Performers voice displeasure over alleged theft in Manila Idol Matsuri 2018
Several performers who appeared at the recently concluded Manila Idol Matsuri went on social media to express their displeasure at allegedly getting robbed while performing at the event.
Independent idol performers Kibi Lim, Seushi Cahill and Gabiolie Gabo each uploaded a Facebook post to relay their negative experiences in the event and with the organizers.
Lim, who belongs with local independent idol group A.L.I.C.E. Project, got the ball rolling with her Aug. 3 post. She stated that she and fellow performers were treated poorly by organizers. At the end of her post, she alleged that over P80,000 worth of items, including wallets and gadgets, had been stolen from their dressing room.
According to Lim’s post, the dressing room was not secured properly and lacked appointed personnel to guard the performers’ belongings. Furthermore, she claimed the organizers tried to pin the blame on the girls who had items stolen.
Gabo and Cahill later shared their side of the story on Aug. 5 with two separate Facebook posts. Cahill reiterated what Lim already wrote about and further alleged that Manila Idol Matsuri’s organizers had no plans of compensating the victims. She also stated that they were emotionally harassed by staff who raised their voices during discussions on how to resolve the theft.
Meanwhile, Gabo gave her own description of the incident. She wrote that the alleged theft took place while she and the other performers who shared the same dressing room were on stage, during Stage 1 of the event. After their time on stage, the girls apparently went back to the dressing room in shock to see their bags tampered with.
Apart from the supposed lack of security detail to guard the dressing room, the girls noted that their personal assistants were also too busy manning the booths and assisting them with the performances.
According to Gabo’s account, the organizers would later assure the performers that staff and attendee bags would be checked. This, however, supposedly did not happen so the performers were forced to check attendees’ bags themselves.
Lim, who has been keeping track of developments, posted an update on Sept. 6. She wrote that organizers continued to refuse to take responsibility for the incident. Lim added that some of the members of A.L.I.C.E. Project were directly addressing the issue, and that it might be time to make it a legal case.
As of Sept. 7, around 9 p.m., Manila Idol Matsuri has issued an update about the issue through its Facebook page. The organizers stated that they “are committed to conducting a careful and a thorough investigation on the pending issue concerning the alleged theft.” They are also appealing to everyone concerned to “kindly [understand]… that due to the sensitive nature of the information and processes involved, any details on the investigation are confidential.”
Organizers also stated that “the matter is currently being investigated by the Makati City Police who were immediately notified of the incident. They assured the public that they are “giving their best efforts to resolve the matter at the earliest possible time.”
INQUIRER.net initially reached out to the organizers but failed to receive an immediate reply; the organizers however later responded and clarified that they could not yet divulge the details of the incident because it is still under investigation, echoing the public statement they issued on Sept. 7. The organizers also denied the allegations written on the performers’ Facebook posts, and claimed these as “false and exaggerated.”
Manila Idol Matsuri 2018 was held at the TIU Theater in Makati Cinema Square on Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event was billed as the first idol-centric event in the Philippines. It featured 14 independently produced idol performers who covered a mix of jpop and idol music. The event also featured the appearance of MNL48, the sister group of Japan’s AKB48 idol group. Booths were also provided for the performers where they could sell merchandise to attendees and fans. /ra/jb
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