VICE PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo urged the youth to vote in the 2022 national elections and participate in the fight against the “infodemic” in a webinar organized by the UST Central Student Council (CSC) last Feb. 10.

“These principles of human rights and dignity, of crucial democratic values, are in fact our most important tools in dealing with the current crisis. They ensure facts and data flow freely, which serves as the bedrock of sound decision making,” Robredo said. 

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also said the youth, which he said comprises almost a third of the voting population, should register to vote.

“[In the] May 2019 elections, the data we have is close to 10 million eligible voters ages 18–29… that did not vote nor register,” Pangilinan said. 

 Pangilinan said that if the majority of the youth had cast votes, the Congress makeup and the state of the country would have been different. 

 “Baka hindi naipasa ang anti-terror law. Baka hanggang ngayon, bukas pa ang ABS-CBN. Dahil itong dalawang pangyayari ay hindi maaaring nangyari kung hindi kumilos ‘yung inaprubahan ng Kongreso, ng Senado,” he said. 

 Pangilinan urged voters to hold elected officials accountable and recounted how some of the country’s national heroes were in their early 20s when they made their historic impact.

 “Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Graciano Lopez Jaena. They were all students in Europe. Nag-aaral. They were Filipino students studying in Europe but they were actively involved in the propaganda movement,” he said. 


 Pangilinan said Covid-19 wasn’t the only pandemic plaguing the country; citing the “infodemic” or spread of misinformation.

 “‘Yung pandemic alam natin yan, yung Covid. Yung infodemic, ‘yan ‘yung laganap na panlilinlang, laganap na panloloko, laganap na pagsisinungaling na nangyari ngayon sa ating bansa,” he said. 

 Globally, Filipinos spend the most time using the internet and social media, according to a study by advertising firm We Are Social.

 Pangilinan advised students to be knowledgeable on current events “because the first step to involvement is being informed.”

 “Unless we confront this effectively, you will have undeserving candidates who will win in the elections, become congressmen, become senators, because of the peddling of fake news and disinformation,” he added. 

 The webinar, titled “Kasangga,” was broadcast on CSC’s official Facebook page.


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