Balido, umiiral, at pinakikinabangan ni Nadine Lustre ang sampung taon nang kontrata nito sa Viva Artists Agency na nais niyang talikuran.
Ito ang iginiit ng mga abogado ng VAA sa official statement na ipinadala sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at sa iba pang media nitong Biyernes, January 31.
Sa pahayag mula sa Reyno Tiu Domingo & Santos Law Offices, isa-isang pinabulaanan ng Viva ang mga alegasyon laban sa kompanya na inilahad sa publiko ng abogado ni Nadine na si Atty. Lorna Kapunan.
Noong Lunes, January 27, inihayag ni Atty. Kapunan na “self-managed” na ngayon si Nadine makaraang magpasya ang aktres “to terminate her agency contract with Viva.”
Tinukoy ni Atty. Kapunan ang Article 1920 ng Civil Code of the Philippines na pinagbatayan sa naging pasya ng 26-anyos na Kapamilya actress.
Nakapaloob sa Article 1920, Chapter 4, Modes of Extinguishment of Agency, na karapatan ng isang talent umalis sa isang agency kung kailan nito gusto.
Nakasaad dito: "The principal may revoke the agency at will, and compel the agency to return the document evidencing the agency. Such revocation may be expressed or implied."
Mariing kinontra ng Viva ang pahayag ni Atty. Kapunan.
Iginiit nitong mayroong “valid and subsisting Management Contract” si Nadine bilang “exclusive artist” ng kompanya.
Sa naturang official statement, nagbanta rin ang Viva: “Any dealings or professional engagements entered into by Nadine, without the consent or approval of Viva constitutes breach of contract.”
Sagot ni Atty. Kapunan, handa ang kampo ni Nadine sa anumang “legal action by Viva so their unconscionable, oppressive and illegal Contract with Nadine (and their other artists) can be litigated in the proper forum.”
Dagdag pa ng abogado ni Nadine: “It’s about time that a David strikes out a Goliath that has taken advantage of young artists in the industry for the longest time.
“Viva lawyers have not replied to our earlier letters but chose to wait in ambush to malign Nadine and harass Third parties dealing with her in good faith.
“This is wrongful and malicious Contract interference by Viva actionable in law for damages.”
Sa press statement ng Viva ngayong Biyernes, sinabi nitong “valid and subsisting” ang kontrata ni Nadine sa kumpanya.
Paliwanag ng Viva: “Under this Agreement, VIVA acts as the sole and exclusive agent and manager of Nadine to develop, advance, and promote her as a performing artist.
“At the time Nadine executed her first Agreement with VIVA in 2009, she was assisted by her parents.
“Thereafter, Nadine executed subsequent contracts with VIVA to extend their Exclusive Agency and Management Agreement until June 2029.”
Ayon sa Viva, taglay ng exclusive contract, na pirmado ni Nadine, ang lahat ng elemento ng isang legal at balidong kontrata.
Ang mga ito ay “consent of the parties; object certain, which is the subject matter of the contract; and cause of the obligation which is established.”
Kinontra rin ng kumpanya ang argumento ni Atty. Kapunan na simpleng contract of agency, na maaaring i-revoke anumang oras, ang kontrata ni Nadine sa Viva.
“The Agreement between Nadine and VIVA created reciprocal obligations between the Parties.
“VIVA, as Nadine’s exclusive agent and manager was obligated to develop, nurture, and promote Nadine’s career as a performing artist.
“This required VIVA to invest their time, resources, and good will to hone Nadine’s talent and build her reputation.”
Kabilang dito, ayon sa Viva, ang pagsailalim kay Nadine sa mga acting at talent workshops, paglulunsad sa aktres sa isang love team kasama ang ngayon ay ex-boyfriend nang si James Reid, at pagpo-produce ng mga pinagbidahang pelikula—na pawang nakatulong daw upang sumikat si Nadine.
