Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Willie ends contract with ABS-CBN

Philstar.com - Tuesday, August 10SendIM StoryPrint.As Funfare headlined yesterday, Willie Revillame did deliver a little “shocker” when he faced the movie press at Annabel’s Restaurant (Quezon City) at lunch also yesterday, his first time to come out in the open since he left (or “suspended” from) Wowowee last May.

“I’m rescinding my contract with ABS-CBN,” said Willie who was accompanied by his lawyers Leonardo de Vera and Ferdinand Domingo. Willie’s contract is good until Sept. 2011.

In a letter to Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez, ABS-CBN Chairman of the Board, signed by Willie and his lawyers, Willie said that his decision is justified by ABS-CBN’s breach of its obligations to him under his contract with the company “and its consequences which, according to their nature, should be in keeping with good faith, usage and law; and the unjust imposition of unauthorized penalties,” as follows:

1. Suspension without pay.

2. Unilateral cancellation of the Wowowee Program due to reason not attributable to me. The Wowowee Program became successful because of me, as the host/creative force. The ratings, in fact, fell because I was taken out as Host.

3. Unilateral downgrading of m y program from three (3) hours daily (Monday to Saturday) or eighteen (18) hours weekly to one (1) hour weekly or seventeen (17) hours less.

4. Being placed on probation to a weekly programs without assurance to reinstatement to daily programming.

5. Unilateral downgrading of my appearance from a “live” to a “pre-recorded” program, which constitutes prior restraint and censorship.

6. Due to 2 and 3 above, I was, and will be, deprived of my earning from “in-show” product endorsements which have become part of my compensation as a talent of the Company.

7. Deliberate sabotage of my image by the Company by airing, or allowing to be aired, destructive pieces against me, instead of promoting me as a talent of the company.

8. Abuse of right by the Company under a one-sided contract of adhesion, purposely intended to destroy my career and humiliate me, which is not in keeping with good faith, usage and law.

9. Refusing to salvage the Wowowee Program by reinstating me as Host when the rating started to decline with different trial hosts who did not generate the same viewership of 22-23 percent under my watch.

10. To continue to work under the proposed probation, censorship and prior restraint constitutes involuntary servitude.

Willie revealed that during a meeting last July 13 with ABS-CBN head Charo Santos, Florida “Linggit” Tan (head of the network’s Entertainment Production), Wowowee director Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz and Willie’s manager Arlene de Castro, he agreed to go back to Wowowee and even made suggestions for new segments, only to be told by Tan on July 20 that “the Company changed its mind.” On July 31, instead of Willie coming back as originally agreed upon, the new show Pilipinas Win Na Win was launched, hosted by Kris Aquino, Mariel Rodriguez, Pokwang, Valerie Concepcion and Robin Padilla (who is “on leave” for the duration of Ramadan).

“I honestly believe that the Company has not dealt with me fairly,” Willie added in his letter to Gabby. “The Company acted in bad faith and in clear violation of our contract,” while at the same time, in a separate official statement, saying, “To Sir Gabby and Ma’am Charo, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for nurturing me, for believing in me and for giving me opportunities in life.”

In a post-presscon interview with Funfare, Willie denied reports (in this section) that he has been negotiating with GMA and TV5.

“I couldn’t do that while my contract with ABS-CBN was good,” he explained. “But now, my lawyers told me that I can start such negotiations.”

There’s also a report that an ABS-CBN lady executive threatened to resign with her team if the network took Willie back.

“I didn’t know that,” said Willie. “I decided to rescind my contract to make it easier for the Company if it really wants to terminate my services and rescind our contract.”

Once the coast is clear, Willie said he plans to put up his own company, tie up with another big company (Viva or Regal?) for co-production ventures and attend to the completion of his Wil Tower located just across the street from the ABS-CBN studio. Willie bought the lot from retired ABS-CBN head Freddie M. Garcia. Willie’s P80-M-plus house and lot in Ayala Heights, Quezon City, was bought from Gabby Lopez.

In the separate official statement, Willie said that he is aware of the implications of his decision to rescind his ABS-CBN contract.

“But I have to do it. I cannot just sit idly by and watch the death of a show that has brought hope and joy in so many ways to our less fortunate countrymen.”

A Funfare VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent) said that Willie will announce what his “next move” will be in two weeks time.

My guess?

Willie will surface in another channel which starts with the letter “K.”

Suggested title for Willie’s new show on an other channel, if and when: Willing-Willie.

Nice, isn’t it?

Incidentally, at presstime yesterday, Funfare got the following official statement from ABS-CBN:

We take note of Willie Revillame’s pronouncements in his press conference today.

Willie is bound to ABS-CBN by a contract until September 2011. He violated the behavioral provisions of his contract when he threatened the ABS-CBN management during the May 4, 2010 episode of Wowowee, with a resignation if management does not fire another artist of the network. His behavior was generally seen as a display of disrespect and arrogance, completely unacceptable to the Filipino public.

As the one who violated his contract, Willie has no right to have it unilaterally invalidated. Contracts are binding agreements that must be respected by the contracting parties involved. The one who violates the contract cannot be allowed to dictate whether it should continue or end. Otherwise, contracts will have no value and may be terminated based on whim.

ABS-CBN is the aggrieved party, and as such, is the only one that can decide to end the agreement.

Despite all that had happened, ABS-CBN was willing to continue with the contract. Willie, however, refused to take responsibility for his actions.

ABS-CBN wishes to reiterate that it will hold Willie to his obligations under the contract which expires September 2011.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com) - FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (Philstar News Service, http://www.philstar.com/)

Story and photos lifted fro yahoo news...

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