A Facebook fan page used the wrong headline when it claimed that Russia donated 20,000 army trucks, 5,000 rifles, and bullets to the Philippines.
“Duterte Para sa Pagbabago” posted an article from a blog called philippinebalitadaily.com with a headline that says “Russia, Nagdonate ng 20,000 Army Trucks, 5,000 Rifles at Mga Bala.”
However, that is not really the case. Even when we checked the content of the article, it cited that Russia donated only 20 army trucks, not 20,000.
The blog used the wrong headline and the Facebook fan page did not even bother to correct it. Other Facebook users also shared the article with the erroneous headline to other fan pages.
We checked reports from other news outlets and found that President Rodrigo Duterte did announce on October 11 that the Russian government will donate 5,000 rifles and military trucks to help the Philippines fight terrorism.
“We will have the 5,000 sa inyo, baril Kalashnikov,” Duterte said during a speech on October 11 after he attended the unveiling of the Scout Ranger Ville in Camp Tecson, Bulacan.
Duterte was referring to Kalashnikov, a brand of Russian-made assault rifles used in Russia.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed Russia’s donation to the Philippines in an ambush interview.
“Ito yung donation ng Russia sa ating fight against terrorism. Darating yung barko nila dito sa 22 October, which is about two weeks from now tapos yung turnover ng mga equipment, mga baril sa 25 sa Manila,” Lorenzana told reporters.
“Ang equipment na ibibigay nila sa atin ay 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles at 20 units ng army trucks,” he said.
He added that the brand new defense equipment were given without any condition.
“Hindi pa natin alam ang worth pero substantial na bigay iyan. Grant iyan, at no cost,” Lorenzana said.
“Kasi gusto nila tumulong sa atin to fight terrorism dahil sila rin kasi is also fighting sa kanilang bansa and they also want to fight the worldwide fight against terrorism. Yan ang kanilang rason,” he added.
According to a News5 report, three Russian warships docked in Manila on October 20, bringing with them 5,000 assault rifles, 20 army trucks, and a million rounds of ammunition.
“We would do our best to make this port call a significant contribution indicating friendly ties and relations between two nations in the interest of security and stability in this region,” said Eduard Mikhailov.
Mikhailov is the deputy commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet flotilla.
The Russian warships arrived in the country two weeks after Senate president and PDP-Laban President announced that the Philippines’ ruling party had signed a memorandum of understanding with the ruling party of the Russian federation, the United Russia.
This marked the third visit by Russian warships this year as President Duterte tries to forge a relationship with Moscow, the arch-rival of the Philippines’ closest ally, the United States.