Sinimulan ni Kris Aquino ang legal battle nila ni Nicko Falcis nang maghain ang web star ng Complaint ng Qualified Theft laban sa dating managing director ng kanyang kompanyang Kris Cojuangco Aquino Productions (KCAP), noong October 12, 2018.
Naghain si Kris ng kanyang reklamo sa pitong siyudad: Makati, San Juan, Taguig, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Manila, at Quezon City.
Nagsumite naman si Nicko ng Counter-Affidavit sa reklamo ng dating boss at business partner, noong December 17, 2018, sa mga siyudad ng Taguig at Pasig, at personal na pinanumpaan ito nitong January 3, 2019, sa Manila.
Magsusumite pa ang kampo ni Nicko sa Makati, Quezon City, San Juan, at Mandaluyong sa mga darating na linggo, upang mabuo ang pagsagot kay Kris sa pitong siyudad.
Sa kanyang Counter-Affidavit, idinetalye ni Nicko ang isang pangyayari sa endorsement shoot ni Kris Aquino sa Indonesia.
Ang insidenteng iyon daw ang naging mitsa sa pagkasira ng relasyon nila ng boss niya, na nauwi sa demandahan.
Sa Indonesia ay nagkaroon ng matinding allergic reaction si Kris na humantong sa pagkakaospital nito.
Paglalahad ni Nicko, “One of the major endorsement contracts which I helped secure for Aquino was with an Indonesian brand, Sidomoncul, which produced herbal beverages.
“It entered into a contract with Aquino as its brand endorser.
“A video shooting was scheduled for 26 July 2018 in Indonesia.”
Bago pa sila lumipad papuntang Indonesia noong July 24, 2018, tinanong na raw ni Nicko ang brand representatives tungkol sa venue ng video shoot.
Pero hindi pa raw napagdidisisyunan ng media agency kung saan ang eksaktong lugar na pagdarausan ng shoot.
Ipinaalam daw ni Nicko ang tungkol dito kay Kris.
Pagdating nila sa kanilang hotel sa Indonesia, saka lamang daw nila nalaman na ang video shoot ay “an outdoor garden setting near a mini-forest behind the herbal drink factory.”
Nag-alala raw si Kris tungkol sa outdoor shooting, pero pinili nitong tuparin ang kanyang contractual commitments.
Patuloy na salaysay ni Nicko, “In the morning of 26 July 2018, Aquino had an outdoor city photo session with the brand representatives.
“Before Aquino and her entourage were to travel to the factory for the 3:00 p.m. video shoot, persons in her entourage asked me to purchase Starbucks coffee and snacks for Aquino and those persons. They texted me their individual orders.
“It was not part of my duties to serve as a personal assistant, but I did as they requested because these persons told me that Aquino would want to have coffee that afternoon and there was no suitable restaurant near the brand’s factory.
“I proceeded to a Starbucks branch at the Toll Rest Stop and purchased take-out orders of coffee and snacks for Aquino and the persons in her entourage.
“I reached the location of the video shooting just as Aquino was having her third take.”
Sa isang punto raw ay pinatigil ni Kris ang shooting at pumunta sa kotse nito.
Lahad ni Nicko, “She was coughing and appeared to be in distress.
“An ambulance rushed Aquino to a provincial hospital.
“We were very concerned for Aquino’s welfare.”
Nalaman daw nila mula sa personal nurse-assistant ni Kris, na habang nasa loob ito ng sasakyan, hindi raw makahinga nang maayos si Kris at tila nagkaroon ng “anaphylactic shock.”
Ayon sa Google, ang “anaphylactic shock” ay isang “extreme, often life-threatening allergic reaction to an antigen to which the body has become hypersensitive.”
Pagpapatuloy ng kuwento ni Nicko sa kanyang Counter-Affidavit, “Aquino obtained relief by the timely use of an ‘Epipen’ which Aquino had in her first aid kit.
“I was told that the ‘Epipen’ had been prescribed for Aquino by a US doctor when Aquino consulted that doctor in early 2018.”
Ayon sa webmd.com, ang Epipen ay isang uri ng auto-injector na ginagamit sa “emergencies to treat very serious allergic reactions to insect sting/bites, foods, drugs, or other substances.”
