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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Willie Ong NOT beaten up on live TV, report is FAKE

Willie Ong was physically attacked during a live television show

Facebook page Med Talk 2023-10-17 Fake

CNN Philippines published no such story.

The fake post was full of manipulations: a clip of Sen. Raffy Tulfo was made to look like he was reading the report, a photo of Ong was altered to brandish a bruise on his face, and a clip of a scuffle in India six years ago was used as footage of the supposed brawl.

A “news report” with 3.4 million views on Facebook (FB) that claims cardiologist Willie Ong was physically attacked during a live television show is fake. This is a modus operandi to sell a product.

The 38-second clip posted on Oct. 17 bore a logo of CNN Philippines and the headline:

Lumaban sa studio. Bakit binugbog si Kardiyolog (sic) Willie Ong sa Live TV? Nabigla ang mga pensionado nang malaman nila ang katotohanan (Fight in the studio. Why was Cardiologist Willie Ong beaten up on Live TV? The pensioners were shocked when they learned the truth).” 

CNN Philippines published no such story.

The fake post was full of manipulations: a clip of Sen. Raffy Tulfo was made to look like he was reading the report, a photo of Ong was altered to brandish a bruise on his face, and a clip of a scuffle in India six years ago was used as footage of the supposed brawl.

Tulfo’s clip was from a June 11, 2019 episode of his show Raffy Tulfo in Action. A different audio file that sounds like him was used to replace the original.

Meanwhile, Ong’s photo is a screenshot from CNN Philippines’ April 1, 2019 senatorial debates. It was doctored to make it seem he had a black eye. 

Lastly, the scuffle between panelists and an audience happened during a debate on News Nation, a Hindi television channel. The media outlet uploaded the original clip on YouTube on Jan. 13, 2017.

The fake post carried links to a website with the domain name PH3.GOODS4YOUJK.COM. While the site is now inaccessible, netizens’ earlier posts indicate that the fake report promoted a product that allegedly cleans blood vessels.

(Read related story: ‘CNN Philippines’ impostor posts FAKE exclusive interview on hypertension ‘cure’)

Ong has long addressed the fake ads using his name and said he does not endorse any drug or food supplement except for a milk product for senior citizens. 

Fraudulent ads using a supposed “scandal” involving a personality is not new. VERA Files Fact Check earlier debunked a fake exposé involving a Department of Health official, used to promote a “cure” for hypertension.

(Read CNN Philippines, DOH disown FAKE exposé on ‘hidden hypertension cure’

According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases remain the leading cause of death among Filipinos, with hypertension being a major risk factor. 

FB pages Med Talk (created on Oct. 16, 2023) and TV News’ (created on Aug. 29, 2022 as Pinoy Karaoke TV) collectively garnered 14,069 reactions, 1,305 comments, 1,808 shares and 3,304,500 views for posting the fake reports.

 

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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.)