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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PH NOT party to Israel-Hamas war

The Philippines is now involved in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the evacuation of Filipinos in Israel.

YouTube channel Boss Balita TV 10/08/2023 False

The Philippines is not a party to the armed conflict and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. simply condemned the attacks on Israel. Netanyahu did not mention anything about evacuating Filipinos in his speeches.

A YouTube video claimed that the Philippines has been involved in the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the evacuation of Filipinos in Israel. Neither claim is true. 

The Philippines is not a party to the armed conflict and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. simply condemned the attacks on Israel. Marcos also ordered the mandatory evacuation of Filipinos in Gaza, a Palestinian territory at the center of the Israel-Hamas war. 

Uploaded on Oct. 8, a day after Israel formally declared war following Hamas’ surprise attack, the video bore the headline:

PBBM GINULAT NG ISRAEL! NAGDEKLARA NA GYERA! WORLD WAR 3! BINOMBA NG 5000 MISSILE! NADAMAY NA PINAS (President Bongbong Marcos was shocked by Israel! Declared war! World War 3! Bombed by 5,000 missiles! The Philippines has been embroiled)!” 

Its thumbnail also featured a photo of Netanyahu along with Marcos supposedly holding a document saying World War 3 has been declared. Reverse image search showed that Marcos was not holding any document in the original photo taken on May 7, 2022.

The Philippines is not an active participant in the war between Israel and Hamas. However, Marcos condemned the attacks, especially on civilian populations in an Oct. 8 statement. He also called on government agencies to “locate and account” for all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the region. 

At the beginning of the video, a narrator also claimed that Netanyahu had ordered the evacuation of Filipinos in Israel while playing a clip of his Oct. 7 televised speech:

“Base sa balitang kumakalat, pinag-utos na ng Prime Minister Netanyahu lumikas ang mga Pilipino sa giyera (According to some reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu had already ordered for Filipinos to be evacuated from the war).”

Netanyahu did not mention anything about evacuating Filipinos in that speech or in an earlier video statement released by his office.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised Alert Level 4 in Gaza on Oct. 15 which requires the mandatory repatriation of all Filipinos in the area. 

Meanwhile, Israel remains under Alert Level 2 where repatriation remains voluntary. At least 70 OFWs from Israel have already requested repatriation and eight of them will fly to Manila on Oct. 16, according to the DFA. 

The agency estimates around 30,000 OFWs in Israel are caught up in the conflict. Meanwhile, 131 Filipinos are in Gaza, one of two Palestinian territories at the center of brutal fighting. 

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv reported that three Filipinos have been killed, another two were injured while three remain missing. 

Uploaded by previously fact-checked YouTube channels Boss Balita TV, BALITA NI JUAN and WANGBUDISS TV, the video currently has 117,685 views, 3,100 likes and 233 comments. Facebook users also reposted the links.


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