Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz (file photos from the Chamber of Deputies)

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Sara Duterte on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) hosts Loraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz after they were held in contempt by the House of Representatives.

Recognizing the contributions of Badoy and Celiz to the administration of his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, specifically, under the National Working Group to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, Duterte hailed the two as “symbols of defense of what is right”.

“The courage and resilience demonstrated by Dr. Badoy and Ka Eric in defending our rights and upholding our Constitution is truly commendable,” Duterte said in Filipino in a statement released on Wednesday.

She thanked those who supported the hosts, specifically, supporters and retired alumni of the Philippine Military Academy and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, along with other sectors.

“A united nation holds the power to promote our rights, justice, truth and the establishment of a peaceful and strong community, Duterte said.

Badoy and Celiz were cited for contempt at a House hearing on December 5.

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Celiz was detained for refusing to reveal the source of his claim on live television that House Speaker Martin Romualdez spent more than P1.8 billion on travel this year.

Badoy was detained after issuing conflicting statements regarding the advertising revenues of the SMNI program “Laban Kasama Ang Bayan”.

The two were allowed to leave the House of Representatives on December 12 for humanitarian reasons.

The Chamber will continue its hearings involving SMNI until January.

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Several measures were also proposed requesting the suspension or revocation of the SMNI franchise.