Vilma Santos-Recto sees no ‘conflict of interest’ in ABS-CBN franchise vote
MANILA, Philippines — Pointing out the fact that she and her son, actor and host Luis Manzano, are not “stockholders” of ABS-CBN, Deputy Speaker Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto said she sees no “conflict of interest” in her decision to vote in favor of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
“Wala naman akong existing na kontrata sa (I have no existing contract with) ABS-CBN and I’m not part of the management or the operation of the company,” she said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart” on Monday.
Voting 70-11, the House legislative franchises committee voted to deny a fresh 25-year franchise to ABS-CBN last Friday.
Citing “conflict of interest,” Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, a former broadcast journalist of ABS-CBN, inhibited from voting on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application. Actor and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas also inhibited from voting for the same reason.
But Santos-Recto, who was an actress before entering politics, voted in favor of the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise along with 10 other lawmakers.
She further noted that Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, a former ABS-CBN news reporter, also voted against denying a new franchise to the network.
“Si Luis [Manzano] naman, he’s already an adult; meron na siyang desisyon para sa sarili niya and at the same time he’s just a talent. Kaming dalawa ng anak ko hindi naman kami mga stockholders ng kumpanya so wala akong nakikita na conflict of interest do’n, kaya ako bumoto. And as an ex-officio [member] ay karapatan ko na bumoto,” she added.
(Luis is already an adult who can make his own decisions and at the same time he’s just a talent. My son and I are not stockholders of the company so I see no conflict of interest, that’s why I voted. And as an ex-officio member, it’s my right to vote).
Before the House panel voted on ABS-CBN’s franchise, the committee held 13 hearings tackling various issues such as citizenship of the network’s chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez, alleged labor violations, tax evasion, as well as alleged political bias, among others.
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