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FACT CHECK: No news of Chinese diplomats expelled from PH


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FACT CHECK: No news of Chinese diplomats expelled from PH
National Security Adviser Eduardo Año called for the removal of Chinese diplomats over ‘malign influence and interference operations,’ but no expulsion order has been issued

Claim: Chinese people will be expelled from the Philippines.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the title and thumbnail of a YouTube video posted on May 11, which has gained 48,000 views, 2,600 likes, and 815 comments as of writing.

The video is titled: “Nako yari! Mga Chinese palalayasin na sa Pilipinas?” (Oh no! Chinese people are going to be expelled from the Philippines?)

Its thumbnail bore the text: “Mga Chinese palalayasin na sa Pilipinas? Yari!” (Chinese people are going to be expelled from the Philippines? This is serious!)

The bottom line: No official announcements from the Philippine government or credible news reports support this claim. The video uses a clickbait title to imply that Chinese people are set to be kicked out of the country. In the rest of the video, however, the narrator talks about recent calls for Chinese diplomats to be expelled following an alleged leak of a phone call with a Philippine military general. No expulsion order against the diplomats has been issued.

Call for expulsion: National Security Adviser Eduardo Año called for the removal of Chinese diplomats from the Philippines following the release of a supposed audio recording of a phone call with Western Command (Wescom) chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos. The alleged call discussed a supposed agreement to ease tensions in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. 

In a statement, Año called on the foreign affairs department to take action. 

“Those individuals in the Chinese Embassy responsible for violating Philippine laws and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and those responsible for malign influence and interference operations must be removed from the country immediately,” he said.

No Philippine official has acknowledged the authenticity of the alleged audio recording. Carlos, who has commanded Wescom since January 2022, is on personal leave.


‘New model’: Lin Jian, foreign ministry spokesperson for China, reiterated in a press conference on May 6 that a supposed agreement was made “after multiple rounds of discussions through the diplomatic channel and AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] WESCOM [Western Command],” supposedly with the approval of Año and Philippine defense secretary Gibo Teodoro Jr. Both officials have categorically denied China’s claims.   

The word war is the latest in rising tensions between the two countries, as China insists on its sweeping claims over the South China Sea despite a 2016 international arbitral ruling rejecting these claims. Andrei Santos/Rappler.com

Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship 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. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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