VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video FALSELY claims PCG fired water cannon at Chinese vessel in WPS


A video posted on YouTube and Facebook (FB) passed off an old photo of the Japan Coast Guard firing a water cannon at a North Korean fishing vessel to claim that the incident was between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). This is not true.

On May 5, a YouTube channel posted the eight-minute and 23-second video with the headline: 

“Good Job! Pilipinas harap-harapan umanong binomba ng water cannon ang isang Chinese vessel sa WPS (The Philippines allegedly directly bombed with water cannon a Chinese vessel in the WPS).” 

Its thumbnail features a vessel labeled the “Philippine Coast Guard” firing a water cannon at a smaller fishing vessel with a Chinese flag. At the bottom right are images of President Xi Jinping and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos. The text in the thumbnail also states that the “Philippines retaliated against China.”

A narrator in the video further claimed that it was “reported” that the Chinese vessel “suddenly blocked” the PCG. Allegedly, the PCG ended up using water cannons against the vessel when it did not go away.

This is false. The photo used in the thumbnail and video actually shows a Japan Coast Guard (JCG) vessel, not PCG, firing water cannon at a North Korean fishing boat, not Chinese, near Yamatotai fishing ground in Japan, and not in the WPS.

It was a screenshot from a video released by the Japan Coast Guard in November 2018. The “Philippine Coast Guard” label was edited to fool netizens. 

Note: Click on the photo to view its original source

A narrator also talked about China warning against the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) “plans to deploy” aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the West Philippine Sea. According to reports, the U.K.’s Carrier Strike Group led by the aircraft carrier sailed through the South China Sea in 2021. 

Reports about possible joint maritime patrols with the United States, Australia and Japan in the West Philippine Sea and a U.K. minister condemning China’s aggressions in the area were also added. The narrator also mentioned Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian’s April 14 statement that the United States is taking advantage of the additional sites under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement “to interfere in the situation across the Taiwan Strait to serve its geopolitical goal”

The video was posted two days after Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go filed Senate Bill No. 2112 which seeks to modernize the PCG. 

VERA Files Fact Check debunked a similar video posted by the same YouTube channel in March. (Read: PH Coast Guard did NOT fire water cannons at Chinese vessels)

YouTube channel PH TV’s (created on Nov. 2, 2015) video garnered 18,193 views. The same video uploaded by the FB page PH Speaker on May 6 has 204,000 views, 7,600 reactions, 623 comments and 240 shares as of writing.

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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.)