Naglalaman ito ng epinephrine na, “acts quickly to improve breathing, stimulate the heart, raise a dropping blood pressure, reverse hives, and reduce swelling of the face, lips, and throat.”
Sa pagpapatuloy ni Nicko, napag-alaman din daw niyang habang nasa provincial hospital ng Indonesia si Kris, hiningi nito ang tulong ng mga kapatid para makabalik ng Pilipinas at makatanggap ng “proper medical attention.”
Nalaman din ni Nicko na kinontak ng dating Pangulong Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, nakatatandang kapatid ni Kris, ang kaibigan nitong Indonesian na nakabase sa Singapore upang gamitin ang private plane nito para sa emergency flight ni Kris pabalik ng Pilipinas.
Ayon kay Nicko, siya ang pinagbuntunan ng sisi ni Kris sa naging matinding allergic reaction nito sa Indonesia.
Dapat daw ay pinilit ni Nicko magsabi ang brand representatives ng exact location ng video shoot ilang araw bago ito maganap.
“I was scared because Aquino was very angry at me. I apologized to Aquino to appease her anger,” saad ni Nicko sa Counter-Affidavit.
Iginiit ni Nicko na hindi niya alam na may major health issues at severe allergic reactions sa iba’t ibang allergens si Kris, hanggang sa maganap ang insidente noong July 26, 2018.
Ayon pa kay Nicko, “She previously mentioned that she was allergic to dust and other common allergens, but never told me about the gravity of her allergic reactions, that she could suffer anaphylactic shock, and that her reactions were so severe that a US doctor previously prescribed an ‘Epipen” for her use.”
Sa paniniwala ni Nicko, “Aquino unduly put upon me all the blame for her allergic reaction and her ill-health.”
Mula raw noon, madalang nang makatanggap ng mensahe si Nicko mula kay Kris.
At ipinapadaan pa raw ang mga mensaheng ito sa staff ni Kris.
Hindi na rin daw pinapansin ni Kris ang iba niyang mensahe.
Ramdam ni Nicko, “Our relationship was strained.”
Mas lalo pa raw nasira ang relasyon nila nang hindi tuparin ni Kris ang contractual obligations nito bilang endorser, mula Agosto hanggang kalagitnaan ng Setyembre 2018, o sa loob ng anim na linggo.
Ang idinadahilan daw ni Kris ay may sakit siya at nagre-recover pa mula sa kanyang medical crisis sa Indonesia.
Si Nicko raw ang sinisisi ni Kris sa lahat—ang kanyang pagkakasakit at ang hindi niya pagtupad sa contractual commitments sa brands.
Dumating raw sa puntong hindi na posibleng makipagtrabaho sina Nicko at Kris sa isa’t isa.
Si Kris daw ang nagdesisyong tapusin na at kumawala mula sa kanilang “talent agency agreement and various business arrangements.”
Ngunit kakaiba raw ang naging paraan ni Kris nang pag-terminate ng kanilang kasunduan.
Ayon kay Nicko, “A person in the corporate world, or a professional, would know how to properly and legally terminate an agency and a business arrangement.
“Unfortunately, Aquino went about this in her own way.”
Noong September 4, 2018, nakatanggap si Nicko ng mahabang mensahe mula kay Kris.
Dito ay sinumbatan ni Kris si Nicko sa pagsasawalang-bahala raw nito sa kanya.
Narito ang mensaheng ipinadala ni Kris kay Nicko (published as is):
“Nicko- you were there when my vision needed someone to help implement it. So it will be a test of my character to shut up about why the work relationship ended… you’re right- i did lose my trust in you. And I know myself only too well- i can never go back to relationships because i know that once the way i see a person is altered it stays that way already… i also know enough to keep quiet because if i rant- i am not protecting my dignity.
“It was w/ you that I believed enough to surrender my walls & give my 100% trust & dependence to- but you ended up being just like them. YOU DIDN’T PRIORITIZE ME nor RECIPROCATE what i had wholeheartedly given you- so why will i again settle for much less that what i deserve?
