House OKs resolution asking NTC to suspend SMNI operations
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has adopted the report from the committee on legislative franchises, which calls on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to suspend the operations of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).
At the session on Monday, the House adopted House Resolution (HR) No. 1499 via viva voce.
HR No. 1499 was originally authored by PBA Rep. Margarita Nograles. It was adopted during the committee on legislative franchises’ hearing last December 5, while the committee report containing the amended version of the resolution was approved earlier.
Nograles called on NTC to suspend the operations of Swara Sug Media Corporation — SMNI’s business name — for supposedly violating provisions stated in its franchise, under Republic Act No. 11422.
According to Nograles, who is a lawyer by profession, Section 4 of SMNI’s legislative franchise restrains them from using its stations or facilities to propagate false information.
Nograles was referring to claims aired by Jeffrey Celiz, host of SMNI’s Laban Kasama ng Bayan, that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’s travel expenses reached P1.8 billion. House officials, including Secretary General Reginald Velasco, debunked it, saying that the entire House only spent P39.60 million for travels between January 2023 and October 2023.
During the initial hearing of the House committee, Celiz apologized for claiming that Romualdez spent P1.8 billion on his travels. He also admitted that his source from the Senate — which he did not name — was wrong.