Miracle Cure For Covid-19 or Fabunan Fable? Part 1

No such report has been published by the Jakarta Post

Update 17 August 2020: Fabunan promoters have been pasting a photoshopped picture of the Front page of the Jakarta Post, Indonesia, to make it appear that the newspaper front-paged Fabunan FAI. The Jakarta Post has no such report.

Update 1 August 2020: Indonesia’s Health Ministry, through the Indonesian Embassy, says that Fabunan has received no approvals for any activity in the country. This explains the absence of Fabunan’s FAI from the country’s database of clinical trials. The Ministry was responding to fact-checking organisation Vera Files.

Update 26 July 2020: FAI promoters now claim that Indonesian authorities have approved a patent for 20 years, following a supposed deal with a government-owned pharmaceutical company. Neither is required to show that FAI works. There is, again, no independent confirmation of these claims. They assume that social media campaigns will force governments to overlook the total lack of clinical evidence to support the alleged benefits of FAI. Requirements for pharmaceuticals approval are here.

Update 22 July 2020: FAI promoters claim that FAI is responsible for recoveries in Indonesia but provide no evidence. Indonesia has just reported its second highest death toll. They also claim it is being sold by an Indonesian state pharmaceutical company to Ab u Dhabi. Again, no independent evidence for this claim.

Update 13 July 2020: The promised trials are a no-show. FAI promoters now say next week. Despite a legal requirement in Indonesia for all clinical trials to be registered, there is no registration for these alleged trials. Promoters now saw that there will be no publication of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in any peer-reviewed medical journal of note, the minimum requirement for validation and that it will rely entirely on social media marketing.

Update 8 July 2020: Fabunan promoters on social media claim that clinical trial results will be released on Saturday, 11 July 2020.
Update 6 July 2020: Social media posts claim that clinical trial results will be announced this week. However, no such clinical trial;s have been registered with the Indonesian Clinical Trial Registry, indeed, no clinical trials involving Covid-19 are being undertaken.

Update 3 July 2020: A promotional video for Fabunan Antiviral Injection has been banned from Youtube for breaching community standards.  The video claimed that a production deal for FAI was signed in Jakarta. There is no independent confirmation of any such deal, nor of the claimed clinical trials, supposedly involving 20 hospitals in Indonesia.

Update 21 June 2020: It is widely claimed on social media that Fabunan invented and patented Dexamethosone. This is false. It was invented in 1957 by Philip Showalter Hench and approved for medical use in 1961. When one claims that every viral disease that hits the headlines is cured by your brand of jollop, with no scientific evidence to back of any of those claims, you don’t get to claim you discovered a cure.

Update 20 June 2020: FAI promoters claim that the results of human trials will be announced in Indonesia at a press conference in Jakarta. No record of any such trials is recorded in any database. Nothing has been said about double-blind, placebo controlled , peer-reviewed trial publication.  Dubious claims continue to circulate on social media alone.

Update 17 June: Oxford University has announced successful trials using dexamethasone, an ingredient in FAI, in hospitalised patients suffering severe respiratory distress. There was no benefit in those not suffering respiratory distress, so it has no curative or preventative action as proposed by the Fabunans. It therefore indicates that FAI is ineffective.

Update: 13 June 2020: One of the promoters of FAI has indocated that any clinical trials in Indonesia will not be submitted for peer-review in a recognised medical journal and the results will only be announced by press release in the Indonesian press. If so, it will indicate that the trial results are less than reliable and will be rejected by the medical community.

Update 21 September 2020: Despite claims made on social media there is still no evidence that FAI has been approved, or undergoing clinical trial, or being legally used anywhere.

: 8 June 2020. Social media posts claim that the Indonesian health authorities had agreed to conduct clinical trials on Fabunan Antiviral Injection. The claims appear only from know promoters of FAI. Despite the importance of such a move, if true, it remains unconfirmed by medical news and information outlets, the WHO database of ongoing Covid-19 measures, Indonesian media, Philippine media or any reliable source. Given the track record of misinformation by FAI promoters (Such as claims that the Philippine FDA had approved FAI), we catalogue the claim as dubious.Clinical trials must be registered, yet no such trial can be found on clinical trial databases such as  centerwatch.com or clinicaltrials.gov.Update: 31 May. Malacanang corrects false information regarding FAI.

Important update: 27 May: The Fabunan Medical Clinic has closed.

Update, 24 May, 2020: The Philippine FDA has issued a cease-and-desist order, DoH is ‘working up a case’ against Dr Willie Fabunan. Here for more information.

