Senator Bong Go issued an apology after his 500th Battle of Mactan anniversary speech wherein he claimed that Filipino hero Lapu-Lapu was actually from Mindanao.
In his recent statement, he clarified that he has the utmost respect for the country’s history, and he is willing to learn from historians.
“Ako po ay taus-pusong humihingi ng paumanhin kung iba ang dating ng aking naikwento. Nais kong klaruhin na buo ang aking respeto sa ating kasaysayan at wala akong intensyong baguhin ang paghanga at paniniwala natin sa buhay ng ating mga bayani,” Go said in a statement.
“Handa po akong makinig at matuto base sa kaalaman ng mga eksperto sa larangan ng kasaysayan.”
Humingi ng paumanhin si Sen. Bong Go matapos ang kanyang naging talumpati sa ika-500 anibersaryo ng Battle of Mactan sa Lapu-Lapu City kahapon. pic.twitter.com/fRhGkoaFWB
— News5 (@News5PH) April 28, 2021
In his speech during the event held in Lapu-Lapu City, the senator said that the historical figure could be someone from Mindanao.
“I and President Duterte are from Mindanao. We, too, are Bisaya.
“Mula sa Sulu, nagsama ng maraming mandirigma ang Tausug na si Lapu-Lapu sakay ng bangka. Sinalubong sila ng mga tauhan ni Ferdinand Magellan na naganap ang Battle of Mactan kung saan namatay si Magellan. At itinanghal na bayani si Lapu-Lapu dahil sa pagtatanggol niya sa isla ng Pilipinas, kabahagi ang mga taga Mindanao sa tagumpay.”
He then stated that this is why President Rodrigo Duterte has a connection to Lapu-Lapu as he also didn’t want Filipinos to suffer.
“Kaya hindi nakakapagtaka na ang minamahal nating Pangulong Duterte ay taos puso ang pagkilala kay Lapu-Lapu dahil hindi rin po niya ninanais ng ating mahal na Pangulo na patuloy tayong maapi.”
According to Cebuano archeologist and historian Jose Eleazar Bersales, Go got his information from a podcast that has “not published his findings of has presented these to a body of historians and experts.”
Though the senator allegedly had an unreliable source, Bersales added that people can still forgive him as he’s not a historian.
“I give him some slack but I would still think that there should be a clarification na there was no intent to insult the people of Mactan.”
Iginiit ng Cebuano archaeologist-historian na si Jose Eleazar Bersales na hindi official record ang pinagbasehan ng talumpati ni Sen. Bong Go kung saan sinabi niyang isa umanong Tausug si Lapu-Lapu. | via @dqdevera pic.twitter.com/yFvDjgHoCC
— News5 (@News5PH) April 28, 2021
Netizens then reacted to the claims of Bong Go with some agreeing that the senator should be declared persona non grata in Lapu-Lapu City for his remarks.
— Alan Luigi Flores (@luigi_flores) April 27, 2021
Another said that a part of them thinks that Go “intentionally” stated his historical claims to “unify” Visayas and Mindanao.
There's 10% in me that thinks that Senator Bong Go intentionally distorted historical facts on Lapu-Lapu for the purpose of 'unifying' Mindanao and Visayas; dangerous precedent.
— Zuriel Domingo (@domingozuriel) April 28, 2021
Rapper Ez Mil got mentioned as he also made false claims regarding the history of Lapu-Lapu in one of his songs.
The question now is — will Lapu-Lapu City Mayor want Bong Go to be declared “persona non grata”, just like how he asked the council to declare rapper Ez Mil over lyrics in his viral song? https://t.co/sQe9VBsLrx
— jml (@ishqmeraki) April 28, 2021
Someone sarcastically said that he believed the senator as the latter is in the middle of the fight between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan.
A twitter user also linked a Soundcloud podcast and asked if it was Go’s source for his speech.
— Max Limpag (@maxlimpag) April 28, 2021
“This is [a] part of the Duterte narrative that Mindanao is more important than Visayas and Luzon and that Duterte is the new Lapu-Lapu.”
Why is Bong Go spreading the lie that Lapulapu is a Tausug from Sulu? This is part of the Duterte narrative that Mindanao is more important than Visayas and Luzon and that Duterte is the new Lapulapu. Historical revisionism indeed. #Lapulapu
— Nestor Castro (@NestorCastro) April 27, 2021
A Netizen described Bong Go as a “stupid senator alalay.”
When you elect a STUPID SENATOR ALALAY. 🤡
Propaganda pa more Bong Go.
Balik ka muna history class mo ok?
If Lapu-Lapu could resurrect from the dead he will hunt you down. https://t.co/SZevlB9VMQ
— DragonLady (@dragonladykmr) April 27, 2021
Someone also accused the senator of using the speech to spread propaganda and paint President Duterte as an “anti-colonial figure.”
Bong Go, like the Duterte regime, truly has no regard for historical facts. Today he fabricated a "Mindanaon" Lapulapu in the service of hackneyed propaganda painting Duterte as an anti-colonial figure posessing shared ancestry with the hero who conquered Magellan. #LapuLapu500 https://t.co/aEYLoUDwNH
— Alice in Duterteland (@d0wnDrabbith0le) April 27, 2021