VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos DID NOT declare war on China

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared war against China.

YouTube channel Boss Balita TV 04/01/2024 False

Marcos order established a new multi-agency body for maritime security and it had nothing to do with staging an armed conflict against China.

A YouTube video suggests that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has declared war against China, and that he will be expelling the Chinese ambassador. This is not true. 

Marcos did not sign an order declaring war on China. Rather, he signed Executive Order (EO) 57 creating the National Maritime Council (NMC) to strengthen the country’ maritime security amid the worsening situation in the West Philippine Sea.

Uploaded on April 1, the video’s clickbait headline read:


(China was shocked! PBBM signed the order! Declared war? It will start with the Chinese ambassador of China).” 

The NMC, to be headed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and composed of several defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, aims to “ensure a unified, coordinated and effective governance framework for the country’s maritime security and domain awareness.” 

EO 57, signed on March 25, also created the Presidential Office for Maritime Concerns which would provide research and technical assistance to the NMC and assist in reviewing policies on maritime security. 

While the order comes amid China’s intensified harassment and intimidation in the West Philippine Sea, it does not call for a declaration of war against China. Neither does it call for the expulsion of Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian. 

Marcos, as president, also has no power to declare war on his own. Article VI, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution states that Congress has the sole right to declare a state of war following a two-thirds vote each in the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

The video offered no proof to support its claim but merely played an audio clip from a UNTV report about the NMC and a video of former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque criticizing Marcos’ stance against China. 

Uploaded by YouTube channels Boss Balita TV and BALITA NI JUAN, the video received a total of 43,375 interactions. Facebook users also reposted the links. 

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