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FACT CHECK: PH did not attack Chinese warship in West Philippine Sea


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FACT CHECK: PH did not attack Chinese warship in West Philippine Sea
The video shows a live-fire sinking exercise hosted by the US Pacific Fleet in 2016

Claim:  A YouTube video shows that the Philippines attacked a Chinese warship in the West Philippine Sea.

Rating: FALSE 

Why we fact-checked this: The false claim on YouTube was posted by Ella Vloggs with the title “CHINA VS PILIPINAS BUMANAT NA PHILIPPINE SEA! VINES BREAKING NEWS VIRAL” (China vs Philippines clash in the Philippine Sea! Vines Breaking News Viral). The video has 7,000 views and 58 comments as of writing.

What the video shows: The video shows a ship being attacked by a missile with the text: “WAR SHIP NG CHINA BINANATAN NG PILIPINAS” (China war ship attacked by the Philippines). 

Not a Chinese ship: Reverse image search shows that the ship in the video is the decommissioned US Navy frigate USS Thach, which was bombed by missiles and torpedoes during a live-fire sinking exercise as part of the maritime exercise Rim of the Pacific conducted near Hawaii in 2016.

The Philippines was among 26 countries that took part in the exercise hosted by the US Pacific Fleet to hone their proficiency in tactics and targeting against a surface combatant. Other participating countries were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, and the United Kingdom, in addition to the US.

Compared to the original video, the clip used for the false claim was magnified and mirrored. 

No official news: Despite the absence of proof, assertions about China’s warships being targeted by other nations persist. Rappler has repeatedly discredited these claims, which have been employed in various contexts:

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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