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Iglesia ni Cristo reportedly lobbying for non-renewal of ABS-CBN franchise

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Influential religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is reportedly lobbying in Congress against the renewal of the legislative franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

Politiko/Abante learned that top honchos of the INC hierarchy recently met with key personalities of the House leadership last week to express strong opposition to the approval of the 10 pending bills that seek to give the Lopez-owned Kapamilya network a fresh 25-year franchise.

The INC, known for its strict implementation of the so-called bloc voting, is reportedly against the franchise renewal of the Lopez-led media conglomerate for allegedly tarnishing the name of the religious group, according to a congressional insider.

The INC leadership is reportedly not pleased with the coverage of the Kapamilya network in 2015 when it allegedly sensationalized the leadership feud between INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo with his mother Cristina “Ka Tenny” Manalo and his younger brother Felix Nathaniel “Ka Angel” Manalo.

Ka Tenny and Ka Angel were reportedly expelled by Ka Eduardo from the INC upon the recommendation of the group’s “Sanggunian” for allegedly “sowing disunity” in the church.

The INC’s Sanggunian is reportedly not happy with how ABS-CBN handled the coverage of the Manalo siblings’ feud.

INC reportedly has between 2.6 million to 3-million voters who exercise bloc voting every election.

The franchise renewal bill of ABS-CBN is not included in the agenda of the upcoming hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises this coming Wednesday, amid earlier assurance from the Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

A document obtained by Politiko/Abante disclosed that not a single bill seeking to grant a fresh 25-year franchise to the Kapamilya network is in the agenda of the legislative franchise panel chaired Palawan Rep. Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez this February 5.

Cayetano, two weeks ago in Batangas, hinted that the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN might be tackled soon by the Lower House, as Alvarez’s panel is set to hear about 40 franchise renewal bills, pending before his committee by first week of February.

But only five legislative franchise bills filed are scheduled to be hear by Alvarez’s committee based on the agenda given to its members.

Among the franchise bills set to be tackled by the Palawan solon include those of the FBS Radio Network, Century Communications Marketing Center, Caceres Broadcasting Corporation, and Philand Communications Network Corporation.

The upcoming meeting of the franchise panel is not even included in the list of schedule of the Lower House posted on its website for the first week of February.

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