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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Claim that Philippine Army received rocket launchers FALSE

A YouTube video is claiming that the Philippine Army recently received a delivery of 12 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). This is false.

Aug 30, 2023

VERA Files

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A YouTube video is claiming that the Philippine Army (PA) recently received a delivery of 12 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). This is false. The military has yet to acquire rocket launchers.

This video’s headline is a clickbait and photos show HIMARS belonging to Romania and Poland. Posted on Aug. 9, the four-minute and six-second video carried the headline: 

“JUST ARRIVED!!! 12 UNITS OF HIMARS MULTIPLE-LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM FOR THE PHILIPPINE ARMY.” 

Its thumbnail featured a collage showing photos of HIMARS rocket launchers, soldiers holding Philippine and American flags and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. supposedly announcing the arrival of the weapons, as indicated in a speech balloon.

This is not true. The military will be procuring these weapons in the coming years.

During a speech at the 125th Philippine Artillery Anniversary on June 27, Armed Forces Chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. said:

Darating po ‘yung ating mga makabagong mga kagamitan (Our modern equipment will arrive)… we will have anti-ship missiles, we will have air defense artillery weapons, we will have HIMARS coming in the next years.” 

Contrary to its clickbait headline and thumbnail, a narrator in the video only talked about the PA “considering the acquisition” of HIMARS from the United States.

HIMARS have been procured by Jordan, Poland, Romania, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates according to the US Army’s Acquisition Support Center. 

The photos used in the thumbnail show HIMARS units delivered in Romania in 2021 and in Poland this year. 

The false video was uploaded two days after the Army held its change of command ceremony at Fort Bonifacio, where Marcos said his administration is committed to supporting the military’s modernization. 

HIMARS rocket systems were used in recent military exercises between the United States and the Philippines, including the Exercise Salaknib and Marine Aviation Support Activity in July and the Balikatan’s Combined and Joint Littoral Live-Fire Exercise in April. 

The video uploaded by the YouTube channel Clickbeat (created on Oct. 4, 2018) has 24,169 views as of writing. 

 

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to VERA, the truth bot on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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