MTRCB suspends two SMNI shows

MTRCB suspends two SMNI shows
Photo credit to SMNI News

THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has ordered a two-week preventive suspension on Sonshine Media Network International’s (SMNI) programs "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa" and "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" amid several complaints including the use of profane languages and for broadcasting unverified information.

"Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa," is a public affairs program hosted by former President Rodrigo Duterte and Kingdom of Jesus Christ head Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

SMNI is owned by Swara Sug Media Corporation, the broadcasting arm of Quiboloy’s religious organization.

In a statement, the MTRCB said it received complaints about Duterte’s use of profane language particularly on their episode aired on October 10 and November 15, 2023, where the former President uttered threats against ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro who criticizes his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio over the secret funds of the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education.

After the October 10 episode, the MTRCB said it warned SMNI that similar incidents will be dealt with more sternly.

The MTRCB said SMNI committed to pre-record and review episodes before airing but it happened again on November 15.

The “Laban Kasama ng Bayan” on the other hand is hosted by former anti-insurgency task force spokesperson Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz who claimed to be a former high-ranking official of the New People's Army.

In their November 27 episode, Badoy and Celiz discussed the alleged P1.8 billion spent by the Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez for his foreign trips.

In an inquiry at the House of Representatives, Celiz admitted that the information from his Senate source was unverified.

Badoy and Celiz was detained at the House of Representatives for a few days after they were cited in contempt during the hearing.

The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission to suspend SMNI’s operations while another resolution seeks the revocation of SMNI’s franchise over alleged violations and proliferation of fake news.

“During the December 13 board meeting, a unanimous decision was reached to impose a 14-day preventive suspension on ‘Laban Kasama ang Bayan’ and a majority vote for ‘Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa.’ The decision aligns with the powers granted to the MTRCB by Presidential Decree No. 1986, ensuring that television programs adhere to contemporary Filipino cultural values,” the MTRCB said.

“Upon careful review and consideration of recent events and complaints received by the Board, it was found that certain aspects of the abovementioned programs may have violated the established guidelines and standards set by Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) governing broadcasting content,” it added.

"To prevent the possible repetition of these alleged infractions which may pose a negative impact on public welfare, ethical considerations, and the overall reputation of the broadcasting industry, the Board determined the need to preventively suspend the subject program/s," the MTRCB said.

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