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SMNI’s credibility questioned anew after its staged Senatorial Debate

Like the buzz it created from its presidential debate, the Network is again at the receiving end of its credibility, questioned.

SMNI’s credibility is in question [again] after its Senatorial debate.

On Wednesday, March 2, SMNI held another sponsored debate for the Senatorial candidates. Like the buzz it created from its presidential debate, the Network is again at the receiving end of its credibility, questioned.



In a tweet, Presidential candidate Leody de Guzman called out SMNI for purportedly turning off the microphone of senatorial candidate Atty. Luke Espiritu when he was speaking about the atrocities of the Marcoses during martial law.

“Nakakapagtakang tila namatay ang microphone ni @LukeEspirituPH nang iniisa-isa na niya ang mga human rights violations nung panahon ni Marcos.”

Meanwhile, former party-list congressman and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares shared why he was not present in the debate.

In a tweet, Colmenares explained that he did not get an invite from SMNI to join their senatorial debate.

“Good morning! Sa mga nagtatanong bakit wala ako sa SMNI senatorial debate kagabi, sa totoo lang, I was not invited.”

Because of Colmenares’s statement, netizen @lilyoftheveil17 chided SMNI, which proclaimed to be unbiased but acted otherwise.

“Ahhhh unbiased pala @smninews ha. 🙄”

https://twitter.com/lilyoftheveil17/status/1499254528771649539

Vice Presidential candidate Walden Bello also scored SMNI for not allowing him to attend the senatorial debate.

“Sex trafficker Quiboloy’s TV outfit will not allow me to attend tonight’s #SMNISenatorialDebate at the Okada. Guess Quibby is afraid I plan to check if the food is not microwaved sobra from the presidential debate 2 weeks ago. Ingat kayo sa food poisoning.”

@adxManangan then commented on Bello’s tweet questioning SMNI’s fairness.

“WAG GANUUNN… AKALA KO BA FAIR AND NETWORK… EVERYONE DESERVE MAPAKINGGAN.”

@dettwangle meanwhile lambasted SMNI for self-bragging about their supposed “professional and world class” debate.

“SMNI is so self conscious of itself that their reporters constantly have to say how “professional”, “world class” & “intellectual” their debates are. Atat sila sa validation mo. 🙄 Kahit anong sabihin niyo. FBI most wanted pa rin si Quiboloy. 🤭 #SMNIsenatorialdebate”

This was not the first time that the network figured in credibility questions.

Before their presidential debate on February 15, the network’s credibility was put into question following the backing out of 4 presidential candidates, Manny Pacquiao, Isko Moreno, Ping Lacson and Vice President Leni Robredo over issues of bias after SMNI owner and FBI-wanted Pastor Apollo Quiboloy publicly endorsed the candidacy of Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio.

After the Presidential debate, several journalists also slammed the network for its obvious bias from the pre-debate show anchors to the actual debate panelist who was a self-proclaim Marcos Jr fanatic.

Aside from that, the Network was also accused of stealing BBC News footage, which was used in the presidential debate trailer.

BBC News’ Howard Johnson tweeted:

https://twitter.com/Howardrjohnson/status/1493777208825253888

In a statement to Rappler Johnson said SMNI did not seek permission to use the footage.

“Neither the BBC News team in Manila nor London were approached to seek permission to use the footage.

“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,” he said.

Johnson also explained that he is not be mistaken since he shot the video himself, which makes him familiar with its details.



“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.”

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