(Updated at 5:43 p.m. on June 18) Seasoned actor Eddie Garcia is in critical condition after figuring in an accident on the set of a GMA Network show earlier this month.
Local reports indicate that Garcia was taping an upcoming series tentatively titled “Rosang Agimat” when he suffered a neck fracture.
Following the incident, unverified posts of “RIP Eddie Garcia” started circulating on Facebook and prompted his colleagues and doctors to disprove the false information.
GMA Network, meanwhile, said it is investigating the cause of the incident and the absence of the medical team on the set.
June 8 and 9
Garcia was rushed to the hospital while taping an episode of the series in Tondo, Manila.
On June 9, photos and videos of the 90-year-old actor in an unconscious state and being carried by several men surfaced on social media.
Some of the posts falsely claimed that Garcia had died due to stroke or heart attack.
The actor’s immediate family soon released a statement quoting family doctor Enrique Lagman that he had a “severe cervical fracture.”
Lagman also ruled out a heart attack, aneurysm or heat stroke as causes for the actor’s sudden loss of consciousness.
Film director Bibeth Orteza, a friend of Garcia and his partner, told Pep.ph that the actor suddenly tripped on a cable wire on set and fractured his neck. This further disproved speculations of his death and backed Lagman’s earlier statement.
“He tripped on a cable wire of the production. Fell face down and fractured something base neck c1and c2,” Orteza said.
She also gave the same information to GMA News and added that he was in “deep sleep” at that time.
“Nakita na hindi nagka-heart attack. Ni-rule out ‘yung heart attack, ni-rule out ‘yung aneurysm, ni-rule out ‘yung heatstroke,” Orteza said.
However, Dindo Arroyo, Garcia’s co-actor in the new program, countered these testimonies in a separate interview.
Arroyo asserted that he watched the video clip showing what happened in slow motion.
“Please stop making stories about Tito Eddie. Kami nandoon, mas maraming nagmamarunong?” Arroyo said.
Rather than fabricating stories, Arroyo requested the public to pray for Garcia’s health instead.
“Tito Eddie needs your prayers. GMA 7 is as Top po of the situations [sic]. Eddie Garcia is ok for now,” he said.
The Makati Medical Center, where Garcia is currently confined, announced in a medical bulletin that the veteran actor is in a state of coma.
The bulletin was prepared by Patient Relations Department head Artemio Cabrera.
“According to Mr. Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Garcia’s attending physician, Dr. Regina Macalintal-Canlas, as of 1:00 pm of June 11, 2019, Mr. Garcia continue to be in CRITICAL condition. He is in a comatose state with minimal spontaneous respiration,” the announcement read.
June 11 to 13
Congressman Mikee Romero of the 1-PACMAN party-list, Garcia’s son to longtie partner Lilibeth, also asked for prayers on a radio interview concerning his father’s wellbeing.
“We need prayers not just for Tito Eddie but for my mom as well. He’s still alive but very, very critical. Ipagdasal niyo po, please,” Romero told dzMM sometime that week.
Romero also echoed Orteza’s statement about the neck fracture.
“Unfortunately naaksidente siya and he tripped sa wire while doing a shooting. Talagang he fell face down. Naalog ‘yung brain niya and ‘yung C1 and C2 sa neck niya, nag-snap which made him very unconscious up to today,” he said.
Garcia is still in a comatose state and his family maintained they have no plans to pull the life support that’s keeping him alive, following a column piece by The STAR’s Ricky Lo that it may soon be pulled out.
“As of the moment, wala pa pong decision. Definitely they don’t want to let go,” Dr. Tony Rebosa told dzBB.
Garcia is an accomplished actor who won prestigious awards.
These include Best Supporting Actor at the annual Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences awards, the first to be inducted into the Best Actor and Best Director Halls of Fame, and three Luna awards for Best Director from the Film Academy of the Philippines.
Editor’s Note: An update of this story corrects the name of Eddie Garcia’s longtime partner. It is not Bibeth, but Lilibeth. Bibeth is a family friend of the actor.