Philippine Navy

FACT CHECK: No news from PH Navy confirming French submarine acquisition

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FACT CHECK: No news from PH Navy confirming French submarine acquisition
Neither the Philippine Navy nor the Department of National Defense has issued any statements confirming the submarine acquisition

Claim: The Philippine Navy will buy submarines from France.

The title of the video says, “Big project in the making!! Philippine Navy will get iron whale from France, Submarine Acquisition” 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video containing the claim has over 32,037 views as of writing. 

No confirmation from PH Navy, DND: The Philippine Navy and the Department of National Defense (DND) do not have any announcement regarding a plan to acquire submarines. 

Reused script: Rappler analyzed the script said in the video containing the claim using advanced Google search and found it to be from multiple sources. 

The first part of the video’s script is from an article published by independent media outlet The Defense Post on September 15, 2022. 

The Defense Post article reported that French ambassador to the Philippines Michele Boccoz and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. discussed the possibility of a submarine deal between the two countries at their meeting last September 2022.

However, the article said that the submarine deal is an ongoing discussion, with no confirmation of a final deal. Official news reports by, PhilStar, and the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on the meeting also said there was no finalized plan for the submarine deal then. 

The second part of the script came from a Maritime Research Information Center’s (MRIC) article published on November 9, 2022, about a number of Philippine Navy officers undergoing submarine training in France. 

The article did not say this is connected to the Philippines’ potential acquisition of French submarines. The MRIC article also said the country’s submarine group was formed in 2015 even without any confirmed plans for acquisition of a submarine. 

Why the topic resurfaced: The claim, which was posted on January 31, 2023, could be a result of Marcos’ acceptance of France’s invitation for a state visit, which was announced four days earlier on January 27, 2023. 

According to PNA, Boccoz said the priority areas for the state visit are food security, energy, climate change, and biodiversity, including people-to-people ties. 

The French ambassador also said that maritime security will be discussed by Marcos and French President Emmanuel Macron but there was no mention of the potential submarine deal between the two countries being discussed during the state visit. – Lorenz Pasion/

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