Vilma Santos says ready for 'consequences' of vote for ABS-CBN franchise


Posted at Jul 13 2020 02:33 PM

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House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto said Monday she was "prepared" for the possible consequences of her vote for the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corp, which her colleagues killed last week. 

The representative of Batangas province's sixth district cited a previous instance where she lost chairmanship of a House committee after voting against the death penalty. 

"Kung ano man iyong naging decision ko na renewal ng franchise ng ABS-CBN at magkakaroon ulit ng mga ganoong mga consequences, I think I'm prepared for that. Ganoon talaga e, tanggapin natin iyon," she told ANC. 

(Whatever my decision for the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise and if there will consequences like that again, I think I'm prepared for that. That's just how it is, we have to accept that.) 

The former actress said she had expected a "comfortable" number during Friday's vote because ABS-CBN answered the various allegations against it during the marathon hearing that spanned about 100 hours.

But 70 lawmakers voted to permanently shut down ABS-CBN free television and radio services, and only 11 voted otherwise, including Santos-Recto. 

She said she did not know if lobbying led some authors of bills for ABS-CBN's franchise to back down from supporting the broadcaster. 

"Siyempre if you're part of the supermajority, kailangan in a way nakasuporta ka rin sa mga major na mga batas na ipatutupad," said the lawmaker. "But again, at the end of the day conscience vote. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyari sa iba." 

(Of course, if you're part of the supermajority, you need in a way to support the major laws that will be pushed. But again, at the end of the day it should be a conscience vote. I don't know what happened to the others.) 

The House working group that recommended ABS-CBN franchise rejection was formed the day before the vote and only worked on its report overnight. Santos-Recto said she was not able to read the report in full because copies were distributed only an hour before the vote. 

"First time kong maka-ekspiryensya na isang TWG (technical working group) na natapos overnight," said Santos-Recto, who is on her fifth year as lawmaker.

(This is my first time to experience a TWG that finished overnight.)

She said the report "set aside" the testimony of various government agencies that ABS-CBN obeyed the law. 

ANC, July 13, 2020 is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.