DOH disowns FB page named after Philippine Heart Center posting political endorsements

November 10, 2021 - 12:37 PM
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Philippine Heart Center. (PHC.gov website)

The Department of Health said a Facebook page named after Philippine Heart Center that is posting political endorsements is not affiliated with the state-run hospital.

This advisory came after some doctors on Twitter noticed that the page has been posting videos that endorsed a presidential candidate.

“We would like to clarify that the Philippine Health Center (PHC) Facebook page below is not affiliated with the management of PHC. The public is warned not to subscribe to this fake Facebook page,” DOH said.

“We also remind the public not to share unverified sources of information from this page. The DOH and PHC has been working with Facebook to take the fake page down,” it added.

DOH also provided a link to PHC’s official website which the public should visit instead.

It should be noted, however, that the page has been running since Sept. 10, 2015, based on its profile.

Further cursory checks on the Facebook page in question also showed posts on PHC-related events, science articles and posts from the DOH.

It also has 20,511 likes and 21,222 more followers.

What were these unverified posts? 

Dr. Carlo Trinidad, also known as the kidney doctor on Twitter, shared a screenshot of the Facebook page’s post that mentioned the name of the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is running for president in the 2022 national elections.

Trinidad also noted that the Facebook page previously shared the interview of Toni Gonzaga with Marcos, which previously drew backlash online.

READ: Throwing shade? Movie lines of Toni Gonzaga go viral amid backlash over BBM interview 

“Hey Philippine Heart Center, one of your admins is using your FB page to campaign. You even shared Toni’s interview with Marcos Jr. lol,” he said.

Cecilia Jimeno of the UP College of Medicine also made a similar call to PHC’s Facebook administrators.

Jimeno shared screenshots of PHC’s posts associated with Marcos and his son.

“Attention Philippine Heart Center officials. Your official FB Page is engaging in electioneering. #Elections2021,” Jimeno said.

One Twitter user shared a screenshot of a comment from a certain Joel Abanilla, introduced as PHC’s executive director.

Abanilla claimed that the Facebook page was hacked.

“Please report, delete or block them. Our Office of Strategy and Management will take care of this. Phil Heart Center has never ever authorized anybody to endorse any political nor presidential candidate,” he said.

Screenshot of a comment from Joel Abanilla under PHC’s post captured on November 10, 2021

The Philippine Heart Center is a government corporation that was established by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 673 that was inaugurated on Feb. 14, 1975.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, unlawful electioneering refers to “solicit votes or undertake any propaganda on the day of registration before the board of election inspectors and on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters thereof.”

Electoral laws, however, do not apply yet because the Commission on Elections has not yet finalized the official list of candidates for the coming national polls.

Poll spokesperson James Jimenez issued this in the comments section on another tweet.

One Twitter user asked him about electioneering violations of some candidates.

Jimenez replied with: “Pare-pareho silang lahat na walang violation dahil hindi pa naman sila official candidates.”

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