"Tuloy ang programa ng bawat Pilipino, ang Willing Willie. Tuloy na tuloy. Itutuloy namin."
These were the first words of TV host and comedian Willie Revillame at the end of the hearing for the temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction held at Branch 84 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court this morning, October 8.
ABS-CBN filed the petition for the TRO on October 4 to stop Revillame, a former ABS-CBN talent, from hosting his new TV5 show Willing Willie, which will premiere on October 23. In its 38-page petition, the Kapamilya network argued that Revillame is still under contract with ABS-CBN until September 2011, therefore, he can't appear in any other network.
ABS-CBN, however, was not able to deter Willing Willie's premiere airing, because the Court deferred its decision in today's hearing.
Revillame was calm and composed when he exited the courtroom after the hearing, which lasted for almost three hours. He granted an interview with the press, who were waiting for his statement.
The TV host refused, however, to answer questions about the hearing. "I think my lawyers na lang. Legal kasi 'to e. Sila ang puwedeng sumagot sa pinag-usapan," he said.
Revillame's lawyer, Atty. Paul Javalera Bongco, answered the questions about the hearing. Atty. Bongco said Willing Willie can air because Judge Luisito Cortez of the QC Court's Branch 84 will release its decision on the TRO only after the end of October.
He explained what happened in today's hearing. "Pinakinggan muna ng court yung panig ng ABS-CBN, saka panig ni Willie. Wala pa. Kasi kailangan pang meron pang mga reply, may mga pleadings pang ipa-file," he said.
The pleadings, he added, will be filed on October 15.
"Lahat ng pending incidents, yung TRO, application for TRO, yung motion ni Willie, yung position ng kuwan, lahat submitted na by October 15. So magru-rule na si Judge after that," he said.
ON WILLING WILLIE. Revillame answered questions about his new show Willing Willie. He told the press that today's "small victory" is not for him but "for the Filipino people."
"Yung mga taong nagmamahal sa akin at mga nangangailangan ng tulong. Sa kanila ang programa na 'to e kasi, nagbibigay na ng serbisyo sa kanila, nagbibigay ng saya, at saka importante yung pag-asa," he said.
To drive the point home, he talked about his fans who camped out at the Quezon City Hall of Justice since 7:30 a. m. to show their support.
He explained, "Kaya nga dapat ituloy yung programa para sa kanila, saka para sa ibang tao pang hindi nakarating, mga hindi nakapunta. Sigurado, mga maraming umaasa na matuloy ang programa. E, simple lang naman ang gusto natin... gusto ko lang magbigay ng tulong at saya sa ating mga kababayan...."
He also clarified that his 'utang na loob' lies with the Filipino people, not with the ABS-CBN executives who gave him a break through Wowowee.
"Pinakamalaking utang na loob ko sa mga tao," he said. "Dahil sila naman ang nagbalik sa akin diyan. It's not Boss Gabby, it's not Ma'am Charo. It was them. Sila, tao pa rin ang magdedesisyon. Kahit na gustuhin ako ng management ng isang kumpanya, kung ayaw sa akin ng publiko, at hindi ka nagre-rate, tatanggalin ka rin. Lahat ng ito ay binabase sa publiko. Lahat ng mga 'yan...."
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) contacted ABS-CBN and its legal counsel for their side on the current developments in this issue. The Kapamilya Network issued this statement through their Corporate Communications Department:
"ABS-CBN's application for TRO has been submitted for resolution of the Judge, who ordered both parties to file all pleadings by Oct 15, after which he shall decide on the application.
"ABS-CBN reiterates that the issue on Willie Revillame is all about honoring a contract. To the Kapamilya network, it is the ethical and right thing to do. It is a noble act of a person who values honesty and integrity.
"So when Willie chose to ignore his contract with ABS-CBN, we were left with no choice but to ask the court to intervene. We have not been negligent in reminding Willie about his contract obligations and when he asked for the rescission of his contract, ABS-CBN chose to apply for a TRO and fight for what is right and honorable."