Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Richard Gomez in critical condition after road crash

Rappler
FALSE: Richard Gomez in critical condition after road crash
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez is alive and well. There are no reports of the supposed incident from any legitimate news source.
At a glance:
  • Claim: Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez is in critical condition after figuring in a road crash in Kananga, Leyte.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Gomez is alive and well, and he was not involved in a road crash. There are also no reports of the supposed incident from any legitimate news source.
  • Why we fact-checked this: Facebook’s monitoring tool flagged 2 Facebook posts and 3 website links that contain this claim. The posts had over 500 combined shares on Facebook as of writing.
Complete details:

Two Facebook pages, “Trending 24/7” and “Metroviralpinas,” falsely claimed on Saturday, March 20, that Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez is in critical condition after a road crash in the municipality of Kananga in Leyte.

The captions of their posts linked to two websites, unanghiritstreamlive.xyz and dzbb594superradyo.xyz. These websites used the logo of GMA News and also referred to it as their source.

The web pages contained a video clip of what looked like a news report from 24 Oras, GMA Network’s evening news program. When clicked, the video showed newscasters Jiggy Manicad and Bernadette Sembrano for a few seconds then stopped to ask the reader to “uncover” the rest of the clip by providing their personal Facebook login details.

The claim about Gomez is false. The Ormoc City mayor is alive and well, as seen in the photos recently posted on his official Facebook account. There is also no report of the supposed incident from GMA News’ official channels.

On Monday, March 22, Gomez attended a virtual signing event with the Philippine Red Cross and a board meeting of local schools. He looked well in the photos from both events.

The websites unanghiritstreamlive.xyz and dzbb594superradyo.xyz are also not affiliated with GMA Network, its news arm GMA News, or its radio station Super Radyo DZBB. The official website of GMA News is gmanetwork.com/news, while its radio programs can be accessed at gmanetwork.com/radio/dzbb.

Gomez also refuted the claim on Saturday and called it “fake news.”

Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies potentially dubious posts shared on the platform, flagged the posts from Facebook pages “Trending 24/7” and “Metroviralpinas” for verification. It also flagged gmaregionallive.xyz, another dubious link posing as GMA News, for spreading the same false claim.

The false Facebook posts had over 500 combined shares on Facebook as of writing. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.