Metro Manila , Philippines — SMNI hosts Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz will be celebrating Christmas and New Year with their families after a House panel agreed to release them from detention.
Citing humanitarian grounds, the House Legislative Franchises Committee unanimously voted during a closed-door hearing on Tuesday to release the two hosts from Batasang Pambansa
They were freed Tuesday night after undergoing a medical exam.
Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, the committee chairman, clarified that the development has nothing to do with the writ of habeas corpus petitions filed by the spouses of the two hosts before the Supreme Court.
“Sila po ay papalayain for humanitarian reasons dahil Kapaskuhan. May sulat naman tayo galing kay Ka Eric na sila ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa kanilang ginawa,” Tambunting said.
[Translation: We will free them for humanitarian reasons because it’s Christmas. Anyway, we received a letter from Ka Eric that they are apologizing for their actions.]
He said the committee will summon Badoy and Celiz if necessary in succeeding congressional hearings on SMNI.
“They’re free to go, this is not a furlough. We’ve freed them from detention. If we need them we’ll just call them back,” the lawmaker added.
Badoy and Celiz were detained at Batasang Pambansa for a week after being cited for contempt by the committee.
Celiz incurred lawmakers’ ire for refusing to name his source for the report that House Speaker Martin Romualdez allegedly has a ₱1.8-billion travel fund.
Badoy, on the other hand, gave conflicting information on SMNI’s revenues from advertisements.
Meanwhile, Tambunting said he is leaving it up to the Senate to deal with the employee who reportedly gave the information about Romualdez’s alleged travel fund to Celiz.The lawmaker said he relayed the name of Celiz’s source to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri after the host divulged the identity to him on Tuesday.