“You had the duplicate keys to my life & you had free reign to run my company & chart my path- yet you didn’t take care of it. I cannot be blamed for being disillusioned, hurt, and angry- because i know hindi ako ang nagpabaya, & yet ako yung pinaka umiyak.
“So you must honor my pain, respect that I am mourning, and then let me heal by graciously stepping aside for me to move forward.
“I don’t want to live a life of regrets. And i know we are parting ways with no what ifs. I know in my heart i tried my best & i’d given my all- but i am just so done with more suffering.
“I am not an evil person Nicko, i have gratitude for you having been there when we started… i am also savvy about what can be done to a person’s reputation when big business starts speculating about the WHYs… I prayed about it & for this to end properly w/ no questions asked- you need to apply for a short term course or any form of studies that will momentarily require your 100% focus & attention… this will be the most credible & believable reason w/ no damage to you & me.”
Ang panunumbat ni Kris sa text message kay Nicko ay naganap 14 araw bago ng personal na engkuwentro ng dalawa sa bahay ng web star sa Quezon City.
Noong September 18 daw ang araw nang sapilitan diumanong pinapirma ni Kris si Nicko ng Quitclaim at Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Sinabihan din daw siya ni Kris na huwag na huwag magsasalita sa publiko.
“Aquino told me to keep quiet about all the pending issues with her; to silently accept her unilateral termination of our talent agency agreements and business arrangements, and her demands to perform unreasonable undertakings which she unilaterally imposed upon me; and to fully cooperate with her ‘media plan’ to protect her public image and reputation.”
Wala na raw sinabi si Nicko upang ipagtanggol ang sarili.
Ganunpaman, hindi pa rin maintindihan ni Nicko kung bakit ibinubunton daw ni Kris sa kanya ang lahat ng sisi sa matitinding allergies nito, na ginawa pa raw dahilan ni Kris upang hindi tupdin ang ilang obligasyon nito bilang endorser.
Dahil sa matinding takot kay Kris at para maibsan ang galit nito, humingi daw ng tawad si Nicko.
Pero imbis na maayos ang relasyon nila bilang malapít na magkatrabaho, tuluyan na silang nagkasira.
Dito umano ang unang beses na narinig ni Nicko ang reklamo ni Kris tungkol sa paggamit niya ng KCAP credit card.
Nilinaw ni Nicko na pawang business expenses ang kanyang ginasta gamit ang KCAP credit card, pero sadyang sarado na raw si Kris.
Hanggang sa tuluyang nang sampahan ni Kris ng 44 counts of Qualified Theft si Nicko noong October 12, 2018.
Sa huling bahagi ng Counter Affidavit ni Nicko, inilatag nito ang mga dahilan kung bakit walang basehan at dapat ibasura ang Qualified Theft at Violation of Republic Act No. 8484 complaints ni Kris laban sa kanya.
Ayon sa Article 310 ng Revised Penal Code, ito ang mga elemento ng Qualified Theft:
- Taking of personal property;
- That the said property belongs to another;
- That the said taking be done with intent to gain;
- That it be done without the owner’s consent;
- That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor force upon things;
- That the taking was done under any of the circumstances enumerated in Article 310 of the RPC, i.e., with grave abuse of confidence.
Depensa ni Nicko sa kanyang Counter Affidavit, ang lahat ng elemento ng Qualified Theft ay “absent” sa reklamong inihain ni Kris laban sa kanya.
Una, wala raw ang elemento ng “taking of personal property.”
Rason ni Nicko, sa Complaint-Affidavit ni Kris mismo ay ni hindi sinabing may kinuha siyang pag-aari ng TV host-actress.
“In particular,” ayon kay Nicko, “Aquino claims that I ‘committed qualified theft by charging to the KCAP Card...[for] purchases such as food, coffee, internet connection, clothes, furniture, make-up, travels, airline tickets, and hotel accommodation, among others, both in the Philippines and overseas...'
“Needless to state, making a purchase of goods or services with the use of a credit card is not taking. More so...considering that the credit card was issued in my name and actually belongs to me, and was issued to me precisely so that I could use it for business purposes, at my discretion.”
