Claim: Live crocodile caught at Marikina River and paraded on top of a trailer in Antipolo
Philippine News Agency (PNA) released a report last Saturday, June 25, claiming that a live crocodile was caught during dredging at the Marikina River. It would allegedly be consigned to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. An accompanying image shows a large crocodile strapped to a truck, sighted at Antipolo, with a crowd of onlookers (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10229585014076501&set=pcb.10229585014756518
The Facts: The ‘live’ crocodile is actually an animatronic prop—a lifelike robot, often used for film and other entertainment—intended for GMA-7’s upcoming action-adventure series Lolong, which will premiere this July 4. It is a 22-foot crocodile made out of fiberglass and silicon, powered solely by hydraulics. The prop was sighted throughout Antipolo, Marikina, Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City.
It was said to be named “Dakila.”
This gimmick has been done by Jurassic Park and Godzilla in the US and how PNA was duped into believing it was true is another story. Other news outfits shared their story basing it on videos shared by their contributors.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA) has since issued an erratum on the matter, clarifying the ‘origin’ and purpose of the crocodile, which is set to be the main character of the TV series. The photo editor involved in this news story has also been suspended.
Why we fact-checked this: The Philippine News Agency (PNA) is a state controlled media outlet under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
This is also verified by Facebook, which holds ‘state controlled media’ to higher standards due to the influence of state-backed editorial control.
PNA currently has over 399,000 followers on Facebook alone. It is important that news services that have a wide-reaching influence and distribution are held accountable in delivering truthful and factual news stories and information.