Senate resolution seeks to probe media’s role in times of conflict

Senate resolution seeks to probe media’s role in times of conflict

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 11:27 PM April 21, 2024


MANILA, Philippines — A resolution seeking to investigate media’s coverage in times of conflict, including the growing tension and territorial dispute in the South China Sea, has been filed before the Senate.

In a statement on Sunday, Senator Robinhood Padilla filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 999, directing the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, which he chairs, to probe the matter.


Under the resolution, Padilla underscored the importance of media “in leading and fostering public discussion, truth, and credibility, the rule of law especially in broadcasting, news reporting, and information dissemination.”


READ: Expert commends PH efforts to expose China actions in WPS

Aside from the ongoing conflict between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, Padilla pointed out other global and political tensions that affect the country, such as the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the increasing tension between Israel and Iran.

“The WPS dispute poses potential threats to the entire Asean region and inadvertently put the Philippines in a potential crisis situation, while the Russia-Ukraine conflict may affect long-existing issues including soaring inflation, fuel shortages, and food insecurity,” his statement reads.

In line with this, Padilla said it is “crucial for Filipinos to be well informed of the consequences of our political inclination and possible courses of action should these global conflicts escalate.”

“In critical times like this, experience tells us that the mass media, which is considered truth-tellers, plays a vital role in affecting public perception pertinent to existing conflicts,” he added.

Probe SMNI’s indefinite suspension

The senator also filed another resolution pushing the upper chamber to investigate the continued indefinite suspension of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) in aid of legislation.


Padilla filed SR No. 1000, directing the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, which he chairs, to conduct the inquiry.

“The imposition of baseless suspension orders on SMNI not only constitutes a denial of due process but also an erosion of press freedom,” Padilla said in the resolution.

Prior to this, Padilla filed last March 11 Senate Resolution No. 960 asking the same committee to conduct the probe.

Under SR No. 1000, Padilla likewise pointed out that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) failed to indicate why it issued the indefinite suspension of SMNI “much more express how this is necessary to avoid serious and irreparable damage or inconvenience to the public or to private interests.”

Last January 18, NTC released an order indefinitely suspending the operation of the network.

The administrative case of SMNI stemmed from House Resolution No. 1499, which pointed out the network’s violations against the terms and conditions of its franchise under Republic Act No. 11422.

Rep. Margarita Nograles of the PBA Party-list, the resolution’s principal author, stressed that Section 4 of SMNI’s legislative franchise prohibits the network from utilizing its stations or facilities to disseminate misleading information.

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Nograles pointed this out after Jeffrey Celiz, one of the hosts of SMNI’s “Laban Kasama ng Bayan,” claimed that House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’s travel expenses reached P1.8 billion, which was debunked by lawmakers saying that the lower chamber only spent P39.60 million for its travels between January and October of 2023.

TAGS: Padilla, Senate resolution

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