“On the other hand, Nadine as VIVA’s exclusive talent is obligated to abide by the terms of her Agreement.
“This requires Nadine to appear in tapings, shows, and events; to perform roles in movies which she agreed to do; to coordinate with VIVA on projects and endorsements that would advance her career; among others.”
Batay sa mga paliwanag ng Viva, ang kontrata raw ni Nadine “is for the mutual benefit of both parties,” at nai-deliver sa parehong panig ang mga pakinabang na ipinunto sa kasunduang pinirmahan nila.
Gamit ang nabanggit na argumento, sinabi ng Viva na sa halip na Article 1920 ng Civil Code, mas akma ang Article 1927 ng parehong batas sa kaso ng kontrata ni Nadine.
Nakasaad sa Article 1927 na “an agency cannot be revoked by the principal if a bilateral contract depends upon it.”
Dahil dito, iginiit ng Viva na “Nadine cannot simply turn her back on her contractual commitments after she received benefits as a VIVA talent.”
Maliwanag na ring napabulaanan nito, ayon pa rin sa Viva, ang sinabi ni Atty. Kapunan na ang kontrata ni Nadine ay “unconscionable, oppressive and illegal.”
Tinawag naman ng kumpanya na “malicious and unjustified” ang sinabi ni Atty. Kapunan na ang Viva “has taken advantage of young artists in the industry for the longest time.”
Paliwanag nito: “VIVA established its business on trust and fairness.
“The talents developed by VIVA that turned into stars in the industry are countless.
“VIVA’s roster of artists, past and present, is a testament to its reputation in the industry and it will not allow its goodwill to be tarnished by conjectures and motherhood statements not supported by facts.”
Tinawag din ng Viva na “false and misleading” ang sinabi ni Atty. Kapunan na hindi sinagot ng kumpanya ang lahat ng komunikasyon niya upang magkaroon umano ng pagkakataon ang kumpanyang siraan si Nadine at takutin ang mga magtatangkang makipagtransaksiyon sa aktres.
Giit ng Viva: “The truth is that we responded to Atty. Kapunan’s letter.
“We have the letter bearing the stamp of Atty. Kapunan’s law office showing that they received it on 21 October 2019.
“In fact, Atty. Kapunan replied to our letter on 04 November 2019, thus belying her claim that we ignored her communications.”
Ayon pa sa Viva, matapos lumiham ni Atty. Kapunan sa Viva, pumirma pa si Nadine sa ilang kontrata sa kumpanya “inconsistent with Atty. Kapunan’s claim that Nadine has revoked her Agreement.”
Dagdag ng Viva: “Nadine performed these contracts and this shows her intention to honor her obligations under her Agreement with VIVA.
“However, it appears that Nadine is being induced to violate her contractual commitments – an act definitive of tortious interference, which Atty. Kapunan falsely accuses VIVA of committing.”
Sa pahayag ng Viva Artists Agency, muli nitong iginiit na masasangkot sa usaping legal ang alinmang “third party” na makikipagtransaksiyon kay Nadine, dahil nga may bisa pa rin daw ang valid contract ng aktres sa Viva.
“If these third parties directly transact with Nadine knowing that she is an exclusive talent of VIVA, they are dealing in bad faith and that is an actionable wrong.
“Furthermore, if a third party enters into a contract directly with Nadine, notwithstanding the subsistence and validity of her Agreement, this contract is deemed null and void under the law.”
Sa kabuuan, iginiit ng Viva na walang “David versus Goliath scenario” ang usapin, gaya ng nais umanong palabasin ni Atty. Kapunan.
At lalo raw hindi ito tungkol sa pagsasamantala ng isang talent management company sa mga artists nito, depensa pa ng Viva.
“Rather, this matter is about respect—respect for the law, respect for contractual commitments, and good faith in professional relationships,” anang Viva.
Bukas ang PEP.ph sa panig ni Nadine Lustre at ng kanyang legal counsel kaugnay ng usaping ito.