Marcos open to dialogue with predecessor

Marcos open to dialogue with predecessor

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is open to meeting with his predecessor following the latter’s request to talk to him regarding the situation of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), which has been suspended by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Last Saturday, former president Rodrigo R. Duterte said he wanted to talk to Mr. Marcos “indirectly” over the investigation of SMNI, which is owned by the former’s spiritual adviser, Apollo C. Quiboloy.

“I do not want to control the President but rather I’d like to talk to him indirectly,” Mr. Duterte told Davao-based reporters.

On Sunday, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said in response: “President Marcos is always available to former President Duterte.”

“The President will contact him (Mr. Duterte) now to ask if he wants a meeting,” she told reporters.

Last month, the NTC issued a 30-day suspension order against SMNI, which came after the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) suspended two of its shows for 14 days after a probe into alleged violations in their content.

The House of Representatives has accused the network of violating franchise provisions.  The Committee on Legislative Franchise has found that SMNI violated at least four sections of its franchise.

In opposing the NTC’s decision to investigate SMNI, Mr. Duterte said on Saturday that the agency has “not come up with any allegations or charges of any wrongdoing.”

“One of these days perhaps, I’ll come up with a statement, not necessarily defending Pastor Quiboloy, but just to say something about the way things are, and it would mean Pastor Quiboloy or anybody for that matter,” he said.

In his program on SMNI, Mr. Duterte had accused House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, a cousin of Mr. Marcos, and other lawmakers of corruption without citing any proof.

Mr. Duterte had also made comments that appeared to be a death threat against ACT Teachers Party-list France L. Castro, who had strongly opposed his daughter’s confidential and intelligence funds.

Mr. Duterte, speaking to reporters in his home province, said he has not said anything negative against Mr. Marcos.

“As far as I am concerned, I have not crucified him, not even criticized him severely, maybe commented on the directions of the government. That’s all,” he said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza