Apollo Quiboloy

BBC says Quiboloy’s SMNI used their Scarborough video without consent

Jairo Bolledo
BBC says Quiboloy’s SMNI used their Scarborough video without consent

GRABBED VIDEO. A correspondent of the BBC alleges that Apollo Quiboloy's SMNI used their footage without permission.

BBC, Apollo Quiboloy's Facebook Page

BBC correspondent Howard Johnson says SMNI did not approach them nor their rights team to ask permission to use the footage
BBC says Quiboloy’s SMNI used their Scarborough video without consent

A correspondent of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) called out Apollo Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) for using their footage without permission. 

Howard Johnson, BBC News Philippines correspondent, tweeted that SMNI used their footage of Scarborough Shoal in an SMNI trailer. The trailer was repeatedly broadcast during the presidential debate on Tuesday, February 15, organized by the media network owned by Quiboloy, a fugitive indicted for sex trafficking and wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a message to Rappler, Johnson said, “Neither the BBC News team in Manila nor London were approached to seek permission to use the footage.”

The BBC correspondent also told Rappler: “As far as I can see, the footage of Scarborough Shoal, aired in July 2021 on BBC World News, is not available on the Getty website, a third-party site where news organizations can purchase BBC footage.”  

“It may well be that SMNI has other ways of obtaining footage,” Johnson added. 

Johnson further explained that he had extensive familiarity with the footage he himself filmed. 

“I was just shocked when I saw it because as a shoot-edit-reporter you never forget the things you film. Seven days on a boat heading to Scarborough Shoal is an experience I will always cherish. We delivered a report that showed that Chinese naval assets continued to blockade the inner lagoon from entry by medium to large Filipino fishing vessels – and the acts of intimidation against them,” the BBC correspondent noted.

Rappler has reached out to SMNI but has yet to receive a response as of writing.

Uncanny resemblance

The BBC correspondent told Rappler that the footage SMNI used was first aired by the BBC on July 8, 2021. 

BBC says Quiboloy’s SMNI used their Scarborough video without consent

Johnson shared a screenshot of the BBC video identical to the footage used by SMNI. In these two photos, the Chinese Coast Guard vessel and the formation of clouds above the ship are identical.

Screenshot of the actual Scarborough Shoal footage of BBC. Photo by Howard Johnson
Screenshot of SMNI trailer captured by Johnson
The ‘Harry Roque context’

Johnson told Rappler that it was also in the same report that former presidential spokesperson and now senatorial candidate Harry Roque scolded BBC journalist Virma Rivera in July 2021. Roque refuted the BBC report intended to show the situation in Philippine waters five years after the 2016 Hague ruling. 

Roque’s exact words were: “Virma, tumawag ka nang matanong mo naman si Mayor, iyong mga may-ari ng lantsa at saka ang PCG, kasi tinawag iyong report ninyo ng isang may-ari ng lantsa na tsismis ‘no. In fairness to you, tumawag ka ngayon, I will link you up with them para naman malinawan kung ano iyang report mo.”

(Virma, you should call so you can ask Mayor, the owner of the vessels, and the Philippine Coast Guard, because one of the ship owners called and said your report was hearsay. In fairness to you, you called now, so I will link you up with them to clarify whatever your report is.)

The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) immediately slammed Roque then, saying the presidential spokesperson tried to depict the BBC journalist as having an “ill motive.” 

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Roque is running on the same ticket as dictator’s son and presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and presidential daughter Sara Duterte. Quiboloy recently endorsed Marcos Jr. and Duterte for the upcoming May polls. 

A Rappler report reveals how Quiboloy’s SMNI has been used as a platform to attack media workers and red-tag government critics. An earlier Rappler investigative report also found that SMNI had been among the top content sources of red-tagging networks. – Rappler.com 

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.