CA gives go signal to QC RTC to hear ‘Wowowee’ case

By , on November 9, 2014


MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has given the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) the “green light” to proceed with the hearing of the monetary claims filed by former Wowowee host Willie Revillame against ABS-CBN Corporation (ABS-CBN).

In a 16-page ruling written by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the CA’s Tenth Division dismissed the petition for certiorari filed by ABS-CBN imputing grave abuse of discretion on Quezon City RTC Branch 76 Judge Santiago Arenas and Quezon City RTC Branch 217 Judge Alexander Balut for issuing orders against the broadcast company, respectively.

Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Vicente Veloso and Jane Aurora Lantion.

Revillame and ABS-CBN entered into an agreement wherein parties agreed that the former will host the program Wowowee for three years.

However, during the existence of the agreement, Revillame had specific grievances and eventually asked ABS-CBN to release him as talent.

Certain specific events indicated to Revillame that ABS-CBN was terminating him and the program was cancelled.

Revillame wrote ABS-CBN that he was rescinding the agreement because of Wowowee’s cancellation.

However, ABS-CBN reiterated its unilateral dissolution of the program and made a demand on the former host to comply with his obligations under the pact.

Revillame then filed a complaint before the Quezon City RTC seeking for more than Php11 million in damages against ABS-CBN.

This prompted ABS-CBN to file counterclaims worth more than Php60 million in total damages for allegedly violating their agreement.

The Quezon City RTC denied on Aug. 24, 2011 the motion for summary judgment filed by ABS-CBN, as well as its motion for reconsideration.

This prompted ABS-CBN to take the case to the CA.

In its Oct. 14, 2014 ruling, the CA said that a summary judgment was not proper and that the trial on the claims of the two parties was necessary.

“Clearly, the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders, since there were genuine issues of fact that needed to be determined in a trial,” the CA added.