Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard owns ship allegedly bought by PH Navy


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FACT CHECK: Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard owns ship allegedly bought by PH Navy
The ship, which the video called 'Cape Pulamay,' is actually a Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard ship named TTS Port of Spain

Claim: The Philippine government bought a warship called Cape Pulamay from Australia. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has over 12,508 views as of writing.

At the video’s 0:30 mark, a narrator says: “Ang Pilipinas ay gumawa ng isang makabuluhang hakbang upang palakasin ang mga kakayahan sa pagtatanggol ng dagat sa pagbili ng Cape Pulamay, isang advanced na sasakyang pandagat mula sa Australia.”

(The Philippines made a strategic step to strengthen its capabilities to defend its seas by purchasing Cape Pulamay, an advanced sea vessel from Australia.)

A video of a ship with pennant number CG41 was shown throughout the video.

The facts: The ship shown in the video is the TTS Port of Spain owned by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.

The Cape-class patrol boat was made by shipbuilding company Austal based in Australia. Austal delivered TTS Port of Spain and TTS Scarborough (CG42) in May 2021. Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley commissioned the two patrol boats on November 28, 2021.

There are no reports from the official Facebook pages of the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago confirming that the Philippine government purchased the TTS Port of Spain. 

Rappler also searched the name “Cape Pulamay,” which the video used to refer to the TTS Port of Spain, on the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard’s Facebook pages but found no results.

Owned by Trinidad and Tobago: The TTS Port of Spain is currently under the service of the Trinidad and Tobago government. According to a Facebook post by the Tobago Emergency Management Agency, the patrol boat was recently used to deploy oil spill containment booms after a barge struck a reef and overturned off the coast of Tobago in February.


Philippine-Australia relations: The video was posted on YouTube amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea. Earlier this month, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, and the United States conducted a Maritime Cooperative Activity to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight, and respect for maritime rights under international law” in the region. 

The four countries held a joint patrol in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone on April 7 following an increase in Chinese aggression in the region, as Beijing continues to reject the 2016 Hague ruling in favor of Manila. The joint patrols began in November last year, USNI reported. ([EXPLAINER] South China Sea: Why are China and Philippines tensions heating up?)

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also visited Australia twice this year. Marcos first visited Australia in February where he addressed legislators in Canberra. During his speech, he spoke of a Philippines that was on the “frontline” against “actions that undermine regional peace.” (READ: Marcos in Canberra: What the Philippines and its president gains)

Marcos visited Australia again in March for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. The event commemorated 50 years of the regional bloc’s formal relationship with its oldest dialogue partner. – 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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