Fact check - gov't services/laws

FACT CHECK: No PH nuclear-powered warship in the West Philippine Sea


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

FACT CHECK: No PH nuclear-powered warship in the West Philippine Sea
The BRP Davao del Sur, which was recently dispatched to the West Philippine Sea, is not a nuclear-powered vessel. The misleading video also misrepresents US vessels as Philippine ships.

Claim: The Philippines has deployed its very own nuclear-powered ship to increase its military presence in the West Philippine Sea.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has 5,385 views and 200 likes as of writing. It was posted on October 15 by a channel with 121,000 subscribers.

The narrator says: “Inilunsad ng Pilipinas ang pinakamalaking nuclear-powered destroyer sa WPS.” (The Philippines has launched its biggest nuclear-powered destroyer in the West Philippine Sea.)

The video was posted following the latest confrontation between the Philippine and Chinese navies in the West Philippine Sea.

Aircraft Carrier, Military, Navy

The bottom line: Neither the Department of National Defense nor the Philippine Navy has issued any official announcement that the Philippines already acquired a nuclear-powered vessel ready to be deployed in the West Philippine Sea. 

A reverse video search showed that the ships in the misleading video are from the United States, not the Philippines. 

No nuclear power: The vessels shown in the video are the amphibious assault ships USS Boxer and USS Bataan, both with the US Navy. The USS Boxer recently returned to San Diego while the USS Bataan was deployed to Israel to help evacuate Americans. Neither vessel is nuclear-powered.

The video misrepresents the US vessels as the Philippine ships BRP Davao del Sur and BRP Antonio Luna. While it is true that the BRP Davao del Sur was recently dispatched to the West Philippine Sea to shore up the country’s maritime surveillance capabilities there, the video’s claim that it is nuclear-powered is false.

The BRP Davao del Sur is a Tarlac-class landing platform dock vessel commissioned into service in 2017, while the BRP Antonio Luna is a guided missile frigate, one of the Philippine Navy’s most advanced warships.

Military presence in WPS: Amid recent incidents of Chinese hostility in the West Philippine Sea, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government will increase the country’s defense capabilities to protect its sovereign territory, but made no mention of acquiring nuclear-powered ships anytime soon. During the 122nd anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday, October 17, Marcos said the PCG will acquire 40 more patrol boats

The Philippines asserts its claim over the West Philippine Sea through the 2016 arbitral ruling that affirmed Manila’s sovereignty over its exclusive economic zone, a decision China refuses to acknowledge and deems as “illegal, null, and void.”

Tensions have been increasing between the two countries as China continues to increase its military presence, including conducting “dangerous maneuvers” against Philippine vessels, installing floating barriers, and harassing Philippine vessels on resupply missions to its outpost in the South China Sea. (READ: Chinese harassment in South China Sea now a ‘daily situation’ – Manalo)

The Philippines is set to file another diplomatic protest against China over the latest incident of harassment last October 13, adding to the 34 complaints filed in 2023 so far.

Rappler has published several fact-checks about claims on military actions in the West Philippine Sea:

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino 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. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!