VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Singer Jovit Baldivino is ALIVE

Website gmabalitalive.xyz, which masquerades as a legitimate site of the GMA news program 24 Oras, has published at least eight articles falsely claiming singer Jovit Baldivino is dead.

These are fabricated. In a Feb. 1 post on his official Facebook (FB) page, the Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1 winner said he is “very much alive”, and that he “wishes a long life to those spreading fake news.”

According to FB’s monitoring tool, the posts started circulating earlier that day. All were undated but show a publishing time of “15 mins ago” which does not change despite the passage of time — a misleading tactic that VERA Files Fact Check has observed in past death hoaxes.

The fake reports carried the clickbait headline, “24 0RAS: SINGER NA SI JOVIT BALDIVINO, NATAGPUANG WALA NG MALAY. HINIHINALANG... (24 Oras: Singer Jovit Baldivino, found unconscious. Suspected...)” and a made-up thumbnail that used an August 2015 photo of Baldivino from his official FB account juxtaposed with his name and the text “RIP 1993-2021.”

Gmabalitalive.xyz also embedded a 12-second clip to support its fake claim, which stops playing after three seconds and invites readers to share the post to continue watching.

The video was grabbed from a two-minute Jan. 30 report of 24 Oras about the death and alleged rape of a 6-year-old girl in Sultan Kudarat.

The clip that gmabalitalive.xyz used was manipulated to replace the image of the young girl with an image of Baldivino. VERA Files tracked its uploader as YouTube channel Ronald McDonald, which was also the source of clips used in death hoaxes victimizing actor John Lloyd Cruz and billiards player Efren “Bata” Reyes. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: John Lloyd Cruz is ALIVE; VERA FILES FACT CHECK: DEATH HOAX on Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes still circulating despite denial)

According to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, gmabalitalive.xyz’s eight fake articles garnered an accumulated total of 8,631 FB interactions so far.

Gmabalitalive.xyz was created last Jan. 15, YouTube channel Ronald McDonald on Dec. 7, 2020.


(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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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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