Faith and Spirituality

Beware of this ‘Mama Mary necklace from the Vatican’

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Beware of this ‘Mama Mary necklace from the Vatican’

FAKE. It's not GMA anchor Ivan Mayrina in this video, but an AI-generated 'anchor' promoting a 'Mama Mary necklace from the Vatican.'

Screenshot from Brother Eduard on Facebok

GMA’s 24 Oras exposes the ‘fake and possibly AI-generated’ voices of anchors Ivan Mayrina and Susan Enriquez promoting a free ‘Mama Mary necklace from Vatican, Italy’

One has the baritone voice, tone, timber, and cadence of GMA news anchor Ivan Mayrina. The other has the homey, animated TV presence of the one-and-only Susan Enriquez.

In Facebook videos of less than 40 seconds each, both of them are promoting “Mama Mary necklaces” that supposedly came from the “Mama Mary Shrine.” The necklaces, according to them, “were blessed by priests in Vatican, Italy, so they can give guidance and comfort to anyone.” Send a message to our page, they said, and you can get these for free.

Amen?

Eek, they’re not even Ivan or Susan.

GMA’s 24 Oras exposed on Thursday, January 4, the “fake and possibly AI-generated” voices of GMA anchors promoting a free “Mama Mary necklace from Vatican, Italy.” (Hey, the Vatican is not in Italy.)

The videos of the fake GMA anchors are posted on the Facebook page of a certain “Brother Eduard.” The video of the fake Susan Enriquez was posted on December 4, and has 149,000 views as of posting time, while the video of the fake Ivan Mayrina was posted on December 16, and now has 1.9 million views on Facebook.

It’s the latest incident of fraudsters exploiting the deep religiosity of Filipinos. A former Spanish colony where friars dominated society, the Philippines is a country where 85.65 million people, or nearly 79% of the population, belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

Filipinos are known for their devotion to the saints, especially Mary, even as Catholic bishops have lost their influence over the years as seen in, well, the 2022 presidential elections.

In October 2023, we also reported about a possibly AI-generated priest named “Father Niño” who was giving away free statues of the “Santo Niño Hubad” (Naked Child Jesus), supposedly blessed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. The archbishop promptly denied this claim. Later, the GMA public affairs show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho featured the Rappler report on “Santo Niño Hubad” in one of its episodes.

Beware of these so-called lucky charms – even if they’re “free.” If they faked the voices of GMA anchors, we’ll never know what they’re truly up to.

As is written in the Gospel of Luke (16:10), “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com