PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) received an e-mail letter from bossa nova singer Sitti's manager, Garrie Trinidad, answering the breach of contract issue being thrown at him by show producer and bar owner Gina dela Rama.
In a September 3 article published here in PEP, Ms. Dela Rama accused Trinidad of disregarding a written agreement by cancelling Sitti's August 30 show at the 7th Note Bar located on Malugay St., Makati City.
According to Dela Rama, Garrie committed to a contract which stipulated that Sitti would perform at her bar on two separate occasions: August 15 (not August 16 as what was previously reported) and August 30.
The August 15 show pushed through. But after the first night, Ms. Dela Rama accused Sitti's manager of asking for the full payment even though there is still one date that is yet to be fulfilled. As a result, the August 30 show was put on hold, prompting the producer to cry foul.
ONE AND THE SAME? Garrie, who operates two small hotels in Metro Manila, vehemently denied all the accusations and decided to answer all the allegations point-by-point through a letter.
In the letter, Garrie mentioned that the name of the producer he dealt with was "Ms. Gina Dumantay" and not Ms. Gina dela Rama. The discrepancy with regards to the last name made Trinidad suspicious of the intentions of the complainant.
"Is this certain 'Gina dela Rama' one and the same as Ms. Gina Dumantay as stated in the contract signed? If so, why then change the name? Could it be that she is scared because what she is saying is libelous?" Trinidad stated in the note.
With regards to the payment issue, Trinidad argued that it was the producer who failed to comply with the agreement as stated in the furnished copy of the contract:
"Sitti's first show for 7th Note Bar was scheduled last August 15, 2007. As per contract, Ms. Dumantay was supposed to have paid our party on the date of the performance. But she asked if she could just pay the balance 'tomorrow,' August 16. As a sign of 'pakikisama' as she has booked my artist's performance for two (2) nights, I agreed.
"I have continually called and texted Ms. Dumantay personally, up until August 20, 2007 insisting that I have to pay the band that backed up Sitti's performance. Ms. Dumantay has continually ignored my calls and text messages and she chose to talk to my secretary instead. She told my secretary that the payment shall be given with a post-dated check. The date of which is not enough time for the check to clear before the conclusion of Sitti's second performance night at the same bar."
NO PRIMA DONNA. Trinidad also questioned the producer's knowledge when it comes to legal contracts and its implications by saying: "Entering into a contract binds both parties to whatever is stated and should at all times be followed. Business deals should not be entered and then 'modified' just "for the sake of friendship."
"Ms. Dumantay isn't even a friend of mine. What we entered into is a strictly Client-Artist Agreement. It is our interest that is at stake, not the others'. Being a producer of a show is always risky. It is not enough for a producer to rely on ticket sales alone to finance the show. Whatever the outcome is the producer's responsibility."
With regards to another allegation made by the producer labeling Sitti and her entourage as "prima donnas," Trinidad argued that his artists weren't even provided a dressing room or a comfortable place to change and rest during the first night of the performance.
"They haven't even provided my artist with a decent dressing room," he mentioned.
Garrie, went on to say, "Sitti was asked to change in the comfort room. It isn't much to ask for a place to change and put on your make up, is it? We even have to let Sitti stay in the spa in front of the bar just so that she could properly rest and change. Sitti nor should her party be depicted as 'prima donnas' because she isn't. Is this the way a person who claims she has produced shows for several artists in Guam treat her prospective clients?"
LAWSUIT. Backed up with a copy of the actual contract, he said that he won't hesitate to file a lawsuit against the producer if she would question his statements and "say otherwise."
Mr. Trinidad ended his letter defending Sitti's character and work ethic.
"Let me conclude by saying all that has been said has greatly affected Sitti. Sitti is not a bad person. It is unfortunate that some people unjustly accuse others of things that are not true. Sitti is not a bad person, nor does she have an ugly personality. She hardly complains. She works hard and continues to do so with an honest heart. Ask any of her Sittizens (fans); ask any of the past producers that we have worked with."