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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PH DID NOT buy AU ship Cape Woolamai

The Philippines has purchased Australian vessel Cape Woolamai

YouTube channel TECH-89M 2024-04-21 False

The Royal Australian Navy still owns and operates the vessel Cape Woolamai. The thumbnail photo was edited and the clips show different ships manufactured by an Australian-based shipbuilding company

A YouTube video claimed that the Philippines recently purchased the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Woolamai to “secure the West Philippine Sea” and “protect its territorial waters.” This is not true.

Uploaded on April 21, the eight-minute and 43-second video showed clips of the supposedly recently-purchased vessel and bore this headline: 

Nakuha ng PH ang Pinakamabilis, Pinakamakumpleto at Pinakabagong Bapor Pandigma mula sa Australia (PH got the Fastest, Most Complete and Newest Warship from Australia).” 

Its thumbnail photo also shows a vessel with the pennant 314 bearing a Philippine flag. The narrator further claimed that Cape Woolamai has “joined the Philippine Navy’s fleet” and will “deter illegal activities like piracy, smuggling and territorial intrusions.”

There are no reports of the Philippine Navy buying it.  

The Royal Australian Navy still owns and operates the defence vessel. Its website lists the Cape Class Patrol Boat Cape Woolamai in its inventory of ships.

The thumbnail photo was manipulated to show a Philippine flag. It is an image of another ship, ADV Cape Otway with pennant 314, not Cape Woolamai with pennant 318, during its delivery to the Australian Navy in 2022 and uploaded by the shipbuilder Austal. 

Clips of other ships’ sea trials posted by Austal’s YouTube channel were also used. None of these shows a vessel delivered to the Philippines.

In particular, the scenes are of the launch and sea trials of TTS Port of Spain (CG41) and TTS Scarborough (CG42) for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, as well as sea trials of ADV Cape Otway (314) and Austal’s Patrol 58 and 40 boats and Cape Byron.

The erroneous video circulated two weeks after the Philippines, Australia, United States and Japan conducted the first Multilateral Maritime Cooperative Activity in the West Philippine Sea.

VERA Files has previously debunked other mis- and disinformation related to the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea. (Read NO attack vs China, videos used unrelated images

YouTube channel TECH-89M’s (created on Nov. 13, 2019) video has 16,649 views as of writing and was also shared on Facebook. This channel has a history of posting false claims about military equipment supposedly added to the Philippine armed forces’ capabilities. (Read NO British Royal Navy ships handed over to the Philippines

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.)