SMNI suspension urged for alleged violations

SMNI suspension urged for alleged violations
Photo credit to SMNI News

Davao City-based legislator and Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Representative Margarita “Migs” Ignacia B. Nograles has put forward a resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to suspend the operations of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI). 

The proposal cites alleged "violations of the terms of its franchise" and the dissemination of "false information" as grounds for suspension.

House Resolution (HR) No. 1499, sponsored by Nograles, contends that SMNI has "failed in its responsibility to the public by deliberately disseminating false information."

The move comes in response to multiple complaints filed against the network, owned by televangelist Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, including HR 230 and HR 1428 submitted on August 12, 2022, and November 6, 2023, respectively. These complaints accuse SMNI of engaging in "fake news peddling and baseless red-tagging of individuals, groups, and organizations."

HR 1428 specifically condemns attacks on ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France L. Castro by former President Rodrigo Duterte during his program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” aired on SMNI.

On November 29, Quezon Province Second District Representative David "Jay-jay" Suarez criticized the host of SMNI's show "Laban Kasama ng Bayan" for claiming that House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez spent P1.8 Billion on foreign travel in a year. 

Suarez challenged the host, Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, to reveal the source of this information. 

A financial report from the Office of the Secretary-General contradicted the claim, stating that the House’s travel budget was only P39.6 million, with Speaker Romualdez accounting for P4 million.

Celiz later admitted on air that the information he provided was inaccurate and not validated.

"With the admission that the source of information was wrong and that the information was not vetted, in addition to the various complaints filed against the SMNI for fake news peddling and red-tagging, it is clear that SMNI violated its responsibility to the public not to use its stations or facilities for the deliberate dissemination of false information or willful misrepresentation to the detriment of the public interest," Nograles said in HR 1499.

Pending the Committee on Legislative Franchises' recommendations on SMNI's alleged violations, Nograles emphasized that the NTC must "immediately stop the deliberate dissemination of false information that may generate cynicism and mistrust on matters involving public interest."

The 25-year franchise of Swara Sug Media Corporation (SMNI) was renewed by Congress in 2019 and signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte. 

As of now, SMNI has not issued an official statement regarding the resolution.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises, chaired by Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting, cited Celiz and former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) spokesperson Lorraine Badoy-Partosa in contempt on Tuesday, December 5. 

The panel accused them of refusing to disclose their source of erroneous information and being evasive about their income from co-producing their show. 

Both anchors will be detained at the House premises until the panel's committee report is adopted in the plenary. RGL

Related stories:

SMNI suspension urged for alleged violations
Romualdez hits back at House of Representatives critics
SMNI suspension urged for alleged violations
Meta deletes ACQ’s SMNI News Facebook page?
SMNI suspension urged for alleged violations
Tell it to SunStar: Ex-president Duterte’s ‘threats’ vs. Castro, Makabayan Bloc


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.