Imee Marcos hits NTC halt order vs Quiboloy-linked SMNI

Imee Marcos hits NTC halt order vs Quiboloy-linked network: ‘Who’s afraid of SMNI?’

/ 03:28 PM December 21, 2023

Imee Marcos hits NTC halt order vs Quiboloy-linked SMNI

FILE PHOTO: Senator Imee Marcos. Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos slammed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) order suspending the broadcast network linked to the controversial megachurch creator Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

On Thursday, the eldest sister of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioned the 30-day suspension of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) operations.


“Who’s afraid of SMNI? Which media entities will remain to uphold the freedom of the press, speech, and thought?” she asked in a statement.


“Why must we shut down all those who do not agree with us, not even allowing the chance to explain first? How could the NTC issue a show-cause order but simultaneously hand down a 30-day suspension? Amazing!” she added.

NTC’s halt order stemmed from the call of the House of Representatives, which adopted PBA Party-list Rep. Margarita Nograles’ resolution against SMNI.

House Resolution (HR) No. 1499 asserted that SMNI violated the terms and conditions of its franchise under Republic Act No. 11422, with Nograles pointing out that Section 4 of the network’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. But House officials, including Secretary General Reginald Velasco, debunked Celiz’s claims, saying the entire House only spent P39.60 million for travels between January and October 2023.

Senator Marcos, cousin of Romualdez, nevertheless wondered: “Are we afraid that SMNI may be right? Are we afraid of the truth?”

Prior to NTC’s suspension order, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board suspended two SMNI programs – “Gikan Sa Masa, Para sa Masa” due to alleged threats issued by former president Rodrigo Duterte in the show, and “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” after the its hosts wrongly claimed that Speaker Romualdez spent P1.8 billion for travel.

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TAGS: Imee Marcos, National Telecommunications Commission, Quiboloy, SMNI

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