MANILA, Philippines?Willie Revillame wants out. ABS-CBN says, ?No way.?
The controversial TV host Monday said in a press conference that he was rescinding his contract with the network, on account of the shabby treatment it was giving him.
Revillame complained of what he believed were continued violations of the terms of his contract with the Kapamilya station. The TV host is bound by a contract until September 2011 to the Lopez-owned network.
ABS-CBN gave Revillame his biggest break through the daily noontime game show, ?Wowowee,? which was recently canceled after more than five years.
In a statement released shortly after Revillame?s press conference in a Quezon City restaurant, the network insisted that it was the TV host who violated ?behavioral provisions? of the contract when he threatened management during the May 4 episode of ?Wowowee.?
Threat to resign
On that show, Revillame demanded the dismissal of another network talent, radio host Jobert Sucaldito, for criticizing ?Wowowee.? Otherwise, Revillame said, he would resign.
The network said this behavior was ?generally seen as a display of disrespect and arrogance? unacceptable to the Filipino public.?
?As the one who violated the contract,? the statement noted, ?Willie has no right to have it unilaterally invalidated.?
Too much love
Revillame admitted he ?made a mistake,? but not on May 4. He loved the program too much, he said, and made it his life.
?When it was canceled, it was as if my life was consumed as well,? he added. ?I see no reason [to] continue my contract.?
The network gave Revillame an ?indefinite break? after the May 4 incident, even after he apologized to management for his outburst.
It was not the first time. Last year, Revillame also had to apologize publicly for having complained about the insertion of a footage of the funeral of the late President Corazon Aquino on his show. He explained he had merely found it inappropriate in a game show with dancing girls.
On Monday, Revillame said he was supposed to return to ?Wowowee? on July 31 as agreed upon during two earlier meetings with executives.
He said he met on July 10 with Linggit Tan, head of TV production, at his Tagaytay residence. The second meeting, he said, was on July 13, with Charo Santos-Concio, network president, during which his return to the show was confirmed.
But on July 20, Revillame recounted, Tan asked for another meeting saying he would not be returning to the show. Finally, on July 26, Revillame said, he received a letter from Tan informing him that ?Wowowee? had been canceled. In its stead, he was offered a weekly one-hour, prerecorded program.
Revillame said he was ?shocked.?
?Wowowee,? launched on Feb. 4, 2005, became popular for featuring in its games contestants that Revillame described as ?people from all walks of life?the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, the elderly, the handicapped and Filipinos who are away from their families, earning a living abroad.?
Prizes given away on the show?including cash, vehicles and, during the campaign period, house-and-lot packages?also made it a big hit.
?Wowowee? has been replaced with ?Pilipinas Win na Win,? headlining Kris Aquino and Robin Padilla, plus three original ?Wowowee? hosts, Pokwang, Marielle Rodriguez and Valerie Concepcion.
Revillame said he was not suing the network, but was expecting it ?to seek legal remedies for possible breach of contract.? Under his contract, he pointed out, he was to be given a daily noontime show, equivalent to 18 hours weekly.
Revillame said ABS-CBN, through director Edgar Mortiz, told him on Sunday about his reinstatement to a daily programming. It was too late, Revillame said. ?I?ve made my decision [to leave].?
ABS-CBN?s rejoinder was firm: It?s not Revillame?s decision. Being the ?aggrieved party,? the network said, it was ?the one who should decide to end the agreement.?
Further, it reiterated that it would ?hold Willie to his obligations? under the live contract.
Revillame said he was not moving to another network; he merely wanted out of ABS-CBN. However, he also said he planned to build his own studio and produce his own program.
Told of the station?s statement, Revillame only said he bore no ill feelings toward Charo Santos and ABS-CBN chair Eugenio ?Gabby? Lopez III. ?I owe them,? Revillame said.