New information is emerging on the Fabunan claims which are now being verified. Updates will be made as these are checked.

Corrections of factual errors are welcome in the comments section, which is moderated.

Right now, things are little different from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic which killed up.to 18 million people, according to some estimates. Many of the rumoured ‘cures’ have re-emerged in the Covid-19 crisis. You’ll find some familiar claims in this recording.

Now, as then, fake news and fake cures have appeare throughout social media, presenting serious hazards, as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist reports.

In the US alone, thousands of fake products have been seized which claim to protect or cure Covid-19

The case of the Fabunan patented jollop raises a number of red-flags suggesting that a patented mixture of painkiller and a steroid for treating Covid-19, Fabunan Antiviral Injection, is, prehaps less than is claimed for it. It is not encouraging that development was led by an accupuncturist, Willie Fabunan.

Continue reading “Miracle Cure For Covid-19 or Fabunan Fable? Part 1”

Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Five

1989 report on the Escosa fraud. Click for larger picture.

Few news outlets in the Philippines have a science correspondent, none of those who do have one have given tasked their science correspondent to write about the claims. Hence most press references simply rehash Escosa’s press release. This includes opinion columnists, the result being little push-back on the fraud.

This desert of scientific illiteracy in print, broadcast, and online media does have a couple of oases of actual journalism. Filipino writer Alan C Robles debunked the scam in the South China Morning Post  in an article called Science Fiction ,while the Manila Times took apart an article in Business week in 2013 asking Did Businessweek fall for a 30-year-old hoax?
By 2017, however, Manila Times had forgotten that deuterium deposits are a fraud and published: “Scientists and experts believe the region is rich in gas and deuterium deposits”No expert nor scientist believes in deuterium deposits.
By then the scammers had moved their fictional shiny object of desire from the bottom of the Philippine Trench to the far shallower waters of Benham Rise/Philippine Rise, well within the capacity of existing technology to exploit, so no more excuses.

Continue reading “Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Five”

Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Four

Escosa swindled OFWs

Senator Marcos’s information, together with all social media posts and promotions, including those used by the notorious Alpha-Omega group, trace their origins to a swindler, now deceased, called Cesar K. Escosa who ran a recruitment agency in Quezon City.

He was, if nothing else, ambitious, filing candidacy for the 1998 elections. His certificate was denied by Comelec.

To impress the gullible, Escosa issued what he called a ‘Special Report’. This report is the basis of most of the deuterium claims and mixes a small scattering of facts with a heavy dose of pure fantasy and fabrication.

Here is that report, annotated:

Continue reading “Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Four”

Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Three

Bongbong files a pseudoscience bill

On 17 November 2010, Senator Ferdinand R. ‘Bongbong Marcos Jr. filed Senate Bill 2593 proposing The Hydrogen Research, Promotion and Development Act of 2010. He cites no scientific sources for the information he provides to support his proposal.

Sadly, Mr Marcos appears not to have done his due diligence and consulted scientists in the appropriate fields of expertise. However, the deuterium claim has been associated with the Marcos family for decades so he may not have felt there was a need to actually check the science.

His claims are, simply, false.

Had his staff done their homework they would have known that those claims were firmly debunked by Roger Posadas, then Dean of the UP College of Science, as early as 1988.

The relevant passage in the bill states:

Continue reading “Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Three”

Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part Two

So, what actually is Deuterium? It is a type of hydrogen, also known as Hydrogen-2, with the symbol D or 2H instead of H and is known as an isotope. An atom of ordinary hydrogen, the most basic and lightest of all the elements, consists of a nucleus of one proton but Deuterium’s nucleus has an extra lump called a neutron. Combined with Oxygen it makes heavy water D2O2, aka Deuterium Oxide, which is about 10 per cent heavier than ordinary water, H20.

Deuterium is extracted from seawater using a process called the Girdler sulfide process, invented in 1943, which you can read about here.

It is non-toxic, odourless and flammable but, as with hydrogen, it will asphyxiate you if you are in an atmosphere containing too much of it, which is not going to happen in the real world, at least on Earth.

Heavy Water is everywhere, from inside your body and the water that comes out of your taps, about 1 in 3000 molecules of what you drink, to the oceans. The biggest concentration is one the surface of the sea, where sunlight evaporates lighter H20.

Heavy water is most often associated with nuclear power. Put simply it is used to soak up radiation to prevent the reactor melting down. That process turns Deuterium into Tritium, another hydrogen isotope with rather different characteristics – it is very poisonous and radioactive.

So, heavy water is used to control (moderate) nuclear reactions but does not generate energy itself.

Because Deuterium is stable, it does not spontaneously generate hydrogen for energy generation.

