Days after ABS-CBN was denied the renewal of their broadcast franchise, Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto said she still couldn’t believe the decision the House panel made on the fate of the TV network.
In an interview with ANC, Cong. Santos-Recto said she wasn’t expecting the low turnout of votes since ABS-CBN executives were able to answer all the accusations thrown against them.
“Nagulat talaga kami. Nasagot naman ng ABS-CBN lahat ng akusasyon sa kanila, kaya we were expecting a more comfortable number,” she said.
The Batangas 6th district representative likewise said that she didn’t expect the report of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to be done overnight.
“I got the TWG report an hour before the voting. I have to be honest with you, hindi ko na siya nabasa nang detalye. First time ko makaranas ng TWG na natapos overnight,” she stated.
The veteran actress-turned-politician likewise made it clear that contrary to accusations made against her, none of what she did was part of any drama and that all she wanted was to show what is really happening to the country.
"Sasabihin na naman nila na ginagamit na naman natin iyong pagda-drama natin para makuha ang simpatya ng tao. Hindi po. Gusto ko lang po sabihin sa inyo at nakikita ninyo sa paligid ninyo kung anong nangyayari ngayon sa bansa natin,” she said.
On voting in favor of the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, Cong. Santos-Recto said she does not see any conflict of interest as she’s no longer affiliated with the network.
“Wala akong nakikitang conflict of interest. Wala na akong programa sa ABS-CBN. Yung anak ko naman, adult na siya, may sarili na siyang desisyon. And besides, talent lang naman siya. Hindi naman kami stockholder ng ABS-CBN,” she stated, referring to son Luis Manzano.
Meanwhile, the congresswoman also shared possible options for the company, which includes the re-filing of a bill and the people’s initiative. Then again, she also cited the possible problems the company must face, should these options be undertaken.
“Meron pa namang options kasi pwede naman mag-refile ng bill, Pero depende yan kung ire-reconsider ng komite,” she said. “Pero ang pinoproblema ko lang ngayon, pero given the reality ng politics natin, baka mahirapan tayo.”
“Ang people's initiative posible yan, pero to be honest hindi madali yan,” she said. “Pero kung gagawin talaga nila yan, I will join them and support them all the way.”
She likewise pointed out that it’s not just about the company but its 11,000-strong employees, who are at risk of losing their jobs amid the pandemic.
“Hindi na ito tungkol sa company. Tungkol na ito sa 11,071 employees. Hindi natin ine-expect na magkakaroon ng pandemya. Andami nang kumpanyang nagsasara. Sabi ng asawa ko, baka umabot ng 10 million ang unemployed,” she stated.
Praying for Congress to be enlightened and have a broader perspective on the issue, she said: “Ang dinarasal ko na lang at this point in time, sana lumawak ang pang-unawa ng mga kasama ko sa Kongreso. Kasi kung may kailangan panagutan, I believe may proseso ang batas diyan.
"Kailangan at this point in time nagtutulungan tayo para makapagbigay po tayo ng isang malaking solusyon para sa mga problemang dumadating sa bansa natin. This is not the time to be heartless... Huwag ninyong isara ang mata ninyo at gamitin n'yo rin ang puso niyo,” she stated.
The decision to deny ABS-CBN a broadcast franchise comes after twelve hearings in Congress over the past two months.
ABS-CBN has stopped broadcast operations since May 5, 2020 following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).