‘Not disputing as historical fact’: Guinness World Records on removal of ‘greatest robbery’ page

March 17, 2022 - 3:40 PM
Ferdinand Marcos announcing Martial Law
Dictator Ferdinand Marcos announces on live TV on the evening of Sept. 23, 1972 that he has imposed martial law throughout the country. (Photo from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines)

The Guinness World Records said that the pullout of the page of “the greatest robbery of a government” from its website was not to dispute facts as these are already part of history.

The organization said this in response to a news outlet that posted a printed copy of the 1995 edition of the GWR book.

The post also showed a photo of the page that stated late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. as the titleholder of the robbery record.

GWR’s Twitter account replied to this post on March 15.

“We’re not disputing this record as a historical fact, nor are we disputing that we monitored the record title and published it in our books and online,” Guinness said.

Guinness stated that its researchers are trying to ensure the accuracy of the record itself over the years since they first released it.

“We’re conducting this review because the record has not been recently researched and verified by independent sources as up-to-date, and therefore it will be re-examined to ensure its accuracy,” it said.

As of writing, Marcos’ record is no longer found on GWR’s website. The page itself could also no longer be searched on Google.

Sought for comment on why it removed the article of the record on its website, GWR responded the following to Interaksyon:

“GWR takes very seriously, now more so than ever, our responsibility to be a source of reliable, accurate information. Any record which has not been recently researched and verified by independent sources will be re-examined to ensure its accuracy, as well as its compatibility with GWR values and the values of the audiences we serve.”

Interaksyon also asked when the verification would be resolved and what resources GWR will use for it. However, the organization has yet to reply to the additional queries as of writing.

Online buzz about Guinness record

Last week, several social media users noticed that the write-up on the robbery record suddenly disappeared on Guinness’ website.

Around that time, the phrase “greatest robbery of a government” could still be searched on Google.

However, the link directs users to a web page with a statement that reads:

“Oops…We are supposed to help you break records not pages. The page you requested cannot be found. It might have been moved. It might have been deleted. Let’s look for it.”

Online users shared screenshots of this notice online.

Marcos’ record title could still be viewed via the Wayback Machine, an internet archive.

On the archived web page, it was stated that the Philippine government identified on April 23, 1986 a staggering $860.8 million that Marcos and his wife Imelda stole from the country.

Guinness also provided details on what happened after the Marcos family fled to Hawaii in the US in 1986.

“Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines in 1991, and was found guilty of corruption in 1993. However, Imelda Marcos was cleared of all charges on appeal in October 1998. The Philippine Supreme Court acquitted her, setting aside a 12-year jail sentence. The decision – by a majority of 8-5, with 1 abstention – reversed a January ruling by the Supreme Court on her 1993 conviction by a lower court,” it said.