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SMNI dared to prove allegations vs Romualdez

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A senior administration lawmaker took up the cudgels for Speaker Martin Romualdez yesterday, challenging Davao City-based Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) to prove that Romualdez has incurred P1.8 billion in travel expenses.

“Show me your documents. Show me your data. Inform us who your source is and I will compare it to mine and there we will find out what the real truth is with regard to this issue,” Quezon 2nd District Rep. David Suarez told reporters.

SMNI is owned by religious leader Apollo Quiboloy who is wanted in the US for sex trafficking of children.

Suarez earlier urged the House committee on legislative franchises to investigate the matter, reiterating that the television network has the burden of proof.

“I feel that the network and the host are both accountable, primarily because this has been shown on TV. Second, as journalists, they should be responsible, they should have validated the information before coming out with the news report,” he said.

“I think it would be a prudent decision of the committee to invite the host,” he added, referring to Parañaque City 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting who chairs the legislative franchises committee.

Suarez wanted Tambunting to invite not only the broadcaster who made the claim but also the broadcasting station’s owner and franchise holder himself.

“I impose even this challenge on them: name your source. It is because I have a copy of the document that details how much was really spent by the House and the Speaker with regard to travel expenses. That’s why I want to know where they got their data,” he said.

“Did your data just come out of thin air? And was just aired on nationwide TV simply because of that? Because in the first place, this doesn’t seem so, as far as we are concerned. And what they’re claiming is not the truth,” he noted.

Suarez recalled that he “went to the finance department of the House... to find out if this is true and there is no truth to the P1.8 billion. It is fake news and it is an absurd lie that they are spreading.”

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