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‘Clumsy attempt at mind conditioning’: Cayetano denies Iglesia Ni Cristo-Paolo Duterte tag team vs. ABS-CBN

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has denied Politiko’s report that lawmakers are being threatened by Iglesia Ni Cristo and presidential son Paolo Duterte to vote against ABS-CBN’s franchise application.

Without naming Politiko, Cayetano on Wednesday (July 8) called rumors about the threats to lawmakers a “clumsy attempt at mind conditioning.”

“Rumors of threats and intimidation coming from certain groups, even linking it with specific religious organizations, and congressional leaders are completely false and is an unproductive exercise in trying to manipulate the vote to favor a particular decision,” he said in a statement.

“By trying to poison the well of public opinion, those spreading this propaganda are trying to blackmail Congress into acceding to their demands,” Cayetano added.

Politiko reported Tuesday (July 7) that INC and Duterte are separately lobbying with lawmakers to deny ABS-CBN’s franchise application.

A top-level source told Politiko that lawmakers are reportedly being threatened with zero projects if they vote to grant ABS-CBN’s franchise application. They’re also allegedly warned that they will face challengers in the 2022 elections if they don’t do the bidding of Pulong and INC.

On top of political threats, Politiko’s source claimed some lawmakers have also been threatened with physical harm– short of harassment– should they side with ABS-CBN.

Votes for ABS-CBN’s franchise application will come from the 46-member House Legislative Franchises Committee and the 45 ex-officio members, including Cayetano, who have a voice and vote in the panel.

Cayetano urged all sides in ABS-CBN’s franchise application to “continue to advocate, but never to engage in black propaganda and fake news.”

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