The NTC has ordered e-commerce platforms to stop the sale of SMS blast machines.
The agency has ordered Lazada, Facebook Marketplace, and Shopee to immediately stop the sale of SMS blast machines in the Philippines.
This, after an “emergency alert” was sent while presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Sofitel tent in Pasay City.
The National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order for each of the said platforms, asking them to appear before the commission on October 27, 2021.
According to the NTC, the agency has not authorized the manufacture, importation, sale/distribution, or type approval of SMS blast machines in the country.
In addition, the agency said that the sale of SMS blast machines and similar equipment “appears to violate” the Radio Control Law and other regulations such as the NTC Memorandum Order 01-02-2013 or the Prohibition of Portable Cellular Mobile Repeater and Portable Cellsite Equipment.
Moreover, the agency said that e-commerce platforms must explain in writing within 15 days why they shouldn’t be held liable for violations and why the said “violative” products shouldn’t be subject to forfeiture or confiscation.
Earlier, the NTC said that the agency was looking into the “emergency alert” which appeared to promote Bongbong Marcos’ presidential bid. The camp of Bongbong Marcos has denied that it was involved in the “emergency alert”.
Manny Estrada, the head of Globe Telecom’s Technology and Strategy Service Integration, earlier said that devices that can be used to send location-based SMS blasts while bypassing carriers were being sold online.
Some groups have filed a petition in the House of Representatives in order to investigate the use of “emergency alerts” in campaigning for the elections.