Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go issued an apology following the controversy that arose over his claims about the heritage of Filipino hero Lapu-Lapu.
Go, who made a visit to the Queen City of the South as part of the celebration, claimed during a speech celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Victory in Mactan that Lapu-Lapu was a Tausug who came from Mindanao.
After his claims drew the ire of Cebuanos, the Senator immediately issued an apology on social media. He said he sincerely apologize for his erroneous claims, saying he respects history and that he is willing to learn from his mistakes.
“Ako po ay taus-pusong humihingi ng paumanhin kung iba ang dating ng aking nai-kwento. 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,” he wrote on his Facebook post.
According to the former aide of President Rodrigo Duterte, he based his claims on a story put out by the spokesperson of the defunct Sultanate of Sulu named Abraham Ibarani-Idjirani.
“Sa pagdiriwang ng ika-limandaang anibersaryo ng Victory sa Mactan sa Lapu-Lapu City kahapon, naibahagi ko sa aking talumpati ang sinabi ng isang mananalaysay na si Abraham Ibarani-Idjirani na si Lapu-Lapu umano ay Tausug din at may koneksyon sa mga ninuno natin sa Sulu. Ayon rin ito sa pananaliksik at konsultasyon na ginawa ng aking staff,” he stated.
While the National Historical Commission argues that there is no historical record about the lineage descent of Lapu-Lapu, Italian chronicler Antonio Pigafetta said Lapu-Lapu was known to be a chief of Mactan.
Lapu-Lapu led the fight that killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Battle of Mactan.