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Iâm sorry â Bong Go
Bong Go delivers his controversial speech on Lapulapu's origins at Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory at Mactan). His speech earns netizens' ire for claiming the national hero was from Sulu.
File photo

I’m sorry – Bong Go

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 30, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Senator Bong Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s closest confidante, has apologized for wrongly claiming that national hero Lapulapu was from Sulu in Mindanao.

“Ako po ay taospusong humihingi ng paumanhin kung iba ang dating ng aking naikwento,” said Go in his Facebook post Wednesday.  [I sincerely apologize for how my story came off.]

Go, in his speech at the ceremonial event commemorating the 500 years of the Victory at Mactan Tuesday, said Lapulapu may actually be from Mindanao.

Go cited a theory of Abraham Ibarani-Idjirani, a Sultanate of Sulu official, who believed that Lapulapu was ordered to travel from Mindanao to check on foreigners arriving in what would later be known as Mactan.

At his speech, Go said the historic clash took place only because Magellan and Lapulapu met on Mactan Island.

“From Sulu, Lapulapu brought with him several Tausug warriors on board some boats,” Go said. “They were met by Magellan’s soldiers, which led to the Battle of Mactan where the Portuguese explorer was killed,” he said.

“Lapulapu became a hero for defending our country,” said Go.

“Part of the victory were those people from Mindanao who fought the invaders. That is why President Duterte wholeheartedly looks up to Lapulapu,” he said.

Go drew flak from historians and netizens for saying Lapulapu was of Tausug descent from Sulu.

In his Facebook post, Go explained that the story of Lapulapu as a Tausug from Mindanao came from Ibarani-Idjirani, who is a spokesperson of the defunct Sultanate of Sulu.

He said he respects history and has no intention of changing the stories of Philippine heroes, adding that he is ready to listen and learn based on what experts of history know.

“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,” the lawmaker said.

However, Go said there is no clear historical record stating where Lapulapu came from, quoting the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

“Walang klarong historical record na makapagpapatunay ng totoong pinanggalingan ni Lapulapu at ang mga iba’t ibang bersyon ng talambuhay niya ay itinuturing na parte na ng ating tradisyon at kultura. Lahat po ito ay nagpapayaman ng ating kaisipan at pagkatao bilang mga Pilipino,” he added. — KQD (FREEMAN)

CHRISTOPHER BONG GO
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