President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday claimed Lapulapu, chieftain of Mactan island in Cebu, was from the Tausug tribe of Mindanao.
"I raise Lapulapu to the level and dignity of a true warrior. And he was Tausug," Duterte said in his speech before leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Maguindanao.
“He killed the first invader of our country. I am very proud of him,” he added.
Last month, Sen. Christopher Go, in his speech during the quincentennial year celebration of the “Battle of Mactan,” made the same claim that Lapulapu was from Mindanao.
Go eventually apologized for the revised version of history that he shared, adding that he is ready to listen and learn from historical experts.
The incident in Cebu prompted the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to issue a statement to protect the origins of the pre-colonial hero.
“[It was Spanish expedition chronicler Antonio] Pigafetta who mentioned that during the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521, Lapulapu was the chieftain of Mactan,” said NHCP chairman Rene Escalante.
“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.