Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

[WATCH] Tallano gold? ‘Hindi ko alam iyan,’ says Marcos Jr. spokesman

Lian Buan

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[WATCH] Tallano gold? ‘Hindi ko alam iyan,’ says Marcos Jr. spokesman
'I don't have any social media account so I don't know the content you're talking about,' says Marcos Jr. spokesman Vic Rodriguez
[WATCH] Tallano gold? ‘Hindi ko alam iyan,’ says Marcos Jr. spokesman

MANILA, Philippines – “I don’t know.”

That’s the short answer of Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of presidential aspirant and dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., when asked to confirm or deny the existence of the myth of Tallano gold – a popular Marcos topic on social media.

“Honestly, I don’t have any social media account so hindi ko alam ang sinabi mong content. To be candid with you, I have always been candid with all of you, hindi ko alam,” Rodriguez said on Monday, January 17. (Honestly I don’t have any social media account so I don’t know the content you’re talking about. To be candid with you, I have always been candid with all of you. I don’t know.)

Although repeatedly debunked through the years, the urban legend thrives, perpetuating the story that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was entrusted with hundred thousands of metric tons of gold by the so-called royal Tallano family. Marcos is said to have been the Tallano family’s lawyer and trustee of their gold bars. (Read Rappler’s 2019 fact-check about the Tallano family here.)

On YouTube and TikTok, where Marcos also thrives with his own content, some netizens are daring him to address the myth himself.

But Marcos rarely gives interviews, and it’s hard to catch him for a chance interview during his events, so we asked Rodriguez instead.

“Call me ignorant, but I have to profess my ignorance now, hindi ko alam iyan (I don’t know that). Hindi ako sumusubaybay sa social media (I don’t subscribe to social media). So you have to excuse me on that one,” Rodriguez said.

The myth thrives in different versions, with a story backbone of the so-called Maharlika sourced from the website of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the party that the older Marcos founded and which is supporting the presidential bid of the son.

Some claim that the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, as declared by the Supreme Court and several decisions by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, are actually the Tallano gold bars that rightfully belonged to the Marcoses. There is also urban legend passed down to generations that Marcos will pay off the country’s debts using this gold, if not to distribute them to Filipinos.

So persuasive this myth is that in 2017, thousands of Marcos supporters flocked to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) to get their promised cash, supposedly P10,000.

In 2018, Senator Imee Marcos rushed through a similar question by journalist Ed Lingao in an episode of their program The Chiefs on One News. Imee Marcos said: “I don’t know, I’ve never seen any gold. I’ve heard about it being talked about constantly pero wala namang nakikita (none have been seen).”

[WATCH] Tallano gold? ‘Hindi ko alam iyan,’ says Marcos Jr. spokesman

The Marcoses have rebranded their image since they were kicked out of the country in 1986 by a people power revolution. Disinformation, coordinated amplification, and use of an extensive network of anonymously-managed pages and groups were discovered as part of the Marcos comeback playbook. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.