Makikita raw sa credit car statements of account at iba pang dokumento na ang mga gastusing nakasaad dito ay bahagi ng "business expenses."
Pangalawa, yung elemento raw na “the property belongs to another is also absent.”
Idiniin ni Nicko na ang credit card ay pag-aari niya at nakapangalan sa kanya.
“It is indubitable that the subject credit card belongs to me.
“I did not steal the credit card itself nor use it with criminal intent to steal goods or services.”
Pangatlo, wala ang elemento ng “the taking be done with intent to gain.”
Ginamit daw ni Nicko ang credit para sa mga gastusin ni Kris, mga miyembro ng pamilya nito, at mga kasama sa entourage nito.
Dagdag ni Nicko, “As the receipts and records will show, I was prudent, open and transparent in the use of the credit card, kept the records complete, and had the necessary substantiation requirements for each business expense and even the expenses of Aquino, her sons and the persons in her entourage.
“Aquino eventually had knowledge of and expressly ratified most, if not all, of the charges on the credit card transactions.”
Iginiit ni Nicko na lahat ng binayaran niya gamit ang credit card ay may kinalaman sa KCAP, kasama na ang kanyang representation expenses.
Lalo pa’t nais daw ni Kris na lumabas ang imahe na ang mga taong nagtatrabaho sa kanya, full-time man o part-time, ay matataas ang suweldo.
Diin pa ni Nicko, walang record na nagreklamo ni Kris tungkol sa anumang naka-charge na gastusin sa credit card ng KCAP.
Ikaapat, wala rin daw ang elementong “the taking was done without the owner’s consent.”
Pagdiriin ni Nicko, “I am the owner of the credit card and only my consent is needed for the transactions to be valid.”
Wala rin daw duda na wala ang ikalimang elemento: “that the taking was without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor force upon things, considering that there was no taking in the first place.”
Naninindigan din si Nicko na hindi niya nilabag ang Republic Act No. 8484 o Access Device Fraud.
Ito ay patungkol sa “obtaining money or anything of value through the use of an access device, with intent to defraud or with intent to gain, and fleeing thereafter.”
Idiniin niya rito na ang lahat ng credit card transactions na ipinasok niya ay hindi kailangan ng authorization ni Kris dahil si Nicko ang rehistradong nagmamay-ari ng credit card.
Dagdag pa ni Nicko, “I had no criminal intent and, certainly, had no intent to defraud Aquino or anyone with the use of the credit card.
“Intent to defraud is clearly absent because I did not incur a credit card debt with the credit card company, and then flee.
“I kept a proper record of every credit card transaction, with supporting documents, in compliance with substantiation requirements, to establish an audit trail.
“Also, the credit card records were transparent and intended for review by Aquino and her accountants.
“Also, the credit card statements were sent to Aquino’s home address.
“I did not hide the statements from her nor keep these secret from her or anyone else.”
Naninindigan si Nicko na wala siyang ginawang grave abuse of confidence o deceit sa paggamit ng credit card.
Sa huling bahagi ng kanyang Counter Affidavit, binigyan diin ni Nicko na hindi totoo at walang basehan ang mga alegasyon ni Kris.
Pahayag ng finance whiz, entrepreneur, at social media savvy 35-year-old: “The cases she filed against me are but a part of her scheme to coerce me into involuntarily submitting to her will and complying with her unreasonable demands, including that I and members of my family execute the documents she intended for our signatures."
Dagdag nito, “In the process, because I have not complied with her demands, she threatened to kill me if I return to the Philippines, destroyed my good name and reputation, and caused me and my family great hardship.”
ED'S NOTE: Ngayong Sabado, Enero 5, sinubukan ng PEP.ph na hingan ng pahayag si Kris Aquino sa pamamagitan ng pagpapadala ng text message sa kanyang chief of staff na si Alvin Gagui. Nagpadala rin ang PEP.ph ng hiwalay na request sa talent manager ni Kris na si Erickson Raymundo, para sa official statement ng aktres at web star hinggil sa mga statement ni Nicko Falcis. Agad ilalathala ng PEP.ph ang anumang pahayag ni Kris hinggil dito.