VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bela Padilla is NOT dead

Multiple online posts on July 5 carried a gruesome hoax that claimed actress Bela Padilla was shot in her car and declared dead on arrival at a hospital. This is fake news.

There are no news reports of Padilla being involved in a road mishap.

Her Instagram account also shows several proofs of life: she published several posts in support of her network ABS-CBN on July 10, and an Instagram Story the same day where she is shown speaking in front of a camera.

Website gmanewsupsimelda.blogspot.com published at least two versions of the same story, differing only in the headlines:

  • BREAKING NEWS:Bella Padilla Pinagbabaril sa Loob ng Kanyang Sasakyan.Dead on Arrival sa Hospital (Bela Padilla shot in her car, dead on arrival at hospital)
  • GMA NEWS:Bella Padilla Patay na! Matapos Pagbabarilin sa Loob ng Kanyang Sasakyan.Dead on Arrival sa Hospital (Bela Padilla, now dead! After being shot in her car, dead on arrival at hospital)

When clicked, both redirect to randomnames.club, which has a history of publishing fabricated reports. Its landing page features an imitation of a post on YouTube by Buzzfeed News and even has a fake “view count” as well as “subscribers” and “likes.”

To support their claim of Padilla’s “death,” the stories embedded a January 2019 report by GMA News about a woman who was shot in her vehicle in Quezon City.

It plays for three seconds, only showing news anchor Ivan Mayrina saying, “Pinagbabaril sa loob ng kanyang kotse... (Shot inside her car...)” before stopping abruptly. It says the video has to be shared first before the rest of the clip can be played, but it does not do so even after sharing.

Apart from gmanewsupsimelda.blogspot.com, a Facebook (FB) user published a screengrab of the fake story and also claimed Padilla has died. She then asked netizens to view the “video report” on her profile.

It has received over 200 interactions, although the comments section shows many of those who read her post did not believe her.

Finally, two more YouTube videos misled netizens with false headlines. While its content debunked the death hoax on Padilla, YouTube channel Showbiz CareerPH published its video with the untrue and clickbait headline: “BELA PADILLA PATAY DAW MATAPOS PINAGBABARIL SA LOOB NG KANYANG SASAKYAN | Showbiz CareerPH (Bela Padilla supposedly dead after getting shot in her vehicle).”

YouTube dokinz bulabog on the other hand featured a recording of gmanewsupsimelda.blogspot.com’s hoax as its content, and titled it, “Bella Padilla pinagbabaril sa loob ng kanyang sasakyan (Bela Padilla shot in her vehicle).”

Padilla’s death hoax coincided with the Congressional hearings on the media network's bid for a new license to operate. The House franchise committee on July 10 denied ABS-CBN's franchise application. Padilla is one of the more vocal artists of the network.

Showbiz CareerPH’s misleading video has been viewed over 41,000 times while dokinz bulabog has been watched more than 2,300 times.

Randomnames.club was created on Sept. 19, 2019.

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

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