Now let us compare the Bongbong Marcos claims with scientific facts.

Part Three

Part One
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part One

After a short hiatus, a 40-year old fraud has recently resurfaced. It claims, without evidence that it is supported by the Philippines current president, Rodrigo Duterte, and, with pseudoscientific ‘evidence’, that of Ferdinand Marcos Junior, known as Bong Bong. It is a fabulous tale of riches that will propel the Philippines into superpower status when deposits of an isotope of hydrogen, called deuterium, is mined from ‘pools’ at the bottom of the Philippine Trench.The scam is so old, getting on for half a decade, that is can certainly be regarded as a part of Philippines history.It is a tale of pseudoscience, greed, and gullibility supported by blatant fabrication that has lasted since the 1980s and continues today.

Continue reading “Deuterium – The Hoax That Will Not Die – Part One”

TVMT: The Man Who Steals Honor – Part 3

As we have shown, conclusively, the Bureau of Central Interpol/Interpolcom/International Police Commission are organisations involved in illegal activities. Now let us look at Tiburcio Villamor Marcos Tallano, a convicted criminal with a record of bank fraud.

He claims to be a king, yet is monarch of no nation. He claims to own thousands of tonnes of gold but cannot afford his own regalia and has his face photoshopped onto uniforms he is not entitled to wear with awards and qualifications he did not earn.

That alone makes him a fraud.

Continue reading “TVMT: The Man Who Steals Honor – Part 3”

The Interpol Scam – Part 2

Attached to an equally dodgy scam using fraudulent documents, Alpha-Omega, the Bureau of Central Interpol, BCI, scams Filipinos by selling fake identity documents and military ‘ranks’.

Despite claims made on the BCI Facebook page, and the liberal scattering of UN logos on its documents, it is not an attached agency of the UN. You may search for it yourself on the UN’s own website.

Indeed, while trying to pull off a land scam in 2014, Lapu-Lapu City City attorney Yuri Beluan, warned Alpha-Omega: “the absence of authority to use seals and emblems of the United Nations, its organizations and agencies, and of the different instrumentalities of the Philippine government, and the signatures of different government officials will expose them to criminal liability.”

Tallano frauds are characterised by laughable incompetence. A good fake requires attention to details. If one is going to pretend to be connected to Interpol one should at least know how that organisation works, it is obvious that the Bureau of Central Interpol has not the foggiest idea.

Continue reading “The Interpol Scam – Part 2”

Part 1 – Fraudster Threatens Bob’s Histories And Mysteries

Really, I was not planning to do much more on the Tallano fraud, then I noticed a shared Facebook post from a Ging Inigo on behalf of the fraudulent Bureau of Central Interpol/Interpolcom and its convicted bank fraudster, Mr. Tiburcio Villamor Marcos Tallano. I might have just giggled at the silliness and moved on.

Mr Tallano is one of three operating fraudsters claiming ownership of thousands of tonnes of non-existent gold on the basis of laughably forged documents. The other two main scammers are Julian Mordern Tallano and a ‘Queen’ Salvacion Legaspi, all using much the same fraudlent documents.

A fraudster threatens

Then came the threat.

It is time to reveal the truth about these corrupters of Philippine history with fake tales of non-existent gold.

Mr Tallano has not even earned the gold braid on the military uniforms he likes to photoshop his head onto. It is a fabrication despised by real military personnel and veterans, known as ‘stolen valor‘. He has spent not a single day in any armed forces.

Continue reading “Part 1 – Fraudster Threatens Bob’s Histories And Mysteries”

How a Slow News Day in Washington Invented the Filipino McKinley Islands

The assassination of William McKinley

No matter how long one has been studying Philippine history there is always something new. It is one of the pleasures of diggingthrough dusty tomes and digital libraries. I belong to some of the better Facebook history groups, which means once in a while something comes up that gets my investigative juices going, like the report that the Philippines could have been called the McKinley Islands, after US President William McKinley who allegedly promised to Christianise and civilise the Archipelago as he pinned a paper US flag into a map in 1901 while pitching for the Methodist vote in an upcoming election.

Had McKinley run for another term he might well have won, but for two bullets fired at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York on 6 September 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist born in Michigan. McKinley died a week later.  On 26 October,  three 1,800 volt charges were sent through his body, he was declared dead and his body dissolved in sulphuric acid and what was left buried in prison grounds.
It was claimed that one of Czolgosz’s complaints against McKinley was the US actions in the Philippines.

Continue reading “How a Slow News Day in Washington Invented the Filipino McKinley Islands”