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FACT CHECK: Germany didn’t give weapons to PH to defend the West Philippine Sea

John Sitchon

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FACT CHECK: Germany didn’t give weapons to PH to defend the West Philippine Sea
Only Japan transferred military-grade equipment to the Philippines recently, according to AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Gil Ileto

Claim: Germany turned over anti-aircraft munitions and anti-ship missiles to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to help defend the country against China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video containing this claim has over 16,000 reactions, 1,800 comments, and 331,000 views, as of writing.

In the video, the narrator says, “Sa isang nakamamanghang turn of events, ang Germany ay nagkaroon ng matapang na paninindigan laban sa mga agresibong aksiyon ng China sa South China Sea sa pamamagitan ng pagsisimula ng paglipat ng mga advanced na armas sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas.”

(In a surprising turn of events, Germany took a bold stance against China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea by initiating the transfer of advanced weapons to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.)

The narrator added, “Ang paglipat ng mga advanced na armas mula Germany patungo sa Pilipinas ay nagmamarka ng isang makabuluhang kabanata sa patuloy na pakikibaka para sa kontrol sa South China Sea at West Philippine Sea.”

(The transfer of advanced weapons from Germany to the Philippines marks a significant chapter in the ongoing struggle for control over the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.)

The facts: The Philippines did not receive any anti-aircraft weapons and anti-ship missiles from Germany, according to Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Gil Ileto, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.

In a text message to Rappler on Wednesday, June 21, Ileto said that the only recent transfer of military-grade equipment came from the government of Japan. “From Japan, we received radars—air surveillance radar systems,” he added.

In October 2020, the Philippine defense department signed a contract agreement with Japanese firm Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for the Philippine Air Force’s Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System Acquisition Project. The radar system will be used to enhance mentoring capabilities in the West Philippine Sea, the AFP said.

Manufacturing for the first fixed radar system was completed in September 2022, according to an October 2022 press release from Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

Courtesy visit: The Philippines and Japan affirmed stronger defense cooperation following the recent visit of Tsuchimoto Hideki, commissioner of the Japanese defense ministry’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency, last June 19.

In a press release, AFP Chief of Staff General Andres Centino expressed appreciation to the Japanese official for supporting the country’s modernization and capability upgrade program.

The Japanese government has been preparing military aid for the Philippines to help secure Taiwan’s western flank and defend it against a potential attack from China that could spark a wider conflict. 

Claims on military acquisitions: Rappler has previously debunked other false claims regarding the donation or acquisition of military assets, such as helicopters, ships, and submarines:

– Rappler.com

John Sitchon is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow.

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