NTC orders Facebook, Lazada, Shopee to stop selling banned SMS blast machine

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has asked e-commerce giants Facebook (Marketplace), Lazada, and Shopee to stop the selling of banned portable cell sites on their platforms.

This was issued after an emergency text blast was received regarding dictator's son Bongbong Marcos' presidential bid.

The regulator pointed to the illegal use of portable cell sites, which can send messages to subscribers within three to five kilometers.

It is illegal to buy, own, or sell such devices, except for a number of agencies and authorized private firms.

In separate issuances, the NTC asked the companies' Philippine counterparts to explain why they should not be held liable for such violations.

Aside from asking to explain in writing, the companies were also directed to appear before the NTC on October 27 at 10 am.

A cursory search on Shopee and Facebook marketplace showed that such product listings have been removed.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Lazada said it has already removed the products "highlighted by the NTC report on October 7."

"Our team does a daily manual sweep for product listings that violate existing policies and these are removed once identified. Strong action is also taken against sellers found breaching our platform's terms and conditions," Lazada said.

Lazada also urged the public to flag illegal listings, adding it "will not hesitate to take strong actions against parties found involved in illegal activities that are against local laws and our company policies," it said.

A resolution has been filed at the House of Representatives to investigate the use of the emergency text alert system for a partisan election campaign. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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