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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PH NOT installing lasers on its ships

False

A YouTube video which recently gained interactions on Facebook (FB) falsely claimed that a powerful laser will be installed on Philippine ships. There is no such plan, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The YouTube channel behind the erroneous video has a record of sharing military-related disinformation. On June 17, it posted a video with this false claim: 

BAGONG TINIK NG CHINA! Powerful Laser IKAKABIT Sa Mga BARKO Ng Pilipinas (China’s new thorn: Powerful laser to be installed on Philippine ships)!”

In its description,Terong Explained’s video further claimed that the Philippines will use lasers after China pointed a military-grade laser at a PCG ship on Feb. 6. 

“We don’t plan to use laser technology as part of our weaponry in our vessels,”  PCG’s spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said in Filipino during a Feb. 23 Laging Handa public briefing

According to cursory search, the video’s first five minutes translated and twisted a June 14 article by bulgarianmilitary.com about the United States (U.S.) Air Force’s testing of the H4 laser designed and developed by American aerospace and defense company Raytheon.

Contrary to the video narrator’s claims, nowhere in the article was it mentioned that the Philippines is installing the H4 laser on any of its ships. 

The H4 laser system is the U.S. Air Force’s first 10-kilowatt laser weapon system that can be moved and mounted anywhere. Small enough to fit the bed of a pickup truck, the laser weapon system can take out drones in short-range, long-range, and in swarms, according to a June 12 press release by Raytheon Technologies. 

FB pages 7Daily News24h (created on Oct. 31, 2022), Ukraine fights (created on May 17, 2022), and Historiador Filipino (created on Sept. 19, 2022) reposted the erroneous video on June 18 and July 7, respectively. 

Terong Explained’s video got 34,000 views, while the three FB reposts got a total of over 35,309 interactions. 

 

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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.)