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FACT CHECK: No court order freed Badoy, Celiz from House detention 


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FACT CHECK: No court order freed Badoy, Celiz from House detention 
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises, not a court, issued the release orders for the two SMNI hosts, citing 'humanitarian considerations'

Claim: Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) anchors Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz were released from detention in the House of Representatives on December 12 through a court order.

Rating: FALSE 

Why we fact-checked this: The claim can be found in the titles of several YouTube videos, notably in a video uploaded on December 12 by the channel “PINAS NEWS INSIDER” titled “KAKAPASOK LANG Biglaang Utos! walang Nagawa ang Kongreso Utos ng KORTE Pinalaya agad KA-ERIC BADOY” (Just In, immediate order! Congress couldn’t do anything. Order of the court. Ka-Eric Badoy freed right away.) The video has 134,174 views and 1,280 comments as of writing.

Other YouTube channels with videos bearing similar claims include “XCREW,” “PINAS UNCOVER,” and “News Trends.”

The bottom line: It was a House committee, not a court, that freed Badoy and Celiz from detention a week after they were held in contempt by lawmakers.  

The two were released on December 12 following a unanimous vote by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, citing “humanitarian considerations.” The release order was signed by House Secretary-General Reginald Velasco and Committee on Legislative Franchises chairperson Parañaque 2nd District Representative Gus Tambunting. 

Cited in contempt: Badoy, Celiz, and SMNI are in hot water after airing an unconfirmed report on House Speaker Martin Romualdez’s travel expenses during an episode of the SMNI show, Laban Kasama ang Bayan, in which he and Badoy are hosts.

Celiz was cited in contempt during a December 5 hearing for refusing to reveal his source for the claim that Romualdez spent P1.8 billion for travel this year. 

In the same House probe, Badoy was also cited in contempt for “acting in a disrespectful manner” and for providing conflicting statements in the hearing.

Supreme Court petition: On December 11, a day before Badoy and Celiz were released, their spouses filed a petition for certiorari and invoked the writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court to contest their detention and seek their release.  

Tambunting said the House’s release order has nothing to do with the petitions.

Sila po ay papalayain for humanitarian reasons dahil Kapaskuhan. May sulat naman tayo galing kay Ka Eric na sila ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa kanilang ginawa,” he said.

(They will be released for humanitarian reasons because it’s the Christmas season. We also received a letter from Ka Eric that [Celiz and Badoy] have asked for forgiveness for their actions).  – Percival Bueser/ Rappler.com 

Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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