2022 Philippine Elections

‘Complete fiction’: Robredo tells Marcos Jr. to come clean and deny’ Tallano gold existence

Aika Rey
‘Complete fiction’: Robredo tells Marcos Jr. to come clean and deny’ Tallano gold existence

MYTH. Dictator son Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. in Baguio.

Rappler Screenshot

(1st UPDATE) Presidential bet Leody de Guzman says the urban legend of Tallano gold perpetuates to take advantage of Filipinos believing in it

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of aspiring president Vice President Leni Robredo called the Tallano gold “a complete fiction,” as the spokesman of the dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. fell short on denying its existence.

Presidential bet Leody de Guzman also called the Tallano gold an “urban legend,” a story which, he said, is meant to deceive Filipinos. 

Robredo spokesperson Barry Gutierrez told Rappler on Tuesday, January 18, that Marcos Jr.’s camp should “come clean” on the false claims about Tallano gold.

“This is a complete fiction, with no basis at all in fact or history,” Gutierrez said. 

“Any candidate vying for high office must be uncompromising in upholding the truth, and senator Marcos himself must come clean and deny, once and for all, this fairy tale, to avoid further misleading the public,” he added.

On Monday, January 17, Marcos spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said he has no knowledge of the Tallano gold myth, despite it being ubiquitous online and offline.

“Even the Marcos camp has denied knowledge of this ‘myth,’ and yet our own on the ground experience indicates that there are those who believe it,” said Gutierrez.

The fairy tale that is Tallano gold has been repeatedly disproved in the past, yet the story lives on. As oral tradition dictates, there had been several versions of the myth, but loyalists believe that the Marcoses had been entrusted hundreds of metric tons of gold double than what could be found on Earth.

‘Meant to deceive the public’

On Tuesday, De Guzman said that the Tallano gold myth is an urban legend meant to deceive Filipinos, after the spokesperson of dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he had no idea of it.

In a statement Tuesday, January 18, De Guzman said that the story of the Tallano gold continued to spread due to ill intentions.

“Ang pagkalat ng kwento ay dulot ng isang detalyado at pantastikong istorya na may masasamang motibasyon sa likuran nito – una, ang linlangin ang mamamayan para mapagsamantalahan ang kanyang kahirapan at kawalan ng kaalaman sa usapin,” De Guzman said.

(The myth spreads due to a detailed and fantastic story that has ill intentions behind it – first, to deceive our countrymen so that their poverty and lack of understanding on the matter could be taken advantage of.)

The veteran labor leader also said that false claims about Tallano gold were being perpetuated to remove the spotlight away from more pressing issues in the country.

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“Nakakalungkot na marami pa ring nabibiktima ang pamilyang Marcos sa paghahabi ng mga kathang isip at pagpapakadalubhasa sa pambobola sa ating mamamayan,” said De Guzman.

(It is saddening that many of our countrymen believe the Marcos family that weaves fiction and is an expert in puffery.)

De Guzman recounted the 2017 incident where thousands of Marcos supporters flocked to the University of the Philippines Los Baños to get their “promised cash” from the ill-gotten Marcos wealth.

Instead of mocking those who fell prey to the Tallano gold myth, De Guzman asked the public who know better to “disclose the truth.”

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Copper, not gold?

When asked by Rappler on Tuesday about false claims about Tallano gold, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno just sent links about vaccinations at Manila Zoo, implying he did not want to respond directly to the controversy.

But back in October 2021, Moreno had been warning his audiences at his “listening tour” visits about politicians who promised to give away “gold.”

Hindi ako anak ng presidente, hindi ako namimigay ng ginto. Mag-ingat kayo, tanso ‘yan. Baka ma-tanso kayo,” he said in a Quezon City event.

(I’m not the son of a president, I don’t give away gold. Be careful, that’s only copper. You might be fooled.)

Rappler reached out to the camps of presidential bets Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson but they have yet to respond as of posting time.

In 2018, Senator Imee Marcos also addressed the issue, saying that she “had not seen any gold.” – with reports from Pia Ranada, Jairo Bolledo, and Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.