Duterte wants Lapulapu statue in Cebu ‘bigger and higher’ than Magellan’s

Inquirer.net January 18,2022 - 11:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants a bigger and higher statue of Filipino hero Lapulapu in Cebu than the statue of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who the native chieftain defeated in the Battle of Mactan.

Magellan famously ended his voyage when he was killed following a clash with Lapulapu. However, only a shrine and not a statue was built in honor of Magellan for bringing Christianity to Philippine shores in 1519.

The statue of Lapulapu and Magellan shrine are situated a short distance from the other at the Mactan Shrine, where the historic Battle of Mactan was believed to have taken place in 1521. 

Also called Liberty Shrine, the Mactan Shrine was ordered built by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1969.

During his address to the nation on Monday night, January 17, 2022, Duterte expressed his desire to have the hero’s 20-meter statue bigger than Magellan’s.

“I respect whoever whose opinion or decision was that but I am very uncomfortable to see the statue of Lapulapu smaller,” the president said during his address to the nation that aired Tuesday, January 18.

“Sabi ko, ‘pag ako ang nag-presidente, palitan ko,” he added.

(I said, if I become president, I will change it.)

Duterte then asked acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles to tell the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to look into his request.

“Paki-note mo nga diyan, Karlo. Somebody sa Historical Commission (Note it there, Karlo. Somebody from the Historical Commission), you just tell them that the president has requested you to go there and try to look at the situation without offending the inhabitants there,” the chief executive said.

Nograles responded that a bigger Lapulapu statue was already unveiled.

“Mr. President, nung quincentennial celebration po, nag-unveil na tayo ng statue ni Lapulapu. Ang nag-represent po sa inyo that time si [Executive Secretary Salvador] Medialdea, ako, at si Senator Bong Go, nagpunta kami du’n… Mas malaki na po,” he answered.

(Mr. President, during the quincentennial celebration, we unveiled Lapulapu’s statue. Executive Secretary Medialdea, Senator Bong Go, and I represented you at that time. It’s now bigger.)

However, Duterte insisted on his request for a bigger Lapulapu statue.

“As a matter of principle, I do not want na ‘yung ating (our) national hero number 1, who fought the invaders [and] Magellan, whose statue now is higher than the statue of Lapulapu,” he said.

“The thing is, I want Lapulapu bigger and higher than Magellan,” continued the president.

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TAGS: Battle of Mactan, Ferdinand Magellan, lapulapu, President Rodrigo Duterte

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