PDP-Laban condemns MTRCB's 14-day suspension of Duterte's SMNI show
PDP-Laban condemns MTRCB's 14-day suspension of Duterte's SMNI show
PDP-Laban condemns MTRCB's 14-day suspension of Duterte's SMNI show
by Christhel Cuazon21 December 2023
Photo courtesy: Rody Duterte Facebook page

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) wing chaired by former president Rodrigo Duterte condemned the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to suspend for 14 days an SMNI show that Duterte hosts.

Effective December 18, the MTRCB said it received several complaints about the alleged violations of the shows "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa" hosted by former President Rodrigo Duterte, and "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" hosted by Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz.

In a statement, PDP-Laban secretary-general Aimee Torrefranca-Neri called the move an "affront and attack on press freedom."

"PDP-Laban, as a party strongly fighting and advocating for participatory democracy, condemn in the strongest terms the 14-day suspension imposed by the MTRCB on the former President Duterte’s program over SMNI titled ‘Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa’ because this an affront and attack on press freedom," her statement read.


"The MTRCB has sent a chilling message to the Philippine media, most especially broadcast [media] in this act of curtailing our freedoms which presents a clear danger to our democracy," Neri continued.

She added that the MTRCB should have waited instead for the findings of the Office of the Prosecutor before making such a move.

"MTRCB should have been more prudent and waited for the findings of the Office of the City Prosecutor [on Castro’s complaint] since a preliminary investigation is currently being held there. We should be vigilant about the curtailment of our freedoms because the very essence of our democratic way of life is being attacked by the state in this case," Neri noted.


On October 10, in a "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa" episode, Duterte threatened to kill ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, according to the board. It also said that it received another complaint about an alleged death threat and profane language by a guest on the same show on Nov. 15.

According to the MTRCB, SMNI received a warning from them that such occurrences would be handled sternly. The broadcast media then vowed to record and edit episodes in advance of the broadcast.


The MTRCB was also made aware of the show "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" following Celiz's on-air statement that House Speaker Martin Romualdez had expended 1.8 billion on travel this year.


During a House hearing, the host acknowledged that the material he received from his Senate source was unconfirmed.

Under Presidential Decree No. 1986, the board has the power to approve or disapprove television programs that may defame the government or authorities.


“The MTRCB emphasizes that said order of preventive suspension is a proactive measure aimed at addressing concerns and ensuring compliance with established standards, which shall be in effect for fourteen (14) days, during which SMNI is expected to address and rectify the identified issues,” it remarked.

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