MANILA, Philippines – Two rival networks had been told by ABS-CBN not to ink an agreement with Willie Revillame, citing the controversial television host’s existing contract obligations with the Kapamilya network, the camp of Revillame has disclosed.
Lawyer Leonard de Vera, Revillame’s legal counsel, said ABS-CBN wrote Channels 5 and 7 to remind them of Revillame’s contract. In its letter, the network also said that it is prepared to take necessary legal actions if they enter into an agreement with the host, he added.
“Sumulat din ang mga abogado ng ABS sa Channel 5 at Channel 7 at sinabi, ‘Huwag kayong makikipag-kontrata kay Willie. Kapag hindi, puwede tayong mag-demandahan,'” de Vera said in his exclusive interview with celebrity talk show “Paparazzi” aired Sunday.
According to de Vera, Revillame also received a letter dated August 18 from ABS-CBN reminding him of his agreement with the network and the possible legal consequences if he refuses to follow them.
“Nag-iba ang complexion ng case. May threat of a law suit already. So, sabi ni Willie, ‘Sino naman ang channel na makikipag-kontrata sa akin na alam nilang merong asuntong aabutin...’ Sa katapusan ng usapan na ito, malalaman kung may karapatan si Willie o ABS ang may karapatan na ipitin si Willie,” the lawyer said.
De Vera maintained that Revillame has the right to end his contract with the network, saying that ABS-CBN purportedly failed to fulfill its obligations stated in the agreement.
“Hindi kami humihingi ng injunction dahil ang feeling namin may karapatan si Willie na to just walkout and say goodbye dahil nga hindi tinutupad ng ABS-CBN ang kanilang usapan,” he said.
“Ang kontrata ni Willie na pinirmahan niya noong 2008, good after 2011, is [he’s] going to be a talent for a particular program called ‘Wowowee,’ with the following compensation package… Ang ginawa nila in-abolish nila ang programa. So, ano pa ang kontrata? Hindi naman sinabi sa kontrata na nakatali ka sa amin for any program,” he noted.
Revillame and ABS-CBN had a falling out following the TV host's outburst last May, when he threatened to resign if the network would not fire fellow Kapamilya talent Jobert Sucaldito.
Revillame got irked reportedly because of Sucaldito's criticisms of "Wowowee."
Recently, he announced that he wanted to end his contract after “Wowowee” went off the air.
He accused the network of treating him “unfairly.” He also lambasted ABS-CBN for allegedly reneging on their initial agreement that the TV host would return to the show on July 31.
Linggit Tan, ABS-CBN senior vice-president for TV entertainment, has already denied that there was such an agreement.
The controversial host has been offered new shows on Channel 2 and sister company Studio 23, but he turned them down.
“Paparazzi” also aired its interview with Revillame, who said he had endured so much for his TV program especially when it was beset with controversies.
One controversy that he cited was the tragedy that hit “Wowowee” in February 2006. Seventy one people were killed during a stampede that occurred before the show’s first anniversary special at the PhilSports Stadium (also known as Ultra) in Pasig City.
He said he had apologized to the victims alone and without any representative from the ABS-CBN management.
“Gabi gabi ho sampung patay pinupuntahan ko. May kasama ba ako? Wala akong kasamang management. Kung sino man ho ang napuntahan kong pamilya ng namatayan na nakiramay ako, alam ninyo po yan,” he said.
“Sa lahat ng ito sinasabi ko na kasi pinagtakpan ko ang management. Ako lahat,” he said.
He went on further by claiming that he also took the blame for the Aug. 20, 2007 “Wilyonaryo” cheating allegation. The show was accused of deceiving the contestants of “Wilyonaryo,” a game portion of the program.
He said he was severely criticized but he took full responsibility even though it was not his fault. He said it was mere “production glitch.”
“Ayoko ng pumasok after the stampede. Ayoko na, pinapasok nila ako… Ayoko ng bumalik sa ‘Wilyonaryo.’ Sabi ko nakakahiya na itong programang ito,” he said.
He also cited his controversial outburst over the airing of the funeral of the late former president Corazon Aquino.
“Hindi ninyo po alam bago ipalabas yan tumawag na ako sa management. ‘Huwag na natin itong ilabas kasi hindi magandang tingnan. Nagsasaya kami [habang] nagluluksa ang sambayanan…' Pagkatapos po noon nag-usap kami ni Linggit Tan,” he said.
“Ang sabi ko, 'Ibigay na natin itong ‘Wowowee’ sa pamilya Aquino.’ Ano ba ang one day na hindi kami nag-show? Alam mo ang sabi mo (Tan) sa akin, kailangan nating kumita,” he added.
Revillame has already sought “judicial confirmation” of his rescission of contract as host of the noontime show "Wowowee."