Senate President Zubiri urges House to continue probe of SMNI

senate president zubiri urges house to continue probe of smni

Senate President Zubiri urges House to continue probe of SMNI

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Sunday encouraged the House of Representatives to continue its probe on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), particularly concerning its broadcaster’s claim that a Senate worker was his source on his report alleging that Speaker Martin Romualdez incurred P1.8-billion in travel expenses. In a statement, Zubiri pointed out that the allegations, including the network’s program host Jeffrey Celiz’s attributing to a Senate employee his unconfirmed report on Romualdez’s travel expenditures, may “only have been intrigues sown to create controversy and fake news.” According to the Senate President, “I have no knowledge whatsoever of anyone from the Senate leaking information to any reporter on any House matter.” “Until the concerned resource speaker names a Senate employee, there is no reason to believe that these allegations are anything more than intrigues being sown to create controversy and fake news,” he pointed out. “We respect interparliamentary courtesy and would not want to put a rift in the very strong partnership that we have with the leadership and the members of the House,” Zubiri said. ‘Wrong information’ He suggested that the House continue its investigation “until they get to the bottom of this accusation, and press for the concerned person to reveal the name of their alleged source from the Senate.” “Otherwise, the House can cite them in contempt,” he said. “If they can prove it is an employee of the Senate, then we will initiate disciplinary action on those involved,” Zubiri added. Last week, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises started its inquiry into possible violations committed by SMNI of its franchise granted in 2019 through Republic Act No. 11422 to Swara Sug Media Corp. The committee inquiry stemmed from Deputy Majority Leader and Quezon Rep. David Suarez’s Nov. 28 privilege speech and House Resolutions Nos. 230 and 1428 filed by ACT Teachers party list Rep. France Castro, Gabriela women’s party list Rep. Arlene Brosas and Kabataan party list Rep. Raoul Manuel on the network’s alleged fake news peddling and red-tagging.

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