On Sunday, an audio clip which many thought was broadcast journalist Jessica Soho’s voice was widely circulated on social media and group chats.
The woman behind the message asked the public to stock up on supplies in case martial law or a total lockdown is declared by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday or Tuesday.
GMA News and Public Affairs was quick to clarify that Soho will never make such a statement online. They also called on the public to stop sharing the audio clip which could possibly create further confusion about the COVID-19 situation.
“Isang audio clip na mula umano kay Jessica Soho ang kumakalat ngayon sa mga chat group at social media. Sa naturang voice clip, isang babae ang nagbabala tungkol sa mga magiging kaganapan sa COVID-19 quarantine,” they said.
“Nililinaw ng GMA News and Public Affairs na hindi si Jessica Soho ang babae na nasa audio clip. Hindi rin gumagawa ng ganoong pahayag si Ms. Soho.”
The network further urged netizens to follow official GMA news accounts for verified updates.
On Monday, April 20, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed the viral voice recording as “fake news.”
During the palace briefing, Roque also said the president’s option regarding the lockdown is an extension of the enhanced community quarantine or a modified community quarantine.
“Kinakailangan magdesisyon ng presidente ngayong linggong ito. Anumang desisyon niya, kailangan paghandaan ang implementasyon.” Roque said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the incident.