Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III rejected the request of Atty. Larry Gadon to inhibit nine lawmakers from the deliberation and voting of the ABS-CBN franchise bill.
In a statement, Sotto denied that he’s “financially interested in the business of ABS-CBN” and insisted that it’s part of his job to tackle the issue of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
Gadon accused Sotto of having connections with ABS-CBN as his brother, Vic Sotto, is making movies with the television network giant.
The lawyer also alleged that Sotto receives royalties from ABS-CBN.
“I am not a stockholder. I am part of the Congress that is mandated by the Constitution to grant franchises. I cannot shirk from my sworn duty,” Sotto said.
“I suggest you listen to my interpellations before judging me,” he added.
Sotto is one of the supporters of ABS-CBN, saying that they’re going to approve the franchise of the network once it reaches the senate.
“ABS Franchise, bring it to the Senate, we will approve it!” Sotto said in a tweet on May 5.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon said that the request of Gadon has no legal basis because inhibition “is a personal decision of each senator.”
“No one can impose it, not even the Supreme Court,” Drilon said.
“We can only be disciplined if there are ethical issues involved in our participation in the ABS-CBN franchise, by the Senate, and no one else,” he added.
Here are the other lawmakers Gadon asked to inhibit:
1. Senator Pangilinan – Spouse is stockholder , Talent of ABS CBN with many years of broadcast , movies are shown earning fees and royalties
2. (Former) Senator Cayetano – The law office Cayetano Sebastian , is one of the law offices retained by ABS CBN , the law office where the late Rene Cayetano was founder and partner and Senators Allan Peter and Pia are also either partners or associates , Sebastian is husband of Pia Cayetano . The late former Senator Rene Cayetano had a long running television and radio show COMPANERO in ABS CBN
3. Senator Pacquiao – Receives fees and royalties from boxing fights , had a tv show in ABS CBN
4. Senator Lapid – Stockholder , Talent with latest show Probinsyano where he received talent fees and royalties
5. Senator Poe – Producer of tv show at ABS CBN , mother Susan talent and appears on several shows, Movies of adoptive father are shown over ABS CBN with royalties received
6. Senator Revilla- Talent , movies are shown in ABS CBN , receives royalties
7. Senator Angara – Wife works as top executive in ABS CBN
8. Senator Recto – Wife then actress Vilma Santos had tv shows in ABS CBN , son Lucky Manzano has current tv show
“Sa Katotohanan , lahat ng lumagda sa Resolution “expressing the sentiment of the Senate” ay nararapat rin na mag inhibit sa debate at botohan sapagkat meron na sila agad pagkiling o pre-judgement pabor sa ABS CBN sa kabila ng pag expire ng prangkisa nito at sa mga alegasyon ng mga violations nito na may sapat na katibayan na sa kasalukuyang nasa petition sa Supreme Court at nasa mga reklamo at resolution ng pag iimbistiga sa House of Representatives,” Gadon said.