VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video claiming Duterte warned China on WPS issue was from a 2017 speech

On April 19, Facebook (FB) page Duterte News Info Live posted a misleading video with a false headline and passed it off as breaking news about President Rodrigo Duterte warning China against claiming Philippine held-islands in the West Philippine Sea, and that Russia has joined the fray.

The 19-minute misleading video was composed of looped clips from the president’s speech on Nov. 7, 2017, at the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Marine Corps in Bonifacio Naval Station, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

While he asserted that he “will not give up” claims on Pag-asa and the nearby islands, there was no reference to Russia getting angry at China over the territorial dispute. Pag-asa island is part of the Philippine-held and claimed Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea.

The video that was made to look recent, used footage from Radio Television Malacañang, removed the state television’s logo and replaced it with a graphic that read “breaking news.” Its headline: NAKAKAGULAT NA BALITA ! PRES DUTERTE BINALAAN ANG CHlN4 RUSSIA NAGALlT NARIN (Shocking news! Pres. Duterte warned China, Russia angry too).

However, in the speech, Duterte said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has said they will “not build something in the Scarborough Shoal.” He added that China was “really very kind and to a fault sa atin (to us), and gave us the additional firearms and the sniping rifles.”

The President did mention Russia in the speech, but only to thank President Vladimir Putin for the shipment of trucks from his country.

Dumating ‘yung kay President Putin. So nagpapasalamat tayo sa kanila ([the equipment] from President Putin arrived. So we are thankful to them). So that the next round of orders would really be either Israel or sa Russia. And we have the new ones and we — we even have the new trucks,” he said.

The false video was uploaded on the same day as the President’s April 19 public address where he said asserting claims in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) “will result in a violence that we cannot, maybe, win.”

“I am addressing myself to the Chinese government. We want to remain friends. We want to share whatever it is…But when we start to mine, when we start to get whatever it is in the bowels of the China Sea, sa ating oil, diyan na ako (in our oilfields, I’m there) — then by that time…I will send my gray ships there to state a claim,” he added.

The false video has obtained over 1.2 million views, 3,300 shares and 31,000 reactions.

Duterte News Info Live has 98,509 followers. It was created on Aug. 9, 2020.

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