Claim: SMNI reporters red-tagged Rappler CEO, Maria Ressa on air.
The Facts: In the news program ‘Laban Kasama ang Bayan’ by the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), hosts Franco Brando, Jeffrey Celiz, and Lorraine Badoy ironically reported false information and red-tagged Nobel Peace Prize and CEO of Rappler Maria Ressa by saying that she gives platforms to the Communist Party, making her an instrument of deception and disinformation. They also surmised that Ressa would soon be jailed which she highly deserved.
This is false since there is no evidence that links Ressa with the Communist Party.
Red tagging, which was done by the three reporters, is a serious offense that can be charged with defamation and libel. Former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy is infamous for her red-tagging schemes. She had faced at least multiple complaints and lawsuits for red-tagging different individuals and groups even before.
Her partner-in-crime, Jeffrey Celiz who was known for being an NPA “whistleblower”, was also caught lying and red-tagging before.
The network SMNI is also accountable for allowing news like this to be aired. It is a fact that the owner of this network is Apollo Quiboloy, a felon wanted by the FBI for multiple charges of Sex Trafficking of Children, Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, and other crimes.
In regards to this, the Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) called out this act as a violation of the Broadcast Code of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), an association that SMNI joined under the Swara Sug Media Corporation.
Why we fact-checked this: With almost 9,000 views on Twitter, the fact that the SMNI Twitter account shared this report means that they are deliberately spreading this disinformation which is morally and legally criminal.
Also, these red-taggers are back in stride putting targeted people into danger. Red-tagged individuals are vulnerable to death threats and violence. In some instances, targets of red-tagging are also harassed by accusations of terrorism.