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Pangasinan demands public apology from ABS-CBN over 'flesh-eating disease' report
The online news portal of TV5

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The people of Pangasinan are demanding a public apology from ABS-CBN, the television network that reported about the spread of a supposed "mysterious disease" caused by a "flesh-eating" bacteria, which resulted in panic and public hysteria.

"I think that it is good if ABS-CBN will issue a public apology," said provincial administrator Rafael Howard Baraan.

"In order to really put the matter to rest, they (ABS-CBN) must admit that they made a mistake in projecting the erroneous report out of proportion," he added.

Baraan further said the TV network should have first verified their report to ensure that it will not cause panic and hysteria among the people of Pangasinan.

He remarked, "It's very irresponsible," referring to the TV report.

According to provincial tourism officer Malu Elduayan, the sensationalized report has made a big impact on the province's tourism.

"Per report in Alaminos City, there were some cancellations of booking in some establishments," she said.

Meanwhile, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr. said the provincial board will formally ask the public apology from the network through a resolution.

Also, on Feb. 26, a social media campaign on Facebook titled "ABS-CBN Should Apologize to the People of Pangasinan" has started gaining support from around 600 Internet users in a few hours.

The ABS-CBN report which instantly went viral may have been linked to a prophecy made by a self-proclaimed Indian prophet that a “mysterious flesh eating disease” will gradually spread in Pangasinan before it will affect the world.

According to provincial health officer Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman, the two cases reported, one from Sta. Barbara and another from Villasis, were but cases of common diseases - leprosy and psoriasis - and are both non-contagious.