Claim: Former president Ferdinand E. Marcos visited South Korea for the inauguration of a highway that runs from Seoul to Busan – the Gyeongbu Expressway – by invitation of then-South Korean president Park Chung Hee.
Why we fact-checked this: Antonio Parlade, former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), made the claim in a comment on his own Facebook post dated April 21. The comment has 246 reactions as of writing.
Parlade’s comment has been reposted elsewhere on Facebook, such as in the following pages and groups:
- BBM Lang Ang Solusyon sa2022,MarcosAvengers
- BBM Pilipinas Japan 2022-Team Marcos Parin,Marcos Avengers
- Serbisyong BBM-Imee sa 2022-team marcos avengers
- Bagong Bansang Masagana22
- Bongbong Marcos 17th PRESIDENT of the Philippines
- PRESIDENT BONGBONG MARCOS VOLUNTEERS 2022
- THE UNITEAM MOVEMENT
- BBM Nation-Builders Movement
- KONTRA KAKAMPURES (TABOGO)
- MARCOS LEGACY
Official government information on foreign trips: There is no record of the elder Marcos visiting South Korea when he was president, based on a January 2013 Official Gazette article titled “The Foreign Trips of the Presidents,” which lists presidential foreign trips from 1935 until November 2012. The list covers state visits, official visits, working visits, summits, and private visits.
The same list shows that the first Philippine president to visit South Korea was Fidel V. Ramos, who went for a state visit on May 23-26, 1993. An article in the Manila Standard dated May 24, 1993, also reported about the visit and referred to Ramos as “the first Filipino head of state to visit South Korea.”
Ramos is no stranger to the country, having been a veteran of the Korean War that took place from 1950 to 1953.
No inauguration attendance: Parlade claims that Marcos was invited for the inauguration of “highway no. 1” that runs from Seoul to Busan. The Korea Times published an article referring this highway as the Gyeongbu Expressway that was completed and opened to the public on July 7, 1970.
The Official Gazette’s “Official Week in Review” sections show the president’s weekly activities. Nowhere in the records for July 1970 does it state that Marcos went to South Korea the same month that the Gyeongbu Expressway was inaugurated:
- Official Week in Review: July 31 – August 6, 1970
- Official Week in Review: July 24 – July 30, 1970
- Official Week in Review: July 17 – July 23, 1970
- Official Week in Review: July 10 – July 16, 1970
- Official Week in Review: July 3 – July 9, 1970
- Official Week in Review: June 26 – July 2, 1970
The Korea Times also published an article that showed a photo taken during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gyeongbu Expressway without any mention of Marcos whatsoever.
Marcos met Park Chung Hee in Manila: A Facebook post of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2018 shows that although Marcos never visited South Korea while he was still president, he met then-South Korean president Park Chung Hee during the Manila Summit of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1966.
Parlade’s false claims: Rappler had previously fact-checked Parlade’s false claims:
- Human Rights Watch has written about children in armed conflict in the Philippines (November 11, 2022)
- HINDI TOTOO: Tumatakbo si Satur Ocampo sa pagkasenador sa 2022 halalan (May 8, 2022)
The former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson has faced criticism for issuing statements without basis on social media, notably linking organizations and personalities to the communist movement. He has previously red-tagged celebrities Liza Soberano, Catriona Gray, and Angel Locsin, INQUIRER.net reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas, community pantries during the pandemic, and higher learning institutions.
Fact-checks on politicians’ trips: Rappler has published several fact-check articles on false claims about politicians’ visits to various places:
- HINDI TOTOO: Ayon sa ABS-CBN, walang aktibidad si Marcos Jr. sa Cavite noong Pebrero 12 (February 21, 2022)
- HINDI TOTOO: Hindi pumunta si Robredo sa Bicol habang siya ay bise presidente (October 18, 2021)
- HINDI TOTOO: Hindi ibinalita ng midya ang pagdalo ni Bongbong Marcos sa seremonya para sa SAF 44 (October 15, 2021)
- HINDI TOTOO: Binigyan ni Marcos ng Nutribuns ang batang Michael Jordan noong 1969 (October 11, 2021)
- FALSE: Ferdinand Marcos appeared in a 1983 world leaders’ meeting in Canada (May 1, 2021)
– Percival Bueser/ Rappler.com
Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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