CEBU CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go clarified he has no intention to alter history or look down upon the people’s admiration for heroes when he remarked during the quincentennial commemoration of the "Victory of Mactan" last Tuesday (April 27) that Lapulapu was a Tausug warrior.
“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. Handa po akong makinig at matuto base sa kaalaman ng mga eksperto sa larangan ng kasaysayan (I sincerely apologize if my story brought a different outlook. I want to make it clear that I have full respect for our history and I have no intention of changing the way we admire and believe in the lives of our heroes. I am ready to listen and learn based on the knowledge from experts in the field of history),” Go said in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday night.
In his speech during the 500th anniversary of the famous Battle of Mactan, Go mentioned about the version of a story on Lapulapu as told by a historian, Abraham Ibarani-Idjirani, that the warrior who toppled Ferdinand Magellan was actually a Tausug and had connection with the Filipinos' ancestors from Sulu.
The claim, he said, was also based on the research done by his staff and that version of the story had been mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in many of his speeches.
Go said the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) also attested that there is no clear historical record that can prove the true origin of Lapulapu and the many versions of his life story are considered part of tradition and culture.
“Lahat po ito ay nagpapayaman ng ating kaisipan at pagkatao bilang mga Pilipino (All of these have enriched our minds and personalities as Filipinos),” he added.
The senator vowed to continue giving importance to the bravery of the Filipinos' ancestors in all chapters of history and the remarks he made would not change his respect and love for his fellow Visayans. “Bisaya pud ko ug garbo nako akong pagka-Bisaya (I am a Visayan and I’m proud to be one),” he said.
He said in Cebuano that regardless of origin – be it from Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao – “we have one blood running in our veins".
“Lahat tayo ay pwedeng maging bayani sa panahong ito ng pandemya sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtulong, pagmamalasakit, at pagseserbisyo — hindi sa pagbabatikos at paghahanap ng mali sa ating kapwa Pilipino (We can all be heroes in this time of the pandemic by helping, caring and serving – not by criticizing and finding fault with our fellow Filipinos),” Go said.
He urged everyone to leave the debate about the facts of history to historians.
"As Filipinos, let us take to heart the lessons of history that remain relevant in our lives today,” Go said. (PNA)