"It was beyond our control."
GMA senior vice president Atty. Annette Gozon-Valdes revealed to 24 Oras that the network had no control over the rift between the Eat Bulaga and TAPE, Inc., which had its hosts and some staff members quit the show last May 31.
"Kung may say control lang tayo, may say lang tayo sa mangyayari, siyempre hindi natin sila (hosts) papakawalan. 'Yun ang term nila. Pipigilan natin sila. Susubukan natin gawin ang lahat para mag-stay sila sa atin. Kaya lang sa totoo hands off ang GMA diyan kasi it was an internal issue between TVJ (Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon) and TAPE, Inc.," she told Nelson Canlas.
"So, wala naman talaga kaming alam about those issues. Nalaman lang namin ang issues kapag lumalabas sa social media, sa newspaper o sa interviews so it wasn't right for us na makialam," she continued.
Gozon-Valdes reiterated that GMA is not siding with anyone and that it was rather an internal issue, not a corporate problem.
She explained that the contract of GMA is with TAPE Inc. and not with TVJ.
"Para siguro mas maintindihan ng mga tao ang contract kasi ng GMA is with TAPE. Wala kaming contract with TVJ as talents of or as kasama ng TAPE. Ang contract na ito ay isang blocktime agreement. Ang ibig sabihin nun umuupa sila ng time slot sa atin sa GMA. Binabayaran nila tayo ng upa at para sila yung laman ng noontime slot from Monday to Saturday. Kung ano ang laman nun, wala tayong kinalaman dun," Gozon-Valdes noted.
She also clarified that it was stated in the contract that the producer "can change hosts, they can reformat (the show)," adding that it was Mr. Antonio Tuviera who negotiated the contract that time.
"We have to honor the contract as long as there is no breach of its provisions. Kasi you know, iba ang contract, eh it has legal consequences," she said.
The executive said that GMA's ties with TAPE Inc. and Eat Bulaga!'s former hosts will not change.
According to the interview, the network is just waiting for Eat Bulaga to return as it was stated in the contract that TAPE Inc. needs to produce a show for the timeslot.
Gozon-Valdes said that GMA is open to hiring the hosts who left the noontime show, and that they, too, are open to provide talents for the show if needed.
"Kung wala namang conflict at pumapayag yung talents, why not 'di ba? Its really a separate business. And kung mabibigyan naman ng trabaho yung talents namin why not? And we've been doing this even before magka falling out years and years back. Katulad ni Alden galing siya sa Sparkle. Katulad ni Bianca and Ruru, talagang we provide talents," she said.
Last May 31, the longest-running noontime show hosts TVJ made a shocking announcement that they would be leaving TAPE Inc. Other hosts followed suit, as revealed in a document obtained by Pauleen Luna-Sotto.
Former senator Tito Sotto said that they decided to leave because the management no longer wanted them to air live episodes that day.
"Nagulat kami nung hindi na raw magla-live, ayaw magpa-live. Sabi raw ng chairman [Romeo Jalosjos] hindi raw pwede mag-live," he said in an interview with Julius & Tintin.
"So biglang naisip namin, siguro ito na 'yung bendisyon ng Panginoon na magdesisyon tayo. So kung mapapansin mo, medyo nangapa kami ng sasabihin sa gusto naming sabihin, pero nadeliver namin 'yung message, which is we are disengaging with TAPE Inc."