Robredo urges millennials to fight misinformation

MANILA, Philippines – If there's one big problem the youth are facing today, Vice President Leni Robredo said it's misinformation.

"We are [fed] with so much misinformation and sometimes all our judgments, all our prejudices come from misinformation," Robredo told students of Far Eastern University gathered on Thursday, January 26.

Robredo said it's a good thing that information is readily available, especially through smartphones. But what's scary, said the Vice President, is how facts may be twisted or lies spread.

"'Pag naniwala ang nagbabasa, it could create a very bad image of a particular person. Hindi lang tungkol sa tao pero pati polisiya ng gobyerno," said Robredo.

(When the readers believe the information, it could create a very bad image of a particular person. Not just about a person but also the policies of the government.)

The Vice President herself has been a victim of gossip and fake news online.

Earlier this month, there was a rumor that Robredo was conniving with philanthropist Loida Lewis and other members of the Filipino-American community to plot President Rodrigo Duterte's ouster.

The rumor was based on exchanges through the public Yahoo! Group of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council. (READ: #LeniLeaks: Speculations based on fragmented emails)

There were even claims that the 51-year-old Vice President – a widow – is pregnant, and that she wed a different man before marrying the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo.

All these she has denied since.

Robredo encouraged the youth to be more discerning of the information they receive. (READ: Fake accounts, manufactured reality on social media)

"We can never base our judgments and our prejudices on information that are not true," said the Vice President. "You are not being forced to believe in a particular school of thought. But I hope, the basis of your belief is correct."

As for the government, Robredo said it is the task of officials to institute policies that would protect the public from unreliable information. (READ: De Lima: Fake news part of 'poison' from Duterte administration–

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.