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FACT CHECK: PH did not fire warning shots vs Chinese ships off Subic


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FACT CHECK: PH did not fire warning shots vs Chinese ships off Subic
Parts of the video spreading the claim were taken from earlier news items; there are also no news reports of such an incident taking place on October 20

Claim: Philippine ships fired warning shots at Chinese navy ships moving towards the port of Subic on October 20.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim can be found in a video uploaded on October 20 on the YouTube channel “Terong Explained” with the title, “KUMARIPAS NG TAKBO! Chinese Navy PINAPUTUKAN NG PINAS Matapos Agresibong Lumapit Sa SUBIC!” (Scampered away! Chinese Navy fired upon by the Philippines after aggressively coming near Subic!)

As of writing, the video has 153,569 views, 3,800 likes, and 381 comments. The video was also reposted on Facebook, such as one posted on the account of Ariel Cabungcag Colecha, which has about 10,000 reactions, 1,000 comments, 300 shares, and 321,000 video views as of writing. 

No reported incidents: The supposed incident was not reported in the official and verified Facebook pages of the Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines, or Philippine Navy

There are also no news reports about any firing incident involving Philippine and Chinese ships in Subic on October 20. While there is an article dated October 20 in Philstar.com titled, “2 Chinese cruise ships dock in Subic,” these ships are not from the Chinese navy and no mention of any fired shots was made. 

Sources of video segments used: Various segments of footage shown in the misleading video were taken from other sources and previous events unrelated to the supposed incident in Subic:

Rising tensions: The video was posted amid the recent flare-up of tensions between the Philippines and China, as Beijing continues to ignore the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated its sweeping claims over the resource-rich South China Sea.

In recent months, Chinese vessels have harassed Philippine ships in the West Philippine Sea and put up floating barriers that stopped Filipino fisherfolk from entering Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal. 

On October 22, “dangerous blocking maneuvers” of a Chinese Coast Guard vessel led to a collision with a Philippine boat en route to Ayungin Shoal, sparking international condemnation even as China claimed it “lawfully” blocked Philippine vessels transporting “illegal construction materials” to Ayungin. – Percival Bueser/ Rappler.com 

Percival Bueser 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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