Vilma Santos: Being first woman mayor, governor is legacy enough

Photo by PAF

BATANGAS CITY—Governor Vilma Santos-Recto isn’t just the Filipino moviedom’s “star for all seasons.” She will be leaving behind a legacy as the first woman mayor and the fist woman governor in Batangas who in last Monday’s election was given a fresh mandate for a third term as governor.

Santos-Recto of the administration party was reelected governor by a landslide, garnering  575,162 votes against opponents Marcos Mandanas, Sr. and Praxedes Bustamante, known hereabouts as habitual losers who both ran as independents.


“Happy, because not all are being given this kind of trust,” the actress-turned politician told reporters after the Commission on Elections officially proclaimed her at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan building here on Wednesday afternoon.

She said being the first female Lipa City mayor and first female Batangas governor was a “legacy itself.”


Santos-Recto has been undefeated since entering politics in 1998, having served three terms or nine years as mayor of Lipa City and six years as Batangas governor since 2007, for a total of 15 years as a local politician. Not everyone has the chance to be given the kind of trust she is getting from Batangueños, she said.

Saying she will always treasure the trust she has earned in Batangas, Santos-Recto said, “Though my service here will end soon Batangas will always have a big big part in my heart.”

Now that Santos-Recto is on her third and last consecutive term, rumor has it that she is eyeing a higher office in 2016.

She told reporters, however, that she had “no political plans at all” after her new term ends and denied she was eyeing the Senate in the 2016 elections.

“Senate? No,” she said. “What’s important is I have to give my best in the last three years because at the end of the day what’s important is my report card.”

However, Sen. Ralph Recto joked about having a Recto couple in the Senate.

“Meron dun mag-ama, meron dun magkapatid, wala pang mag-asawa  (There is a father-and-son pair there and there are siblings, but there is no couple yet),” the senator said, referring to the composition of the Senate, but he made it clear he was just joking.


On a more serious note though, Recto added, “I never encouraged her to run for a public office.” He said his role was to support his wife in whatever she wanted to do.

Santos-Recto admitted her son Luis, or Lucky to ex-husband Edu Manzano, “is thinking about” a possible foray into public service. Luis told her he was thinking about but did not think this was the time.

Santos-Recto said she would not allow Luis to enter politics if he was not ready and simply relied on their name.

“Now if it is his vocation or he has a calling and he is willing to sacrifice, then fine. He can do it, but he needs to study it,” she said.

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TAGS: Batangas, Election Highlight, Elections 2013, poltics, Vilma Santos
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