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Quiboloy’s SMNI News Youtube channel is back

By Jillian Rae Manuel Published Jul 08, 2023 11:48 am

Not long after the removal of Sonshine Media Network Inc. (SMNI) News channel on YouTube, a new version of the channel appeared on the online video-sharing platform.

On the SMNI News Facebook page, they shared a post, plugging their new SMNI News YouTube channel.   

“Subscribe to our New SMNI News YouTube Channel. Truth that Matters!” they wrote.   

Aside from SMNI News, two other channels owned by controversial preacher Apollo Quiboloy's media organization, “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” and Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), were also taken down.

The original YouTube channel of SMNI News was taken down on Friday, July 7. According to a statement released by Google, YouTube’s parent company, they have terminated the channels as they are “committed to compliance with applicable US sanctions laws and enforces related policies under its Terms of Service.”  

“After review and consistent with these policies, we terminated the Laban Kasama ang Bayan, KOJC & SMNI YouTube channels," they said.   

These channels and programs are owned by the controversial preacher Apollo Quiboloy and are part of his established media organization. Before their terminations, according to an archiving site named Waybackmachine, SMNI News had 1.71 million subscribers; KOJC with 5,220; and “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” with more than 100,000 on YouTube.  

As of July 8 at 11 a.m., the new SMNI News channel now has 1.38k subscribers with 13 uploaded videos.

In June, Quiboloy's channel was also shut down after a netizen flagged the platform of his pending case.

“Yo someone at @TeamYouTube has to help the feds or shut this account down. [An] actual human trafficking priest is running a channel still reaching out to victims less than 12 hours ago. Dude has an FBI warrant out rn (right now),” the user wrote, attaching screenshots of Quiboloy’s YouTube channel and his record on the FBI’s most wanted list.

Quiboloy is wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for his “alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme” that enabled him to bring church members to the US using fraud visas and solicited for “bogus charity” which has been discovered to fund the “lavish lifestyles” of its church leaders.  

SMNI has been caught in the past with red-tagging issues. Hosts of the media company have been recently called out by the Commission on Human Rights for red-tagging some National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) journalists.