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Saturday, September 18, 2010

ABS-CBN files P486-million counterclaim against Willie

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. sued yesterday television host Willie Revillame for P486 million before a Quezon City court for allegedly violating his employment contract.

ABS-CBN counsel Austo San Pedro
asked Judge Luisito Cortez of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 84 to order Revillame to pay P20 million each for moral and exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees and other costs of litigation.

The television network wants Revillame to pay the amount of P426,917,646.96 as liquidated damages for violating his contract.

ABS-CBN filed the counterclaim in answer to the P11.5-million damage and rescission of contract which Revillame had filed.

Leonard de Vera, Revillame’s counsel, said his client’s suspension with pay and probation are allegedly valid grounds to terminate his contract because these were provided for in the agreement.

In reply, ABS-CBN asked the court to dismiss Revillame’s complaint because he has no cause of action to claim moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney’s fees as it was Revillame who materially breached his obligations under the agreement.

ABS-CBN said Revillame’s alleged violation of his contract included his outburst while the transfer of the late President Corazon Aquino’s remains from the Manila Cathedral to Manila Memorial Park was being broadcast live in an inset during the television show Wowowee.

“Under the Standard Terms and Conditions of the Agreement, among others, Revillame must conduct himself with due regard, not bring himself to public disrepute and perform any act which may jeopardize the success of Wowowee or defendant ABS-CBN and be adverse to its interests,” read the ABS-CBN counterclaim.

Revillame also violated his contract with public criticisms of radio host Jobert Sucaldito and network management in the May 4, 2010 episode of the noontime show, ABS-CBN added.

The network said Revillame was prevented from engaging in activities adverse to ABS-CBN and from using the program to make public criticisms or disagreements with the network.

Revillame also took an unauthorized leave of absence and refused to perform his obligation as talent despite the existence of his contract, ABS-CBN added.

The network asked the court to compel Revillame “to comply in good faith” with his obligations under the contract and enjoin him and those acting or contracting with him from doing any act that would result in or allow him to create or perform work similar to the work under the agreement.

Revillame must also refrain from engaging in activities which are adverse to the interests of ABS-CBN and to appear or use his name, voice or likeness, directly or indirectly, for promoting any product or service in print, radio or television or any form of advertisements in this regard, ABS-CBN added.

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