“NO need to apologize. This unfortunate incident does not diminish our love and respect for the Baguio people.”
And with that, VP Leni Robredo defused the Jillian heckling incident at the Baguio Public Market and assured that she will come up for the “Takder, Cordi” Grand Rally at the Melvin Jones football grounds on May 2.
Robredo’s reply was for the apology of Baguio Mayor Benjie Magalong over the rude disruption of Jillian Robredo’s campaigning at the famed Baguio City Market.
“Baguio folks, regardless of ethnic roots, are generally friendly, ever-smiling, and hospitable to visitors and guests,” Magalong said.
“This is why it is with deep regrets that the city officialdom extends a sincere apology to Ms. Jillian Robredo, daughter of our esteemed Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo, over the unfortunate heckling incident at our public market while visiting the place,” he added.
“We are sorry that incidents like this took place. Rudeness has never been a standard conduct of Baguio folks,” Magalong added.
Councilor Yaranon, who accompanied Jillian and her team said, “I was with Jillian, introducing her to the vendors, we came from Session Road down Malcolm Square then to the market.”
“We passed the veggie section with a warm welcome and selfie pictures from the vendors and market-goers. While we were at the rice section, one person started shouting to make way, and the group made way. I even said “sorry po, sorry po” to the one shouting, but we were all shocked, especially when the person came back shouting, but the vendors started booing at the person,” Yaranon recounted.
She said that the person then shouted, “Dayo lang kayo. Igorot ako.”
That incident, otherwise ignored, was magnified by the other political camp and became viral for the wrong reason.
There were allegations of Jillian telling the heckler, “I will educate you,” which was absent in the video and the other video that followed. There were allegations of finger pointing, which was also not seen in the videos.
But “Baguio” and “Igorots” became viral search terms last Wednesday and Thursday when the alleged heckler came out with his own explanation.
The One Baguio Benguet and the Robredo People’s Council in their own statement said, “Contrary to the comments on social media, the verbal attack was unprovoked, and the edited/spliced videos that show otherwise do not indicate what really happened.”
“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.