Although he doesn't want to meddle and make a big fuss, top comedian Vic Sotto supports good friend Joey de Leon's decision to severe ties with Manila Bulletin.
"Ganun si Joey, e, ganun niya kamahal ‘yong trabaho niya. Lahat kami mahal namin ang trabaho namin, mahal namin ang Eat Bulaga pero he's very emotional at nakakapagbitaw siya ng salita at tinutuluyan naman niya," said Vic when he was cornered last night, August 5, by PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other reporters after the press conference of Dobol Trobol.
The presscon of the said movie, which pairs Vic for the first time with Comedy King Dolphy, was held at the Imperial Palace Suites in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
JOEY ALL THE WAY. Last week, Joey tendered his irrevocable resignation from the broadsheet after its sister publication, Balita, came out with a report in its entertainment section that Eat Bulaga's recent U.S. show was a "flop." Joey wrote weekly column for Bulletin titled "De Leon's Den."
Joey argued that the report had no factual basis and that the writer was merely out to discredit the country's longest-running noontime show.
"Una sa lahat, maliit pa ako, e, kaibigan ko na ang press," said Joey last Saturday, August 2, at StarTalk. "Wala sa akin ‘yan. Pero sa partikular na ito, e, nag-react ako dahil may pinakita kami, e. Hindi ko mapalagpas ito. Mapapatawad ko lahat iyon, kahit sabihin na ‘pangit ang show ninyo for 29 years, sukang-suka ako sa Eat Bulaga!' Okay lang ‘yan, personal na opinion ‘yan. Pero sa isang event na tapos na at binaliktad mo, galit ako doon. Dalawa lang naman ang kinagagalitan ko: Ang sinungaling at ang mandaraya."
According to Vic, Joey confided to him about his plans to resign and was even coaxed by TAPE lady boss Malou Choa-Fagar to cool off first before making a decision.
"Pero siyempre he makes his own decisions and we respect that and we are all behind him," stressed Vic.
FAIR JOURNALISM. Vic shares Joey's sentiments about the issue, saying that the article was formed based purely on hearsay and that the writer never even bothered to get the side of Eat Bulaga! to verify the rumor.
"Ang pakiramdam ko dun, naninira siya ng iba para sa kapakanan ng iba, which is hindi naman maganda. Kasi hindi naman tama, e, kasinungalingan naman. Sana tsinek niya, meron pa siyang mga statistics na ganito. Sana tsinek niya sa producer, ‘Ilan bang tickets ninyong binenta?' E, nasagot na lahat ‘yon, e, dahil napanood na nung Sabado [August 2] sa Eat Bulaga.
"Dahil ‘yong nakatanggap siya ng e-mail na ganito, ganyan merong mga pictures na empty seat, tumira ka na agad meron ka pang ginamit na mga GMA executives, parang hindi tama. Okay sana ‘yon kung kinuha niya ‘yong side ng Eat Bulaga! at hindi siya sinagot, okay lang ‘yon, walang problema."
Vic even lectured the entertainment press to observe fair journalism so as not to confuse the public.
"Ganun talaga, e, pagka ganyang may kiliti ‘yong isyu" he added, sounding a bit upset. "Kailangan maging responsable kayo, e, kunin ninyo ‘yong bawat side. Hindi puwedeng may kinikilingan ka. Puwera na lang kung meron ka talagang kinikilingan."
The morale of the entire Eat Bulaga! team, however, remains high despite the negative publicity generated by their last overseas sortie.
"Walang problema," Vic assured the public. "Life goes on. We're still the same. Ratings are still very good and ‘yong ganyang mga usapin, e, lilipas din 'yan."