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FACT CHECK: Marcos did not declare war against China 


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FACT CHECK: Marcos did not declare war against China 
The video does not provide proof that the Philippines declared war against China, and no official sources corroborate the claim

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has declared war against China. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video bearing the claim has 7,700 views, 551 likes, and 94 comments. The YouTube page that uploaded the video, which has 216,000 subscribers, is notorious for spreading disinformation.

Text on the video’s thumbnail implies that Marcos has declared war: “PBBM nagdeklara na! Naglabas na ng utos! Lalabanan natin ang China! China nagulantang sa utos!” (PBBM has already made a declaration! Released an order! We will fight China! China was surprised about the order.)

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The facts: Marcos did not declare war against China. 

No official sources corroborate the claim and the video does not provide proof to back up this assertion.

The video merely featured a clip from the May 19, 2024 episode of 24 Oras Weekend on the supposed “gentleman’s agreement” to keep the status quo in the South China Sea and the alleged wiretapping of a phone call with now-sacked Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos. 

In the news report, Marcos also condemned a supposed new regulation by the Chinese government authorizing its coast guard to detain foreign “trespassers” in the South China Sea. 

The President declined to discuss “operational details” but told reporters, “We will take whatever measures to always protect our citizens.”

There was no mention of a supposed declaration of war in the GMA newscast and the transcript of the media interview. Neither has the defense department nor the foreign office issued any statement to this effect, including cutting off diplomatic ties with China that would have been consistent with such a declaration of war.


Tensions in the West Philippine Sea: Responding to China’s regulation, National Security Council spokesperson Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya saw Beijing’s move as a “scare tactic.” The Philippine government said that the directive does not have an effect since it doesn’t have any legal basis. (READ: View from Manila: Philippines downplays China’s new coast guard regulations as just ‘scare tactics’)

China claims sovereignty over Ayungin Shoal and almost all of the South China Sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei. This is despite the 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that found its sweeping claims do not have a legal basis.

Debunked: Rappler has already debunked similar claims:

– James Patrick Cruz/Rappler.com 

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