Robredo defended from online attacks, false claims on use of indigenous fabric

Published January 15, 2019, 4:19 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo refused again to back down from online attacks, this time addressing the “fake news” that she wore an Ifugao death blanket for Rizal Day last year.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

But Robredo let concerned citizens to respond for her on social media against allegations that she committed cultural appropriation.

“Hindi ko nababasa iyong mga post nila—buti na lang iyong mga nakakaalam, iyon iyong mga nag-correct sa kanila,” Robredo told radio station RMN-dzXL.

(I have not read their post—it’s a good thing those who know were the ones who corrected them.)

Among those Robredo referred to were Filipino director Floy Quintos and a group called Ifugao Nation, both of which took the cudgels for her when a photo of her supposedly wearing a skirt with funeral symbol circulated on social media.

Suspended lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who is a known Duterte supporter, and Ahmed Paglinawan, uploaded the photo on Facebook. They questioned Robredo if she knew about the fabric she was wearing.

In their caption, they said: “Wait. I hope that is not an Ifugao death blanket the Vice President is wearing. Or Isinai.”

“Moral of the lesson? The VP should read up on cultural appropriation. Or in this case, mis-appropriation,” they added.

But the Ifugao Nation, which manufactures and promotes indigenous Philippine textiles, posted on its Facebook account to correct their false claim online about Robredo’s attire.

“Yes, the VP is wearing our fabric. No, its not funerary,” the group said.

The Ifugao Nation went on to say that “many Ifugao weavers are recipients” of Robredo’s anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay, and she promotes their products.

Calling it fake news, Quintos slammed Angeles and Paglinawan for misleading the public.

“This talk of cultural appropriation is from the opportunistic and the ignorant. So conveniently used to cast doubt on the intentions of the VP,” the award-winning director said in a separate Facebook post.

“Ang lawak ng field of Philippine traditional material culture. You can’t just take aspects and images and use them for your devious purposes. Now, who is appropriating what and for what purpose,” he said.

The Vice President has set the record straight that she would not tolerate any fake news and lies being spread against her.

Robredo said she was grateful to the Ifugao Nation and Quintos for responding to false claims that she wore a funerary skirt at the Rizal Day event.

“Hindi ko alam kung organisasyon o page, ang tawag: Ifugao Nation—sila iyong nagsabi na, ‘Mali kayo. Mali kayo kasi hindi iyan ginagamit sa libing.’ Tapos si Direk Floy Quintos—hindi kami magkakilala; kilala ko siya by name pero hindi pa kami nag-meet—nag-respond din,” she said.

(I don’t know whether it’s an organization or page; it’s called: Ifugao Nation—they said “You were wrong. You were wrong because that’s not being used for funerals. Then Direk Floy Quintos—we don’t know each other; I only know him by name but we haven’t met—he also responded.)