Television network Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) is under scrutiny as the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) considers imposing sanctions for allowing unaccredited hosts to go on air without proper training in responsible broadcasting.
In a recent House committee hearing, a KBP spokesperson disclosed that SMNI failed to adhere to the rule mandating training on the KBP’s code of ethics for all broadcasters associated with KBP member networks. Notably, SMNI’s program anchors Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy, recognized for disseminating disinformation against various figures, were revealed to lack KBP accreditation.
Although SMNI itself holds accreditation with the KBP, the network permitted non-accredited broadcasters to appear on air, a violation of the code of conduct.
This revelation surfaced during a legislative franchises panel inquiry probing potential franchise violations by SMNI, which has been criticized for red-tagging and making baseless allegations.
Celiz and Badoy recently claimed that House Speaker Martin Romualdez possessed P1.8 billion in travel funds, a statement promptly refuted by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco. Celiz issued an apology during the hearing, acknowledging the inaccuracy of his source but maintaining that the claim was presented as a “commentary question.”
Emphasizing fairness as crucial in commentaries and analyses, the KBP addressed concerns about SMNI hosts engaging in unprotected speech through red-tagging and the spread of false information. Despite the controversies, SMNI’s legal representatives argued that Celiz and Badoy, as talents, exercise independence in expressing their views.
SMNI and its hosts have faced legal actions and criticism for their red-tagging activities against various individuals, prompting concerns about the network’s potential impact on public discourse and the dissemination of disinformation. The KBP’s consideration of sanctions underscores the importance of responsible broadcasting and adherence to ethical standards within the media industry.