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Presidential aspirant and labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman commented on the Tallano gold myth – a story being circulated by pro-Marcos propagandists across several social media platforms.
The preposterous myth claims that the late dictator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Sr. was paid 192,000 tons of gold for his services as a lawyer for the royal Tallano family – described as the pre-colonial “owners” and “rulers” of Hawaii and several islands in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. Needless to say, this is untrue.
“Ang Tallano gold gaya ng kahariang Maharlika ay walang istorikal na ebidensiya, isang urban legend ika nga. Ang pagkalat ng kwento ay dulot ng isang detalyado at pantastikong istorya na may masasamang motibasyon sa likuran nito: Una, ang linlangin ang mamamayan para mapagsamantalahan ang kanyang kahirapan at kawalan ng kaalaman sa usapin,” de Guzman said.
(The Tallano gold like the Maharlika kingdom has no historical evidence, it is an urban legend. The circulation of this detailed fantasy is driven by mischievous intentions: –First, to deceive the people and exploit their poverty and lack of knowledge on the topic.)
De Guzman also said that the myth was made to distract the people from real social issues.
“Ikalawa, ilihis ang kanyang atensyon para maabala sa mga trivial na usapin imbes na harapin ang mga mabibigat na usaping panlipunan gaya ng kagutuman, kapayapaan, sistematikong inhustisya at climate change at panghuli, samantalahin ang malawak na kagutuman at kawalan ng pag-asa ng marami,” he said.
(Secondly, it is made to divide the attention of the people so they would be preoccupied by trivial discourse instead of relevant social issues such as famine, peace, systematic injustice and climate change and lastly, take advantage of intensifying hunger and the diminishing hope of the masses.)
The presidential aspirant was saddened by how many people “fell victim to the deception of the Marcoses”. He cited an instance wherein thousands of people flocked to the University of the Philippines Los Banos, hoping to get a portion of the Marcos wealth.
De Guzman then challenged the educated to expose the myth instead of shaming those who believed it.
“Kailangan natin palaganapin ang kritikal at siyentipikong pagsusuri para maitaas natin ang kalidad ng pambansang diskurso,” he said.
(We need to encourage critical and scientific analysis in order to raise the national discourse.)
No less than the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement), a political party founded by Marcos Sr., has the baseless story published on their website. Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson, however, claims that he knows nothing of the myth. Sen. Imee Marcos also said in 2019 that her family had nothing to do with the Tallano gold.
As part of educational reforms under the Aquino administration, the Department of Education (DepEd) removed Philippine History in the curriculum in 2014. This was sustained even in the Duterte administration, with Secretary Leonor Briones claiming that the subject was “integrated in several subjects.”
A report reveals that there is no mention of Philippine history in the Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) curriculum from Grades 7 to 10.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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