QUEZON Rep. David Suarez on Wednesday challenged the radio-TV network owned by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to prove its claim that Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has spent P1.8 billion for travel.
He said he would like the House committee on legislative franchises chaired by Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting to invite not only the broadcaster who made the claim on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), but also the broadcasting station’s owner-franchise holder himself.
“I think it would be [a] prudent decision of the committee to invite the host. And I even impose this challenge on them. Name your source, kasi ako, may dokumento akong hawak na nagsasabi kung magkano talaga ang ginastos ng House at ng Speaker sa kanilang travel. Dun sa sinasabi niyo P1.8 billion, kaya gusto kong malaman kung saan nanggaling,” he told reporters.
“O ‘yun po ba ay numero lang na hinugot niyo sa buwan at binanggit sa telebisyon? Dahil base sa mga dokumento at papeles na hawak po namin, hindi po ‘yun ang katotohanan,” he said.
Suarez pointed out that he would like SMNI and its broadcaster to prove their claim so he could check it with his documents.
“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 about this issue,” he added.
He stressed that the Quiboloy network and its program host are accountable for the travel fund claim.
“Well, the network and the host are both accountable. Kasi unang-una, pinalabas po ito sa show nila. Pangalawa, as journalists, responsable sila, dapat bago sila maglabas ng kung anomang news article o news report, it has to be validated. I mean, I’m sure all of you media members do the same. Especially when it comes to figures and data we consider to be of national concern,” the Quezon lawmaker said.
On Tuesday, Suarez delivered a privilege speech asking the committee on legislative franchises to inquire into the SMNI host’s travel budget allegations, which he said he himself heard.
“I immediately went to the finance department of the House of Representatives to find out if this is true and there is no truth to the 1.8 billion pesos. It is fake news, an absurd lie that they are spreading,” he said.
He said as a member of the House, “I felt it incumbent upon myself, I need to clarify this issue on the floor because it affects and attacks the very integrity and dignity of the House of Representatives.”
“So doon po nanggaling ‘yun and of course, bilang isang mambabatas, tungkulin din po natin na siguraduhin na ‘yung mga lumalabas na balita, especially kung may kinalaman po ito sa House of Representatives, ay totoo,” he said.