VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Incoming security adviser Clarita Carlos contradicts Marcos Jr.’s latest stance on Ukraine-Russia war

The Philippines will “take a neutral stance” on the Ukraine-Russia war.

Clarita Carlos 2022-06-10 Flip-flop

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he “stand[s} united with the rest of the world for Russia to respect Ukraine’s freedom and its citizens’ democratic way of life.”

Contrary to a March 4 statement of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. urging Russia “to respect Ukraine’s freedom,” incoming National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos said the Philippines should remain “neutral” in the ongoing war.

Marcos Jr., however, sang a different tune on the issue on March 1, based on at least two media reports quoting him as saying: “I don’t think there is a need to take a stand. We are not involved, except for our nationals.”

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Carlos made the statement in a briefing aired on the government station PTV4  days before the courtesy call of Russian ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov on Marcos Jr. and outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.

She added that Russia “might be able to supply [the Philippines] with our much-needed oil and gas” and the country “should take advantage of that.”

In a press briefing after his meeting with Marcos Jr., Pavlov mentioned that the incoming president said a “few words regarding the situation” in Ukraine.

“As far as I know, the president-elect would like to continue his independent policy and to cooperate with [the] Russian federation,” he added.


On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, setting off economic and political sanctions by G-7 countriesUnited States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Canada, Germany, Italy – and the European Union.

Speaking about increasing global oil prices in a May 23 Talk to the People broadcast, Duterte said the war should be solved first “before we can talk of even returning to normalcy.” He also denounced the killings in Ukraine, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin should “control his troops.”


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Bongbong Marcos, Statement on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, March 4, 2022

People’s Television Network, PANOORIN: Public Briefing #LagingHandaPH, June 10, 2022, Bongbong Marcos to keep ‘independent policy’ on Russia-Ukraine conflict, June 13, 2022

ABS-CBN News Channel, Envoy: Russia ready to extend help to PH on oil, energy needs, June 13, 2022, Russian Ambassador Marat Pavlov holds media briefing after a courtesy call on Marcos, June 13, 2022, Marcos on Ukraine-Russia conflict: ‘No need to make a stand’, March 1, 2022, Marcos flips, now stands for Ukraine; reversal messes anti-Leni messaging, March 4, 2022

Russian ambassador’s courtesy visits

Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine invasion

RTVMalacañang, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk to the People, May 23, 2022



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)