WHERE were the others?
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto asked this question as she was surprised by the result of the voting on the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corp.
Also known as Star for All Season before joining politics, Santos is wondering where were the other solons who had expressed support to the ABS-CBN’s franchise.
During the voting, only 11 solons voted in favor of the franchise as against the 70 who denied the privilege to ABS-CBN, technically killing the opportunity to operate and broadcast.
Santos is one of the authors of the several bills seeking the approval of another 25-year franchise for ABS-CBN.
"Alam niyo sa totoo lang, pareho ninyo, ako'y nagulat. Kasi initially, maski sa mga pagdinig, alam ko kahit paano, maraming sumusuporta sa bill na ito na inilalaban namin,” Santos said in a radio interview.
“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 makikuwestiyon. Maski ako, hanggang ngayon, hindi ko ma-absorb, nahihirapan ako," she added.
The multi-awarded actress expressed concern over the 11,000 employees who face losing their jobs and cannot easily get employment due to the pandemic brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
"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," she said.
A total of 13 hearings were conducted by the House committee on legislative franchises together with the committee on good government and public accountability focusing on issues such as citizenship of the network’s chair emeritus Gabby Lopez, the Lopez family’s reclamation of the company after the EDSA Revolution, the network’s involvement in alleged labor violations as well as tax-related issues, and their alleged political bias.