Fact checks about countries

FACT CHECK: US not involved in water cannon incident in West Philippine Sea


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

FACT CHECK: US not involved in water cannon incident in West Philippine Sea
A YouTube video falsely claims that the US deployed two F-35 fighter jets after Chinese vessels water bombed Philippine ships in the West Philippine Sea

Claim: The US deployed two F-35 fighter jets to the West Philippine Sea upon detecting the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel that fired water cannons at Philippine ships. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video containing the claim has 31,281 views as of writing. A channel with 322,000 subscribers uploaded the video on August 7, two days after the blocking and water cannon incident in the West Philippine Sea.

The video bore the title “Lagot kayo ngayon! Barko ng China na nambomba ng water cannon ginulat ng isang USF-35 sa WPS.” 

(You’re in trouble now! Chinese ship that fired a water cannon startled by a USF-35 in WPS.)

The video’s description also implied that the US deployed two F-35B fighter aircraft after its amphibious assault ship USS America spotted the CCG vessel. 

The facts: There were no reports from news sources or announcements from the US embassy in the Philippines, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the US Navy, nor the US Coast Guard supporting the claim that a US assault ship and F-35 fighter jets were involved in China’s actions against the vessels of the PCG and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

What happened: According to the PCG, a Chinese coast guard vessel blocked and fired water cannons at the PCG vessels. The vessels were escorting the AFP ships on a resupply mission to military troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre, which remains grounded on Ayungin Shoal. No American ship or aircraft were reported to be involved in the incident that happened on August 5

As a result of China’s harassment, the Philippine vessel was unable to complete its mission. The incident is the latest hostile act of the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea, or part of the South China Sea within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

No US ship or aircraft in the video: In the actual video footage released by the PCG and the office of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, only the Philippine vessels and the CCG ship were at the scene. 

US stand on the incident: On August 6, the United States released a statement affirming its support for the Philippines and condemning China’s latest act. 

“Such actions by the [People’s Republic of China] are inconsistent with international law and are the latest in repeated threats to the status quo in the South China Sea, directly threatening regional peace and stability,” the statement read.

The US also called on China to abide by the 2016 arbitral ruling in favor of the Philippines that struck down China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea. 

Recent transits: F-35s were last seen in the vicinity of the South China Sea during the Marine Aviation Support Activity, a joint military exercise between the US and the Philippines held last July 6 to 21. Banar News reported that two F-35s flew over Zambales on July 13 as part of the drill, which took place just days after Chinese vessels “followed, harassed, and obstructed” PCG ships en route to Ayungin Shoal. 

Meanwhile, the USS America docked in Manila last March, the first time that the warship made a port call in the Philippines. – Ailla Dela Cruz/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 #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.

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!