Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: No reports of PH acquiring 2 decommissioned UK frigates 


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FACT CHECK: No reports of PH acquiring 2 decommissioned UK frigates 
The UK Royal Navy said HMS Argyll was sold to a private company while HMS Westminster has been decommissioned

Claim: The Philippine government will purchase two stalwart Type 23 frigates of the United Kingdom Royal Navy: the HMS Westminster and HMS Argyll.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has over 2,179 views as of writing.

The video’s title claims that the Philippines intends to acquire the two frigates. 

The facts: There are no reports from the official Facebook pages of the UK Royal Navy, Philippine Navy, British embassy in Manila, and the defense departments of the Philippines and United Kingdom confirming supposed plans to acquire the two frigates.

According to a May 2024 Royal Navy press release, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps announced at the Sea Power Conference 2024 in London that the HMS Westminster and Argyll will be retired to make way for six new amphibious warships.

The same press release also said that HMS Argyll has been sold to UK defense and security company BAE Systems and will be used in the UK’s shipbuilding sector, while the HMS Westminster will be decommissioned.

The UK Royal Navy has not yet announced details on the future of the HMS Westminster


Maritime issues: Rappler has recently debunked several posts claiming that the Philippines has acquired various military assets from its allies amid its maritime row with China. China has been engaging in hostile acts against the Philippines in the South China Sea as it asserts its sweeping claims over the waterway, ignoring a 2016 ruling in favor of the Philippines.

The UK has said that the ruling is “legally binding on both parties” and has previously condemned China’s “unsafe and escalatory tactics” in the region.

Debunked: The two warships were also the subjects of another claim debunked by Vera Files on February 29, 2024.

Rappler also debunked several claims on alleged support to the Philippines from the United Kingdom:

– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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 the #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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