‘Just skipping dinner’: SMNI show earns ‘Community Note’ tag on hunger strike

December 14, 2023 - 12:44 PM
SMNI hosts Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy with their lawyer Mark Tolentino (MarkTolentinoLaw/Facebook)

A post about the supposed hunger strike of Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz and Lorraine Badoy received a fact-check community note from the X platform.

The “Laban Kasama Ang Bayan,” a show aired by Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), invited viewers to join the “hunger strike” of its hosts Celiz and Badoy. SMNI is a media network associated with the controversial evangelist Apollo Quiboloy.

Join our nightly Hunger Strike starting at 6 PM until midnight. Let’s together peacefully support ‘Laban Kasama Ang Bayan’ anchors Jeffrey ‘Ka Eric’ Celiz and Dr. Lorraine Badoy who were unjustly detained in the House of Representatives,” the post reads.

Badoy and Celiz previously made this move to protest their detention at the House of Representatives on December 7.

They were also cited in contempt by lawmakers of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises for being disrespectful and refusing to answer the inquiries related to their roles in SMNI.

RELATED: ‘Kalimutan ang kulay?’ Pinoys remember Roque’s past remarks vs ABS-CBN amid SMNI probe

The “Laban Kasama Ang Bayan” post, however, earned a “Community Note” tag on the platform. The “Community Note” is a feature on X where other users can add helpful contexts to posts.

RELATED: Grace Poe’s post on De Lima’s freedom gets a ‘Community Note’ tag on X

Here, readers added a context to the meaning of the term “hunger strike,” citing a definition from the Medical Human Rights Network website.

“This is not a hunger strike. According to the IFHHRO, a hunger strike is a voluntary act to a fast that lasts for more than 72 hours as a form of pressure or non-violent protest,” the note reads.

“Not eating from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 m.n. is just skipping dinner,” it also said.

Screenshot of X post of SMNI program “Laban Kasama Ang Bayan” on December 7, 2023 (LKABOfficial/Twitter)

On the website, the Medical Human Rights Network also explained how hunger strikes become a “human rights issue” in some cases.

“Hunger strikes are a human rights issue the moment force-feeding is being used by detention center authorities. Under international law, [according] to the 2006 report by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, force-feeding practices [violate] the right to health,” the network said.

“Such practice is labeled by the World Medical Association as being ‘a form of inhuman and degrading treatment’, and therefore always unethical,” it added.

Criticism vs Badoy, Celiz

Several Filipinos also criticized the controversial hosts’ supposed hunger strike schedule, perceiving it as “fake” and “a mockery” of legitimate protests.

“This is NOT a hunger strike, this is a mockery to all genuine hunger strikes and the poor who often go days without a meal,” an X user said.

“Pati ba naman hunger strike fake pa rin! No food intake from 6 p.m. [to] 12 m.n. is just a normal practice by weight/diet-conscious people. It is ridiculous to call it a hunger strike,” an X user reacted.

Last December 12, the House committee allowed Celiz and Badoy to leave the premises.

In an interview, Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting said that they have expressed apologies over their actions through a letter.

“May sulat naman po tayo galing kay Ka Eric (Celiz) (and Badoy) na sila’y humihingi ng paumanhin sa kaniyang ginawa at yan ay nasa committee secretary ay meron naman po siyang, nag comply din naman po siya sa pangalang hinihingi po natin na kaniyang source sa Senado,” Tambunting was quoted in a report as saying.