President Marcos open to discuss SMNI probe with Rody

Helen Flores, Diana Suelto - The Philippine Star
President Marcos open to discuss SMNI probe with Rody
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. leads the sectoral meeting at the Malacañang Palace on October 24, 2023.
PPA Pool photos by KJ Rosales / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos is always open to discuss issues with his predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil made the remarks after Duterte said he would like to talk “indirectly” to Marcos on investigations into Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).

“President Marcos is always available to former president Duterte,” Garafil said in a Viber message to Palace reporters.

“The President will contact him now to ask if he wants a meeting,” she said.

The former president expressed, at a press conference with Davao media over the weekend, that he wants to “indirectly” discuss the ongoing investigations against SMNI with Marcos because it also affected his show, “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa.”

“I do not want to confront the President, but rather, I want to talk to him indirectly on why this is,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Duterte lamented that he did not do anything that would warrant a suspension from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

He also said the suspension of his show did not follow the proper procedure.

“As far as I am concerned I did not crucify him, not even criticize him severely. Maybe commented on the direction the government is proceeding,” Duterte said.

He, however, clarified that he will not interfere with the investigation.

“Pastor (Apollo Quiboloy, owner of SMNI) never asked me to interfere,” Duterte said, adding that he just wanted to help his friend.

“My only concern now is to help my friend, Pastor Quiboloy, because, to be honest, the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission), they did not see anything. They have not come up even with an allegation of any wrongdoing,” he said.

Duterte asserted that “Sonshine has always been careful.”

He also added that “there is still time for them to correct. If there is something to correct, they will do it.”

Duterte also denied rumors that he has been secretly meeting with uniformed officials for supposed destabilization plots against the Marcos administration. — Edith Regalado

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