Spouses of detained SMNI hosts Celiz, Badoy file petition of habeas corpus before SC
Spouses of detained SMNI hosts Celiz, Badoy file petition of habeas corpus before SC
Spouses of detained SMNI hosts Celiz, Badoy file petition of habeas corpus before SC
by Ellicia Del Mundo12 December 2023
Photo courtesy: House of Representatives & SMNI

The spouses of detained Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) hosts Jeffrey ‘Ka Eric’ Celiz and Lorraine Badoy filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court in Manila on Monday, Dec. 11.

The spouses of the SMNI hosts were accompanied by former presidential spokesperson and lawyer Harry Roque.

In an interview with the media, Roque said they are questioning the contempt and detention power of the House of Representatives against media practitioners, who are just exercising their freedom of speech.

"Pangalawa, puwede bang i-contempt ang isang mamamahayag kung ayaw niya sabihin ang source niya dahil nga sa Sotto law?" he added.


According to Roque, the higher court should resolve the question: "Mas makapangyarihan ba ang Kongreso kaysa doon sa batas [Sotto law] na binuo nila?" and "Pwede bang magpakulong ang Kongreso nang walang due process?"

Both Celiz and Badoy are presently in the House of Representatives' detention cell after members of the House Committee of Legislative Franchises moved to cite them in contempt last Dec. 5.

Celiz refused to reveal his source, who claimed that House Speaker Martin Romualdez had allegedly spent ₱1.8 billion for travel expenses in a year alone, while Badoy allegedly lied about the advertisers of SMNI programs.

SMNI legal counsel Mark Tolentino earlier told DZRH in an interview that Tolentino said Celiz and Badoy started a hunger strike to protest their “illegal detention."


"Aming hinihiling sa hukuman na pakawalan ngayon ang dalawang mamamahayag," former presidential spokesperson said.

Roque deemed the filing of the petition as a "historic day" for not only media practitioners but also for the country's democracy.

"Ito po ay importanteng araw para sa demokrasya dahil kung walang malayang pamamahayag, eh masusupil talaga ang diskusyon, debate na kinakailangan natin para gumana ang ating demokrasya. Hindi lang po si Badoy at Ka Erick ang dumudulog ngayon sa Korte Suprema kung hindi ang lahat po ng mamamayang Pilipino na nagbibigay importansya sa malayang pamamahayagn, malayang pananalita, at demokrasya dito sa ating bansa," Roque furthered.

Related Topics
listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read