VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video FALSELY claims court ordered Badoy, Celiz release

December 23, 2023

A YouTube video claimed that a court had ordered the release from detention of SMNI anchors Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy. This is false. It was not a court that issued the order but a committee in the House of Representatives which had them detained.

The video’s thumbnail showed photos of Badoy and Celiz along with an image of the Supreme Court. It’s a clickbait as the video merely played a clip of a Dec. 5 House committee hearing on SMNI’s franchise. 

Uploaded on Dec. 7, the video bore the headline: 

“Just IN Korte Pinag utos PALAYAIN na si KA Eric at Doc Loraine Badoy Atty Suplico VS Cong ACop Nagsa (Court ordered the release of Ka Eric and Doc Lorraine Badoy. Attorney Suplico vs Cong. Acop).”

The thumbnail also had a text that read: “LAYA NA SA WAKAS. ITO ANG NAPAKATINDING BALITA NGAYON (Free at last. This is the extraordinary news now) FREE.”

It was the House Committee on Legislative Franchises that freed Badoy and Celiz on Dec. 12 on humanitarian grounds. The same panel ordered their detention at the Batasan a week earlier. 

Neither the Supreme Court nor the executive branch can meddle in the affairs of the legislative body. The Philippines under a presidential system of government operates on the principle of separation of powers of the three branches of government.

VERA Files Fact Check: It is not true that the court had ordered the release of SMNI anchors Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy from detention. 

It is the House of Representatives that issued their release order on Dec. 12.

Although Badoy and Celiz filed a petition for certiorari and habeas corpus in the Supreme Court a day before their release, this has yet to be acted upon.

Both anchors were detained after being cited in contempt for acting in a disrespectful manner and refusing to answer questions during a probe into SMNI’s alleged violations of its broadcast franchise. 

The House adopted on Dec. 11 a resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission to suspend the operations of SMNI. 

A week later, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board issued a 14-day suspension on two SMNI programs including “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” hosted by Badoy and Celiz. 

Celiz previously claimed that House Speaker Martin Romualdez spent P1.8 billion for foreign travels in a year, a claim denied by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco who said the speaker only spent P4.34 million for foreign trips. 

Uploaded by previously fact-checked YouTube channel NEWSFILES, the video has received 140,685 interactions. PINAS NEWS INSIDER, PINAS UNCOVER, XCREW and News Trends also posted similar claims which garnered 156,159 interactions.


Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to VERA, the truth bot on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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VERA Files

VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit, independent media organization. Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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