At a glance
- Claim: National hero Jose Rizal owned a “White Vatican Account” and transferred it to former president Ferdinand Marcos.
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly referred to as the Vatican Bank, is a financial institution that stores property intended for works of religion or charity of the Catholic Church. The bank only accepts deposits from top Church officials. Therefore, it is not possible for Rizal or Marcos to have owned accounts in the Vatican Bank.
- Why we fact-checked this: YouTube channel “Filipino Future,” which has over 105,000 subscribers, posted a video with this claim on March 10. The video has reached over 86,000 views and 588 comments, as of writing.
A video posted on March 10 by YouTube channel “Filipino Future” falsely claims that national hero Jose Rizal owned a “White Vatican Account” and transferred its ownership to former president Ferdinand Marcos in 1974.
The full title of the video reads: “Bakit Napunta sa Mahigit 170 Bansa ang mga Ginto ni Pangulong Marcos? MUST-WATCH” (Why did President Marcos’ gold end up in over 170 countries? MUST-WATCH?)
Referring to the false claim that gold owned by Marcos is being stored in the World Bank, the video includes the text: “Hindi pa kasali dyan ang White Vatican Account na sinecure ni Jose Rizal na natransfer din kay Marcos noong 1974.” (That doesn’t even include the White Vatican Account secured by Jose Rizal that was transferred to Marcos in 1974).
The video states that Marcos’ gold includes wealth that was supposedly inherited from Rizal’s “White Vatican Account.”
This claim is false.
The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly referred to as the “Vatican Bank,” is a financial institution established in 1942. It stores property intended for works of religion or charity of the Catholic Church in Vatican City.
The IOR is regulated by the Vatican’s financial supervisory body and is run by the highest Church officials, including the Commission of Cardinals and the Pope. The bank also only accepts deposits from the highest Church officials. It is therefore not possible for Rizal to have ever owned an account there.
As the IOR was established in 1942 – 46 years after Rizal’s death in 1896 – this makes the claim even more preposterous. It stems from another false claim that Rizal’s death in 1896 was staged by Jesuit priests and that Rizal supposedly became a priest who lived up to the age of 113. This has also been proven false by Rappler in March.
There are also no public records, reports, or documents to prove that a “White Vatican Account” exists at all.
Rappler has fact-checked multiple posts by the Facebook page “Filipino Future.” Click on these links to read more about the false claims posted by this page:
- FALSE: Ferdinand Marcos’ Letter of Instruction for Bagong Lipunan Currency
- FALSE: Philippines is rich in water called deuterium
- FALSE: George W. Bush says Philippines is wealthiest country in the world
- FALSE: PH economy got worse after Marcos was ousted
- FALSE: US federal gov’t watermarked ballots for 2020 election
- FALSE: ‘Philippines 2000’ is Marcos’ vision for PH using his wealth
– Sofia Guanzon/Rappler.com
Sofia Guanzon is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.
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