Veteran actress and Rep. Vilma Santos and her son Luis Manzano./ Instagram/rosavilmasantosrecto
MANILA, Philippines — Veteran actress and Rep. Vilma Santos (Batangas 6th District) questioned why suddenly only 11 lawmakers, including herself, on Friday chose to stand by embattled media network ABS-CBN while a landslide 70 others voted to deny it of a legislative franchise.
The “Star for All Seasons” said she was just as surprised by the turnout of the vote, citing widespread support of legislation to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.
“Kasi initially, maski sa mga pagdinig, alam ko kahit paano, maraming sumusuporta sa bill na ito na inilalaban namin…Biglang, bakit kami kumonti ng ganito na lang? Very significant naman na bigla na lang kami naging 11. May mga ganyang palakad na kung minsan ay hindi natin basta matatanong o makukuwestiyon. Maski ako, hanggang ngayon, hindi ko ma-absorb, nahihirapan ako,” Vilma said in a Friday evening interview over DZMM.
The solon-actress explained that her affirmative vote for ABS-CBN’s future is supplemented by national agencies who cleared the network of violations over the course of congressional hearings.
She also said that any shortcomings could have been remedied by the network instead of an outright shutdown that would affect thousands of its employees.
“Sabi nila, ginagawang shield iyong 11,000 employees. Let’s face the truth, more than 11,000 ang mawawalan na naman ng trabaho. With the present situation na hinaharap natin ngayon, ang dagok ng pandemyang COVID-19…With the economy natin ngayon na naghihirap, walang trabaho, hindi ho ito madaling isipin.”
Meanwhile, Kapamilya actor and television host Luis Manzano took to Twitter to express how proud he is of his mom Vilma, who voted in support of the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
“Love you Momski. Proud of you,” Luis posted on Twitter Friday.
Malacañang earlier said that appeals to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN should be directed to Congress as it reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte remains “neutral” on the issue.
“The position of the president is he is neutral when it comes to ABS-CBN. They apologized and he has forgiven them,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.