But denies garnishment of actress’ properties
MANILA -- The regional trial court of Quezon City has upheld the validity of Nadine Lustre’s contract with Viva Artists Agency (VAA).
The court issued a resolution favoring the petition of the Viva agency to grant them interim measures of protection and directing Lustre to honor and uphold her contractual obligations with VAA.
In a statement released to ABS-CBN News Monday, Viva’s legal counsel Atty. Paolo Roxas said that with the ruling, Lustre is precluded from entering into and/or performing contracts involving her services as an artist/endorser, without the consent and participation of Viva.
“As provided by her contract, any issue raised by Nadine against Viva should be the subject of arbitration proceedings,” he said.
Viva filed the petition when Lustre, through her lawyer Lorna Kapunan, revoked her agreement with the company in late 2019, claiming that the contract is unconscionable, oppressive, and illegal.
In a statement, Viva said the court recognized their unequivocal right arising from the Revised Agency and Management Agreement entered by Lustre authorizing the company as sole and exclusive manager for her showbiz profession.
Viva said the contracts were executed with the assistance and presence of her parents at the time she was a minor. According to Viva, the court further stated that “the contract between the parties is the law between them and Nadine cannot take the law into her own hands and unilaterally terminate her contract.”
Meanwhile, Kapunan said the ruling was still a win for Lustre.
“We still consider it a victory since Viva was not able to get her hard\-earned money during the time of her self-management; no attachment and garnishments to her property and savings," Kapunan told ABS-CBN News. “The question of termination of her contract will have to go through the process of labor arbitration.”
Kapunan also stressed that the interim protection resolution for Viva was only partially granted. She showed the court ruling stating that its aim was to preserve the status quo until the full merits of the case can be heard fully or at such time when the court decides that Viva and Lustre’s contract is null and void.
Further, Kapunan cited the court ruling belying the claim of VAA that she had intended to defraud them.
“She may have breached the agreement in 2019; however that fact alone is not enough to sufficiently support that she had intended to defraud Viva at the time she entered into an agency agreement," wrote Judge Jose Paneda in his June 11 decision, citing the fact that Lustre had already stayed with VAA for a decade.
VAA is part of the larger Viva Entertainment group, which also produces films (Viva Films) and concerts (Viva Live), among other showbiz ventures.
Its famous discoveries or current contract talents include the likes of Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis, Bela Padilla, Cristine Reyes, Yam Concepcion, Xian Lim, and Matteo Guidicelli.
VAA was also home to actor James Reid, Lustre's former boyfriend, who had left the agency in late 2019.
Lustre made her showbiz breakthrough via the Viva Films romance flick "Diary ng Panget" in 2014. She, however, has been a ward of Viva Entertainment as early as 2009, when she was launched as part of the sing-and-dance group Pop Girls.
Lustre entered a 5-year, exclusive contract with VAA in 2009. That contract was renewed in 2014 for another 10 years, or until June 30, 2024. According to VAA, the same contract was then renewed for another 5 years in 2015, moving its end date to June 29, 2029.