Fact Checks about ABS-CBN

FALSE: Defensor to file case against ABS-CBN over Ivermectin ‘fake news’

FALSE: Defensor to file case against ABS-CBN over Ivermectin ‘fake news’
Defensor has not announced any plans to file a case against ABS-CBN over a news article on his Ivermectin distribution initiative in Quezon City
At a glance:
  • Claim: Anakalusugan Partylist Representative Mike Defensor will file a case against ABS-CBN after they published an article containing “fake news” on his plans to distribute Ivermectin to Quezon City residents. 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Defensor has not announced that he is filing a case against ABS-CBN in relation to Ivermectin. He did release a statement against ABS-CBN on April 7, denouncing the claim that he is giving away veterinary grade Ivermectin.
  • Why we fact-checked this: YouTube channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” posted a video on April 8 with this claim, and the video has reached over 10,000 views and 93 comments as of writing.
Complete details:

A video posted on Thursday, April 8, on verified Youtube Channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” falsely claimed that Anakalusugan Partylist Representative Mike Defensor would file a case against ABS-CBN because the news agency spread “fake news” over his Ivermectin distribution initiative in Quezon City.

The full title of the video read: “JUST IN: Cong Mike Defensor Muling KAKASUHAN ang ABSCBN Matapos magpakalat ng FA KE NEWS sa MEDIA!” (Just in: Congressman Mike Defensor will file another case against ABS-CBN after spreading fake news in the media!) 

As of writing, the video has accumulated over 10,000 views and 93 comments. 

This claim is false. Defensor has not said that he was filing a case against ABS-CBN over an article it published about Ivermectin.

On April 5, Defensor announced that he would be giving away free human grade doses of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to sick and elderly Quezon City residents upon prescription, to either treat or prevent COVID-19. On the same day, ABS-CBN News Online published an article about it; an archived version of the page shows that it was titled, “Defensor giving away veterinary drug Ivermectin to COVID-19 patients despite FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Warnings.” 

In the article, ABS-CBN News included information on Ivermectin currently not being registered for human use in the Philippines. It is only registered for veterinary use as an anti-parasitic drug to rid animals of heartworm, mites, and other parasites. The article has since been updated and is now titled, “Defensor insists on ivermectin vs. COVID-19, to give out ‘human grade’ of veterinary drug.”

On April 7, Defensor released a statement against ABS-CBN, denouncing the claim that he was giving away veterinary grade Ivermectin. He asserted that he was distributing “human grade” Ivermectin that was meant to be taken orally every two weeks. 

In the statement, he said, “Isang malaking FAKE NEWS ang pinapakalat ng ABS-CBN na ang ipinamimigay ko na Ivermectin ay isang veterinary drug. Wala pong doktor ang mag-peprescribe ng gamot na para sa mga hayop.”

(ABS-CBN is spreading major fake news that the Ivermectin I am distributing is a veterinary drug. No doctor would prescribe medicine meant for animals.) 

“Masyado po atang nilang minamaliit ang mga tao na nagsasabing maaaring gamitin na precautionary medicine ang Ivermectin. Ito po ay human grade Ivermectin at nakapaloob po ang proseso ng pagbibigay sa regulasyon ng FDA,” he added.

(They seem to be belittling people who are saying that Ivermectin may be used as a precautionary medicine. This is human grade Ivermectin, and the process of distribution follows FDA regulations.)

Defensor did not say that he had any plans to file a case against ABS-CBN News in the statement. As of April 10, he has not made any other announcements regarding legal action against the company. 

Rappler has fact-checked the “Showbiz Fanaticz” YouTube channel multiple times before. – Sofia Guanzon/Rappler.com

Sofia Guanzon is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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