Will GMA 7 sue Elizabeth? Willie: There’s life after MTB!
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - February 2, 2004 - 12:00am
If the parties concerned don’t see eye-to-eye in an "ironing out" meeting scheduled today, GMA 7 might be constrained to file a court case (I just don’t know what the charges would be) against one of its contract stars, Elizabeth Oropesa, who’s in the cast of the new GMA soap, Te Amo, Maging Sino Ka Man (topbilled by, among others, Argentinian telenovela superstar Segundo Cernadas of Monica Brava fame), which premieres tonight at 8.

So what "crime" could Elizabeth have committed?

Breach of contract, not to say confidence, sort of.

You see, Elizabeth has filed her candidacy for Vice Governor in her native Albay and it has put in jeopardy the telecast of Te Amo on which GMA has spent millions. As per the COMELEC rule, any actor running in the May elections cannot appear on any TV show (except as guest in election-oriented shows) and/or movie during the campaign period starting Feb. 10 until first week of May.

And there lies the rub.

When GMA bigwigs learned about Elizabeth’s candidacy, they sent her a stern notice – nay, warning! – and Elizabeth, perhaps realizing her big booboo, assured them that she would be backing out of the political (rat)race.

But only a few days ago, she told GMA bigwigs that no way could she back out because some "P4 million" has already been spent on her foray into politics. Otherwise, she said, she’d be putting her life and that of her family in danger (whatever she meant).

Naturally, GMA wouldn’t take it sitting down or postponed the telecast of Te Amo until after the elections. So much has already been spent on the publicity and promotions of the telenovela which has been scheduled to premiere this February as early as September last year when it started shooting. Elizabeth’s name and picture are in all the publicity and promo materials.

Last Saturday, the stars of Te Amo, led by Segundo Cernadas and Izza Calzado, were presented on Eat, Bulaga!, but Elizabeth was the only one missing. Now we know why.

Will Elizabeth be able to extricate herself from this very tight situation without hurting anybody’s feeling, without somebody shouting, "Foul, foul, foul!"?

Moral lesson from this incident? Look before you leap.
* * *
When God closes the window, He opens a door somewhere somehow.

"It’s true," said Willie Revillame who has been rendered jobless by his expulsion last month from the ABS-CBN noontime show MTB (which is currently undergoing some, well, "upheaval"). "God is good even if, I must admit, sometimes I’m not."

Oh, yes, there’s life after MTB after all.

"I haven’t really been jobless as some people think," clarified Willie. "May mga nangyayari din sa career ko."

One is his now being a contract recording artist (for one year, good for two albums) of Universal Records which has just released Willie’s album called Willie Revillame, Approved by the MTRCD, with Pito-Pito as carrier single (now being played everywhere, composed by Lito Camo, the same guy behind Bayani Agbayani’s hit song Otso-Otso).

"I thank Tita Bella (Tan, lady boss of Universal) for believing in me," said Willie who co-wrote (with Jojo Espino) the love song Walang Hanggang Pagmamahal, one of the five cuts on the album, also including Beep Beep Beep Sabi ng Jeep and Joke Joke Joke Only, both also by Lito Camo, and Juntis Ka Na Pala by Andrew E. (the remaining five cuts are "minus one"). "Tita Bella is the angel of my life."

Willie has just also signed a contract with IP Ventures (Intellectual Party) as host of a new gameshow called Puso O Pera? to be aired starting March 7, Sunday, 9 to 10 p.m. on ABC Channel 5, with Patricia Javier and Maui Taylor (Willie’s personal choices) as co-hosts. Puso O Pera is sponsored by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), with a budget of P22 million to be given away as prizes during the first season (13 episodes).

"Look," said Willie, "it was a government agency, the MTRCB, which initiated (my expulsion) from MTB and it’s also another government agency, the PCSO, which is paving the way for my quick comeback to television. As I’ve said, God is good to me even if sometimes I’m not a good boy. Did I have any regrets about what happened? None. Talaga sigurong hindi ako pang-MTB. I’m resigned to my fate."

Pairs – sweethearts, husbands and wives, etc. – may join Puso O Pera, which will also give the "home partners" whatever amount studio contestants will win.

"PLDT will open 60 million lines for the show," said Willie.

Three Sundays ago, a teary-eyed Willie appeared on The Buzz to talk about the MTB incident.

"After the show," recalled Willie, "I got a call from Gretchen (Barretto, ladylove of ABC big boss Tonyboy Cojuangco). Sabi ni Gretchen, ‘Don’t worry, Willie, ABC 5 will hire you.’ She’s another angel in my life."

A Funfare DPA said that Willie has been meeting with Tonyboy and other ABC 5 guys (Bobby Barreiro, Reggie Galura and lawyer Dan de Padua). Now, what could they be "cooking"? Could it be true that Willie might be enlisted as creative director of ABC 5?

"I can’t believe what’s happening," exclaimed Willie.

Let’s hope that he has truly mended his ways and doesn’t, ehem, "backslide" again.

Bernadette also quitting GMA 7

After Sarah Geronimo and Arnell Ignacio, it’s Bernadette Sembrano’s turn to quit GMA 7 and jump ober da bakod to rival station ABS-CBN. Bernadette will stay on GMA (as host of, among other shows, Wish Ko Lang) only until Feb. 14.

GMA executive Wilma Galvante clarified that it wasn’t right to say that Sarah has "quit" GMA because, even if she was appearing on GMA shows, "she didn’t have a contract with us."

Incidentally, Wilma is calling graduates of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (from which she graduated with honors) to their grand reunion on Feb. 7 and 8 at the Bayview Park Hotel on Roxas Boulevard, Manila, to be hosted by the PLM Batch ’68 Development Foundation and the PLM Scholars Foundation.

Highlights of the affair include a gift-giving program, a Manila city tour and a fellowship dinner. Tickets are priced at P500 per. For more info, contact Celia Francisco Gutierrez at 0917-8128515 or landline 631-1379 or the secretariat c/o Marj at 0927-3884327 or landline 926-1443 or e-mail at plmbatch68@yahoo.com.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

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