By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Imee Marcos (Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA – Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday said the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) should have been allowed to explain first before the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)’s suspension order for its operations.

The NTC stated in its suspension order that this was based on House Resolution No. 1499 urging to suspend the operations of SMNI which violated three specific provisions of its legislative franchise.

“Who’s afraid of SMNI? Which media entities will remain to uphold the freedom of the press, speech, and thought?” Imee asked.

“Why must we shut down all those who do not agree with us, not even allowing the chance to explain first? How could the NTC issue a show-cause order but simultaneously hand down a 30-day suspension? Amazing! Are we afraid that SMNI may be right? Are we afraid of the truth?” she continued.

The order came with the instruction for SMNI to submit a written explanation as to why it should not face administrative sanctions within 15 days from the date of the receipt.

Senator Marcos warned that the NTC order will have a “chilling effect on press freedom.”

“The right to due process and freedom of the press are cornerstones of our system of government. Unfortunately, these have not been adhered to in the NTC’s decision to suspend SMNI’s operations,” she said urging NTC to be “judicious” in suspending operations of media entities. (PNA)