Zarate questions BSP removal of heroes on P1,000 bill
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Isagani, a member of the opposition party-list group Bayan Muna, called out the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Sunday for removing the portraits of three Filipino World War II heroes from the design of the new Philippine banknotes and replacing them with the Philippine eagle.
The new P1,000 bill will feature the endangered Philippine eagle, replacing Filipino heroes Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, Brig. Gen. Vicente Lim and Girl Scouts of the Philippines founder Josefa Llanes Escoda, who were killed during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.
“While it is not wrong to feature Philippine flora and fauna in our banknotes, but, it should not be at the expense of removing totally our heroes who stood and fought for our rights and liberty,” Zarate said.
On Saturday, Zarate called out the BSP for the “glaring errors” in the new design of the bill after the scientific name of the Philippine eagle was spelled Pithecophaga “jefforyi” instead of Pithecophaga “jefferyi.”
“It is bad enough that the BSP misspelled the scientific name of the Philippine eagle, but, it is even worse that it erased very important historical figures from the new banknotes, in effect also denigrating their historical contribution in the defense of our freedoms and the fight against foreign aggression,” he said.
By doing this, Zarate said the BSP was helping unscrupulous groups and individuals “who are now aggressively trying to revise our history.”
He pointed out that banknotes represent not just a country’s tourist attractions but what a nation holds dear and serves as a constant reminder to its people.
“Eliminating our heroes from them is a way of erasing them from the Philippine psyche,” he said.
He urged the BSP to “reconsider this revisionist makeover” by putting back the Filipino heroes, even as the flora and fauna are also incorporated in the new design.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier said that it was the BSP that designed the new 1,000-peso bill and was approved by the National Historical Institute.
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