Why the NTC suspended SMNI for 30 days

Bea Cupin

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Why the NTC suspended SMNI for 30 days
The entire network’s operations are ordered suspended for 30 days, days after its two shows were temporarily ordered off air for 14 days by the MTRCB

MANILA, Philippines – Apollo Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) should be going off air for 30 days, after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a show cause order alongside a suspension order against the network. 

The order was issued on Tuesday, December 19, but made public only on Thursday, December 21.

Why the show cause and suspension order?

In a statement, the NTC said they were “acting on” an earlier resolution from the House of Representatives calling on the regulatory body to suspend SMNI over the supposed violation of the terms of its franchise. 

House to investigate SMNI for spreading disinformation on Romualdez’s travels

House to investigate SMNI for spreading disinformation on Romualdez’s travels

“In said Order, the NTC directed Swara Sug to explain in writing within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof why it should not be administratively sanctioned for alleged violation of the condition of its authorities to comply with all the laws, rules and regulations of the land,” said the NTC in a statement. 

The NTC added that in issuing the suspension order, it “took cognizance of the House of Representatives’ declaration in Resolution No. 189 that Swara Sug has violated at least three (3) specific provisions of its legislative franchise, Republic Act No. 11422.”

The body said it “gave due deference to such determination of the House of Representatives and its authority over all matters directly and principally relating to the grant, amendment, extension, or revocation of franchises.”

In the Philippines, it is Congress that issues broadcasting privileges or a broadcasting franchise. The NTC is a government body tasked to “regulate and supervise radio and television broadcast stations, cable television and pay television.” 

SMNI is a television station infamous for its red-tagging. It is also known for its close association with former president Rodrigo Duterte. 

The station now counts Duterte as one of its hosts, after it started airing his longtime show Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa. SMNI also counts as a host Lorraine Badoy, a government official during the Duterte administration. 

Both Duterte and Badoy’s shows were earlier ordered suspended for 14 days by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). 

Duterte’s show was temporarily put off the air for threats made against ACT Teachers Representative France Castro in two episodes back in October and November. Badoy’s show, meanwhile, was suspended for reporting without verification the supposed increase in travel spending by House Speaker Martin Romualdez.  

That’s not the end of SMNI’s woes. In the House, a bill has been filed calling for the revocation of SMNI’s franchise. 

The NTC set an administrative hearing on January 4, 2024 following its order against SMNI.  – 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.