Marcos Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Ex-president Marcos did not visit South Korea to inaugurate Gyeongbu Expressway

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FACT CHECK: Ex-president Marcos did not visit South Korea to inaugurate Gyeongbu Expressway
In the Official Gazette’s list of presidential foreign trips, there is no record of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos visiting South Korea

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. 

Rating: FALSE

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
  • BBM Nation-Builders Movement

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.

NO SOUTH KOREA VISIT: No Philippine president has visited South Korea for a s state visit, official visit, working visit, summit, and private visit until 1993.

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:

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:

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, 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:

– Percival Bueser/

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.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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