Cayetano denies rumors of threats from some groups, congressional leaders over ABS-CBN franchise vote

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has denied the rumors of “threats and intimidation” coming from some groups and even congressional leaders to influence the vote of lawmakers on the fate of ABS-CBN’s bid for franchise renewal.

“Rumors and 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,” said Cayetano in a statement on Wednesday.

He added that these are “clumsy attempts” that pose a threat to the fairness and impartiality of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises.

The chamber will have a summation on Thursday of all the issues surrounding the broadcasting network whose legislative franchise expired last May 4.

Legislative Franchises Committee chairperson and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez said the chamber is expecting to make its decision whether to grant a fresh 25-year franchise to ABS-CBN before President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address.

Moreover, Cayetano assured that lawmakers would vote based on facts and laws applicable.

“The House leadership would like to reiterate that each vote must and will be based on the appreciation of the facts as they have been presented by both sides during these exhaustive proceedings, as well as the application of the relevant laws and public policy,” he said.

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