Marcos Fact Checks

FALSE: Former South Korean president visited NLEX in 1960s

FALSE: Former South Korean president visited NLEX in 1960s
There are no reports, documents, or recordings to prove that Park and Marcos visited NLEX during Park's visit to the Philippines in 1966
At a glance:
  • Claim: During a visit to the Philippines in the 1960s, then-South Korean President Park Chung-Hee visited the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with former President Ferdinand Marcos.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: There are no reports, documents, or recordings to prove that Park and Marcos visited NLEX during Park’s visit to the Philippines in 1966.
  • Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the post containing this claim on the Facebook page “Dugong Maharlika” has over 1,300 likes, 598 shares, and 106 comments. 
Complete details:

A Facebook post falsely claims that, during a visit to the Philippines in the 1960s, then-President of South Korea Park Chung-Hee visited the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with former President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon visiting NLEX, Park was said to have been inspired by the Philippines’ expressways and sought to create similar expressways in South Korea upon his return.

The post contains the following text: “[President] Chung Hee and Marcos once visited the Radial Road 8, now called North Luzon Expressway. I heard that Mr. Chung Hee literally cried on Mr. Marcos’ shoulder saying ‘wish my country would be just like the Philippines.’ Right after he came back to Korea he started a plan to create expressways similar to what he saw in the Philippines to literally connect the cities all over Korea which were divided by tall mountains.”

As of writing, the post containing this claim on the Facebook page “Dugong Maharlika” has over 1,300 likes, 598 shares, and 106 comments. 

This claim is false. 

Park only visited the the Philippines once during his term from 1963 to 1979 to attend the 1966 Southeast Asia Treaty Organization Convention (SEATO) Summit Conference held in Manila. The visit lasted from October 24 to October 26, with activities only conducted at the Batasang Pambansa Complex and Malacañang Palace. There are no reports, documents, or recordings to prove that Park and Marcos visited NLEX.

There are no reports, documents, or recordings either to prove that Park said the quote included in the post – “I wish my country would be just like the Philippines” – during their supposed visit to the NLEX. 

Moreover, Gyeongin Expressway, South Korea’s first expressway, was constructed at around the same time as the NLEX. It began construction in 1967 and opened in December 1968. NLEX opened in August 1968, only months before the Gyeongin Expressway.

Rappler has debunked multiple falsehoods about the Marcos regime, including claims about the Philippines being the “richest country in Asia” under Marcos and that the Philippine economy worsened after Marcos was ousted from power. – 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.

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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