VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘CNN Philippines’ impostor posts FAKE exclusive interview on hypertension ‘cure’


Yet another bogus website imitating CNN Philippines uploaded a story promoting a “doctor-recommended” product that allegedly cures hypertension. The article is fake.

Shared on Facebook (FB) as early as May 16, the website purported to carry an exclusive interview with cardiologist Willie Ong about “Neocardia caps.”

It claimed the product was developed by the Philippine Heart Center in 2015, and can clean blood vessels, help with weight loss and restore one’s eyesight. These are the exact descriptions of a different product advertised by scammers in late 2022, flagged by VERA Files Fact Check.

(Read: Ad for Philippine Heart Center’s alleged vascular supplement is FAKE; Not BFAD-approved)

CNN Philippines did not publish such a story. Neocardia caps is not registered with the Food and Drug Administration as a drug or dietary supplement.

In a June 23 email to VERA Files Fact Check, CNN Philippines multiplatform executive producer Lara Tan said the media organization is not connected to the brand Neocardia.

“The CNN Philippines brand equates to accurate, fair and balanced reporting. We vigorously pursue these journalistic traits in our content. Again, we are not connected in any way to Neocardia,” Tan said. 

The fake story was posted by ARTEMPHGIP2.ZAPROFITOM.SITE that imitates the layout of the official CNN Philippines website

Ong has addressed circulating fake advertisements using his name and said he only promotes a milk product for seniors. Ong also advised the public to get updates from his official social media accounts.


To make the scam believable, a photo of Ong holding a model of a heart from his Oct. 20, 2016 vlog on heart palpitations was used.

A screenshot from Ong’s Feb. 28, 2022 FB Live video discussing CNN Philippines’ vice presidential debate was also altered to make him look like he was holding the product.

The fake site’s content is similar to other impostor webpages flagged by VERA Files Fact Check. Most of these sites claim that the product has limited stocks and is being “concealed” by pharmaceutical companies. Netizens were also promised discounts and asked to provide their personal information to avail of the product.

This is not the first time CNN Philippines was imitated to scam people.

The fake story circulated this June, which is Hypertension Awareness Month. The Department of Health has warned netizens about false articles on cures for the medical condition.

The FB page Important opinion (created on May 14), which impersonates Ong, posted the link which has 3,400 reactions, 387 comments and 327 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.)