The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has yet to retouch the law before it will “touch” the Blood Compact marker on its wrong site in Bool, Tagbilaran City.
This was the view of Gov. Edgar Chatto formally relayed to NHCP chairman Dr. Rene Escalante in response to the latter’s request to remove the marker of the historic Sandugo.
The title of the marker reads, “Blood Compact Between Sikatuna and Legaspi.”
In his July 26, 2017 letter to Escalante, Chatto recalled that the National Historical Institute (NHI) resolved 12 years ago that the Blood Compact “took place…off the waters of Loay, Bohol.”
This was contained in NHI Board Resolution No. 04 approved in 2005.
But the governor also recounted that four years earlier or in 2001, the Congress passed into law Republic Act 9093 providing that the Sandugo occurred in Bool, Tagbilaran City.
The said law is also known as “An Act Declaring March 16 of Every Year As A Working Public Holiday for the City of Tagbilaran and the Province of Bohol To Be Known As The Blood Compact Day, and For Other Purposes.”
The relevant portion of the law reads: “Section 1. Spanish Captain-General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Boholano Chieftian, Datu Sikatuna, entered into a blood compact, the first treaty of friendship and alliance between Spaniards and Filipinos, on March 16, 1565 in Barangay Bool, City of Tagbilaran.”
“We are of the opinion, however, that the 2005 NHI Resolution should be made as basis in amending RA 9093 before transfer of marker can be done,” Chatto wrote to Escalante.
In an earlier episode of his regular Friday media forum Kita ug Ang Gobernador, Chatto opposed the removal of the marker
in Bool, long believed to be the actual site of the Blood Compact until the NHI finding.
While he respects the NHI declaration of Loay as the genuine place of Sandugo, the governor said the the wrong site will surely continue to gain tourist interest.
Local tourist guides can explain to their guests the circumstances leading to the identification by the NHI of the “historically accurate” venue of the Blood Compact.
The compact, also reputed to be the first between the white and brown races, was immortalized by the late Filipino diplomat and United Nations Secretary-General Carlos Romulo as the “seed of United Nations.”
The NHCP request to remove the Bool marker is apparently to correct historical error and stop confusion.
The governor furnished Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II a copy of his opinion-letter to the NHCP for appropriate information and action, considering that the questioned marker is within the city’s jurisdiction. (Ven rebo Arigo)