VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video does NOT show PCG chasing Vietnamese boat in Palawan


A video posted on YouTube used an old clip and claimed to show the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) driving away a Vietnamese fishing vessel in Palawan. This is false. 

Shown in the video were Indonesian authorities confronting a Vietnamese vessel illegally fishing in the Natuna Sea in 2020. 

Posted on May 9, the one-minute and 37-second clip bore the headline: 


Its thumbnail shows a manipulated photo featuring a fishing vessel and another ship with an image of the Philippine flag. It also bore a breaking news label and text with the same false claim. 

The text in the video further claims that Vietnamese fishermen were “caught harvesting galunggong (round scad) in Palawan” and “immediately driven back to Vietnam by the PCG.” 

This is not the PCG chasing a Vietnamese fishing vessel in Palawan. The three-year-old video showed Indonesian authorities confronting Vietnamese fishermen in the Natuna Sea.

YouTube channel Orcinus Orca uploaded the same clips on March 4, 2020. These were mirrored in the thumbnail and false video. 

On March 1, 2020, Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries arrested five Vietnamese vessels illegally fishing in North Natuna.

Recent incidents involving the PCG and Vietnamese fishing boats did not point to any reported sea chase. It only monitored the presence of Vietnamese vessels in Sabina Shoal during their March 16 to 21 maritime patrol mission to the Kalayaan Island Group.

Also, the PCG reported in a Feb. 11 press release that BRP TERESA MAGBANUA encountered a Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessel off Recto Bank. It issued radio challenges and directed the vessel to leave immediately. 

The erroneous video emerged on the eve of President Ferdinand Marcos’ bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 10 on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit. Marcos said in an interview the next day that talks between the Philippines and Vietnam regarding the Recto Bank incident are set to begin. 

YouTube channel Ella Vloggs (created on Feb. 15, 2019) uploaded the false video that garnered 89,078 views. Netizens also shared links to the video on Facebook. 

VERA Files Fact Check previously debunked other false content from this channel that commonly uses old military-related clips in the wrong context. (Read: Video shows Japan coast guard in Tokyo, NOT Batangas)

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