Meta deletes ‘Gikan sa Masa’ Facebook page

Loyal viewers could still watch Duterte’s weekly public service and talk program on YouTube and TikTok
Meta deletes ‘Gikan sa Masa’ Facebook page
Screenshot from Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa

META Platforms, Inc. has deleted the Facebook page of former President Rodrigo Duterte (FPRRD) and Sonshine Media Network International’s (SMNI) Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa program.

SMNI in a statement on Friday morning, June 7, 2024, said they were not given the opportunity to appeal Meta’s decision.

However, loyal listeners and viewers could still watch Duterte’s weekly public service and talk program on YouTube and TikTok, citing their commitment to promoting the previous and latest information of the ex-president, which includes the policies on the projects of the Duterte administration.

“We urge you to continue following us on our alternative platforms like YouTube and TikTok. We remain committed to keeping you informed about FPRRD and fostering community engagement,” the statement said, posted by the SMNI Digital Media Management through the  SMNI News official Facebook page. 

“We understand that this removal is yet another effort to silence our commitment to delivering truthful news. But we won't be silenced. Our commitment to fight for press freedom and contribute to the growth of our nation remains unshakeable,” the statement added. 

Following the removal of the page which had over 40,000 followers to date, supporters of FPRRD were quick to air their sentiments and expressed their disappointment over the incident.

“The insecurity of this administration to FPRRD is just out of this world. Why don’t they focus on the real problem in the Philippines instead of focusing too much on the [D]utertes [?]” Facebook user Anne Leganso Petines said.

One netizen, Vangie Diocares, also says: “Why is the present government so insecure and insensitive? why not concentrate on various projects that will alleviate poverty existing in the country.”

Gikan sa Masa, para sa Masa ( From the Masses, for the Masses) formerly titled Mula sa Masa, para sa Masa) is a talk show program hosted by Duterte himself which features a question-and-answer segment, where Duterte personally answers queries, grievances, and remarks from viewers.

It premiered on May 19, 2017, and was supposed to air every Friday at 7 p.m. (UTC +08) on the government-owned People's Television Network (PTV), but only one episode aired.

Prior to that, Gikan sa Masa originally aired on ABS-CBN Davao from 2001 until 2015, back when he was still mayor of Davao City.

SMNI News Channel controversies

SMNI News Channel (SNC; stylized in all caps), is a Philippine far-right religious free-to-air news and public service television network based in Makati. It is owned and operated by Swara Sug Media Corporation, the parent company of Sonshine Media Network International, a broadcasting arm of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) led by Filipino televangelist and religious leader, Apollo Quiboloy.

The network has been accused of being a far-right channel in the Philippines that allegedly fuels disinformation, misleading claims, and propaganda to attack journalists and critics of the Duterte administration. 

Following a previous suspension on Quiboloy's YouTube channel, which was lifted on June 21, YouTube canceled the channels of SMNI and one of its shows, Laban Kasama ang Bayan (translated from Tagalog: Fight with the People), along with KJC, on July 7, 2023. After being accused of red-tagging false information, Google later claimed that its actions were compliant with the US Department of Justice's previous indictment of Quiboloy on charges of child sexual abuse and human trafficking, as well as the sanctions that the US had placed on Quiboloy under the US Global Magnitsky Act.

Suspension of programs

On December 18, 2023, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) placed two of its programs under a 14-day preventive suspension. The majority of board members decided to stop Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, a program where Duterte is accused of threatening France Castro, a representative of the ACT Teachers party-list, twice on air. DEF


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