SMNI legal counsels express feeling muzzled amid House probe on franchise

SMNI legal counsels express feeling muzzled amid House probe on franchise

LEGAL Counsels of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) respond to resolutions filed in Congress against the TV network.

“We feel somewhat muzzled. Hopefully not. I hope I’m wrong, but we feel like a bridle is being placed on us here,” according to Atty. Rolex Suplico, Legal Counsel, SMNI.

This is the sentiment of SMNI’s Legal Counsel, Atty. Rolex Suplico, regarding the resolutions filed in Congress against the TV Network.

Atty. Suplico was among those present at the hearing of House Committee on Legislative Franchises on Thursday, November 30, led by 2nd District, Parañaque City Cong. Gus Tambunting.

“Of course, you are summoned here; these are congressmen, leaders of our country. They are powerful figures here in the Republic of the Philippines, and then they summon you. In fact, we received an invitation. What is so special about Swara Sug?” Atty. Suplico added.

Also present among SMNI’s legal counsels at the hearing was Atty. Mark Tolentino.

He stated that it’s a welcome opportunity for them to address the allegations against SMNI.

“We feel motivated seeing SMNI’s motto to show the truth, so we feel motivated, we feel inspired, especially for our viewers, to prove that truth matters. Our motto is to present only the truth in the news with a high degree of professionalism. So, we see it not as harassment—maybe there is harassment or not—but for us, we consider it an inspiration and a challenge to enhance and beautify SMNI’s programs even more,” Atty. Mark Tolentino, Legal Counsel, SMNI stated.

Legal counsel asserts SMNI’s franchise battle extends beyond the network, stands for nation-building

Furthermore, Atty. Tolentino added that SMNI is not only defending itself but also advocating for the interests of the nation, especially freedom of expression.

“It was sudden, but, of course, it’s within their power. It’s their discussion; we don’t control what they do. We’re here to defend Swara Sug and lead the cooperation. Not just Swara Sug but the interest of the public, particularly the freedom of expression in the Republic of the Philippines,” Atty. Tolentino added.

When asked if the hearing in Congress is politically motivated, the SMNI lawyers responded.

“Possibly yes or no. In our opinion, but I think it’s better to ask them. If they have any political motivation, if they are harassing, I think they should answer, not us,” Atty. Tolentino added.

“After all, they are politicians, not us,” Suplico added.

Three House Resolutions were discussed on Thursday, including HR 230 filed by ACT Teachers partylist (Rep. France Castro), HR 1428 by Gabriela Partylist (Rep. Arlene Brosas), and the complaint of Quezon Cong. ‘Jay-Jay’ Suarez regarding alleged false reports against the House Speaker.

The committee is expected to continue deliberations on these resolutions against SMNI next Tuesday.


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