Marcos Fact Checks

FALSE: Ferdinand Marcos’ Letter of Instruction for Bagong Lipunan currency

Rappler
FALSE: Ferdinand Marcos’ Letter of Instruction for Bagong Lipunan currency
There is no such letter found in the Official Gazette
At a glance:
  • Claim: A “Letter of Instruction” from the late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos called for the printing of the “Ang Bagong Lipunan” currency backed by precious metals such as gold.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: No such Letter of Instruction can be found in the Official Gazette.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The claim was found in a Facebook post on the page “Filipino Future” on Thursday, March 4. As of writing, the post has about 1,300 reactions, 93 comments, and about 1,100 shares. 
Complete details:

On Thursday, March 4, Facebook page “Filipino Future” posted a photo of a purported “Letter of Instruction” by the late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos. 

The letter, supposedly dated July 15, 1983, reportedly said that Marcos authorized and instructed both the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Finance to print the “Ang Bagong Lipunan” (ABL) monetary currency for the purpose of benefitting Filipinos. 

The letter is presented in relation to claims about gold that the Marcoses supposedly had. It claimed that the ABL currency was “printed with back up guarantee deposit of gold, platinum, and diamonds quantified the volume in metric tons and karats.” Also, the caption of the post from “Filipino Future” stated: 

“Eto yong Letter of Instruction ni President Ferdinand E. Marcos noong July 15, 1983 na kung saan inutusan na nya ang Central Bank of the Philippines na mag imprenta ng Ang Bagong Lipunan Philippine Currency Bills na back up ng kanyang 7,000 metric tons of gold at iba pang precious metals para iangat ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.” 

(This is the Letter of Instruction of President Ferdinand E. Marcos on July 15, 1983 wherein he ordered the Central Bank of the Philippines to print Ang Bagong Lipunan Philippine currency bills backed up by his 7,000 metric tons of gold and other precious metals to lift the economy of the Philippines.)

This claim is false. The “Letter of Instruction” is a fabrication. 

The Letters of Instruction published on the Official Gazette, the official journal of the Republic of the Philippines, showed that no Letter of Instruction from Marcos was dated July 15, 1983. 

Page 19 of the search results for official Letters of Instruction showed two Letters of Instruction dated July 7, 1983; three on July 20, 1983; two on July 22, 1983; one on July 28, 1983; one on August 1, 1983; and one on August 2, 1983. These dates cover the letters numbered 1341 to 1350.

None of the full texts of the official Letters of Instruction on page 19 of the search results match the full text of the claimed letter from “Filipino Future.” 

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Furthermore, the “Letter of Instruction” claimed by “Filipino Future” strays from the expected format of an official Letter of Instruction in the relevant time period covered by page 19 of the search results. It lacks details like the Letter of Instruction number, the addressees of the letter, and a date and location where the letter was done.

The letter from “Filipino Future” also makes an anachronistic reference to “Philippines 2000,” the Philippine development framework of former president Fidel V. Ramos who served from 1992 to 1998. 

While there was indeed an “Ang Bagong Lipunan” series of banknotes that the Central Bank of the Philippines issued in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 168, the series was first issued in 1973, not in 1983, as claimed by “Filipino Future.” 

The March 4 post by “Filipino Future” had about 1,300 reactions, 93 comments and about 1,100 shares as of writing. The full text of the so-called “Letter of Instruction” was also posted on the website of “Filipino Future” on March 1.

“Filipino Future” had also posted the photo of the letter on two other posts before: one on September 6, 2020, and another one on April 24, 2020. These have had around 4,495 reactions, 341 comments, and 3,121 shares combined.

It has also made references to the letter, although without the text or the photo, in posts put up on July 14, 2020 and July 6, 2020. As of writing, the two posts garnered about 8,100 reactions, about 1,900 comments, and about 8,400 shares.

Rappler has fact-checked posts from “Filipino Future” multiple times in the past. – Percival Bueser/Rappler.com

This article was written by a volunteer of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program, a 5-week exclusive and hands-on training on detecting, investigating, and verifying online misinformation and disinformation.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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