National Historical Commission has last word on Lapulapu
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Lapulapu was a chieftain of the island of Mactan and not a Tausug from Mindanao.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) made this assertion on Saturday, hoping to put an end to the strong reactions triggered by a recent claim made by Sen. Bong Go about the famed warrior’s origins.
In a statement, Dr. Rene Escalante, the NHCP chair, said all information about Lapulapu was based on accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, the chronicler of the Spanish expedition led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
“[It was] Pigafetta, who mentioned that during the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521, Lapulapu was the chieftain of Mactan,” Escalante said of the clash that ended in Magellan’s death five centuries ago.
“NHCP considers other popular accounts and stories outside of these historical sources as speculative and folkloric and should not be regarded as established facts of history,” he added.
Apart from Pigafetta’s accounts, the NHCP said there were no credible eyewitness accounts or any form of document that may be considered primary sources which could shed light on Lapulapu’s birthplace, parents and other details of his life.
‘Full respect for history’
Last week, Cebuano historians were quick to dispute Go’s statements describing Lapulapu as a Tausug who just came to Mactan after being ordered by the sultan of the East Kingdom of Sulu to find out more about the foreigners who had arrived.
Go, who was speaking at an event commemorating the battle’s 500th anniversary, cited as his source Abraham Idjirani, a spokesperson for the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu.
The lawmaker and close aide of President Duterte apologized on Wednesday in a Facebook post but said even Mr. Duterte had made that claim. Go said he was ready to listen and learn based on what historians know.
“I want to clarify that I have full respect for history and have no intention to change the honor and beliefs we have in our heroes,” he said.
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