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MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued an order dated January 18 but made public on Tuesday, January 23, directing Swara Sug Media Corporation, the business behind Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), to cease the operations of its radio and television stations until the hearing and final considerations regarding its administrative case pending before the NTC are completed.
SMNI operations were ordered suspended for 30 days last December after its two shows were temporarily ordered off air for 14 days by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) – orders that Swara Sug allegedly did not “strictly comply” with, prompting the NTC to issue the new cease-and-desist order.
The NTC directed Swara Sug to explain in writing within 15 days from receipt of the January 18 order why it failed to strictly comply with the initial 30-day suspension order.
SMNI lawyer Mark Tolentino in an ANC interview said the NTC order is “in grave violation” of the Philippine Constitution, saying that “any decision or ruling [of] any government agencies that affects freedom of press or freedom of expression are presumed unconstitutional, so therefore the NTC ruling [is] presumed unconstitutional.”
Tolentino also denied that SMNI failed to respond to the show-cause and cease-and-desist orders from the NTC, and they followed proper legal proceedings. He also denied that SMNI continued to operate in spite of the December suspension order, and asserted that they complied. – Rappler.com