkeg to sow intrigue and misinformation. The previous “long” video version was taken out and what came out was the last-minute part.
Most used the short versions of the video to make their commentaries and twist the context of the supposedly innocuous “market walk.”
The situation has become viral, spawning another BBM vs. Leni war.
Judging from her talk with nearby La Trinidad farmers, vendors, and supporters, Jillian has put the incident to its fitting end but the dirty war has begun without her knowing it.
The One Baguio Benguet and the Robredo People’s Council stated on April 27 regarding the heckling event.
“This unfortunate incident has put the people of Baguio, particularly the Igorots, in a bad light. It has given the impression that those who are not from the city are NOT welcome, when in fact Baguio is a tourist destination. The people of Baguio, regardless of what language they speak, always have been warm and welcoming to the visitors. The individual’s unacceptable behavior should not be seen as the norm,” the statement said. OBB also said that one of the vendors followed Jillian’s team as they were leaving and asked for an apology.
“That apology speaks more of the residents of Baguio City than the actions of the individual who made the daughter of the Vice President unwelcome.”
Why we fact-checked this: Aside from the fact that the incident has trended on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, it also provoked xenophobia and IP discrimination which were not the intention of the market walk in the first place. It also showed the importance of fighting fake news in the bud.
UPDATED: 1:05PM, April 27, 2022