Showbiz Roundup: ‘Eat Bulaga’ ownership battle, Buboy Villar’s ‘rudeness,’ Robi Domingo’s love for Maiqui Pineda
The ongoing battle for the ownership of the “Eat Bulaga” name between the comedy trio Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon (TVJ) and the Jalosjos-led Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc. hit another peak, as the latter camp drew first blood when it successfully renewed its trademark and Tito was barred from taking the witness stand before the Marikina Regional Trial Court the day prior.
Meanwhile, Buboy Villar earned the ire of netizens after seemingly cutting off a fan who mentioned the names of TVJ. In other news, Robi Domingo assured his fiancée Maiqui Pineda that he would never leave her side despite her being diagnosed with dermatomyositis.
All these and more, as we read the biggest stories of INQUIRER.net’s entertainment section from August 4 to 10.
‘I was prevented from testifying’
Days before TAPE Inc. renewed “Eat Bulaga’s trademark registration, Tito Sotto was barred from taking the witness stand before the Marikina Regional Trial Court, which is hearing the copyright infringement and unfair competition charges lodged against the production outfit and GMA Network Inc.
During a recent hearing, he was called to the stand by their lawyer to testify on their application for the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI), but a TAPE counsel opposed his testimony on the stand on two grounds—first, that Sotto did not previously submit a judicial affidavit (JA) but only a plain affidavit; and second, he was not excluded during the testimony of another plaintiff, Joey de Leon.
Tito, de Leon and Vic Sotto are represented in court by lawyer Enrique dela Cruz Jr. along with former TAPE executive Jeny Ferre. On the other hand, TAPE is represented by lawyer Marie Glen Abraham Garduque.
According to the submission of the plaintiffs, a judicial affidavit is not required, citing Section 10 of the Supreme Court’s Judicial Affidavit Rule, which states that “a party who fails to submit the required judicial affidavits and exhibits on time shall be deemed to have waived their submission.”
Ruling on the arguments of the parties, Presiding Judge Romeo Dizon Tagra sustained the defendants, choosing to “rather err on the side of allowing the parties to present their case… on the merits rather than technicalities.”
The Marikina court then directed Sotto to submit his judicial affidavit, saying failure to do so means he will no longer be allowed to submit his testimony relative to their application for WPI.
The RTC, however, said that the requirement of the parties to submit a JA relative to the application of the WPI in this case is “only devised by the court for purposes of convenience as the same will already constitute as the direct testimony of the parties.”
“Besides, plaintiff Vicente Sotto has already his joint affidavit which he could have used as his testimony in support of the plaintiffs’ WPI application were it not of the directive of the court to submit a JA instead for convenience purposes,” read the Marikina court’s two-page order, a copy of which was obtained by INQUIRER.net.
Sought for comment, dela Cruz said the rule on JA is not necessary, “but it affords the adverse counsel an opportunity to see the questions and answers of the witness prior to the hearing.”
“The (judicial affidavit) rule says the penalty is a waiver of submission (not a waiver of testimony). Ibig sabihin, pag hindi ka nagsubmit ng judicial affidavit, waived na ang right mo to submit it, pero pwede ka pa din mag testify orally,” he told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
Meanwhile, after the hearing, Sotto took to his X account with regard to his failed testimony on the witness stand. “I was prevented from testifying by the TAPE / GMA lawyers wanting a separate judicial affidavit when in fact we had a submitted affidavit weeks ago. Yun ang totoo!” he wrote.
The court likewise maintained the next hearing date on Aug. 11 and 25 for the continuation of the presentation of the last two witnesses for the plaintiffs.
The TVJ’s camp filed an application for the writ of preliminary injunction against TAPE’s use of the “Eat Bulaga” name in the revamped noontime show while their infringement and unfair competition case is pending.
Buboy Vilar ‘cuts off’ contestant
Buboy Villar drew flak after an episode of the “G sa Gedli” segment on “Eat Bulaga,” wherein the host seemingly cut off a fan who mentioned the names of TVJ.
During the show’s July 29 episode, Villar and fellow host Isko Moreno went to an LRT station and gave away cash to random commuters. Villar then extended his microphone to an elderly woman who was among the recipients of the cash prize.
“Nanay, ano pong masasabi niyo sa ‘Eat Bulaga’?” Villar asked.
“Ay naku, noon pa talagang ‘Eat Bulaga’ ako! Salamat po Tito, Vic and—,” the fan replied before Villar quickly pulled the microphone toward him.
Netizens took notice of this on social media and lashed out at Villar for being “rude,” via the comments section of the actor-TV host’s Instagram page.
Villar has not publicly commented on the matter as of this writing.
Meanwhile, the noontime show celebrated its 44th anniversary by launching its new theme song. This came amid the ongoing legal battle of TVJ against GMA Network and TAPE Inc., the production company behind the revamped EB.
‘Whatever happens, I choose you’
Robi Domingo admitted that he has been having a “tug-of-war of feelings” as he couldn’t stop thinking about his fiancée, Maiqui Pineda, who has been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.
The TV host opened up about this after his contract signing with ABS-CBN, as seen on his Instagram last Aug. 4. “What an emotional day. This moment has given me a deeper appreciation of what it is to be a KAPAMILYA,” he spoke of the contract-signing event.
“I just couldn’t stop thinking about my fiancé and her condition while signing this contract. There has been that tug-of-war of feelings so maybe that’s why the flood gates just kept pouring,” he continued.
Domingo expressed his gratitude to the Kapamilya network, then addressed Pineda whom he assured, “Whatever happens, I choose you. Can’t wait to sign our contract.”
Pineda, meanwhile, disclosed her condition while showing glimpses of her hospital visits through her Instagram page.
“What was supposed to be an exciting year of wedding planning, preparing for a new home and working on my career, life had other plans for me… I got sick. I have a rare autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis that causes muscle weakness, inflammation and a skin rash,” she revealed.
Dermatomyositis, as defined by Mayo Clinic, is an “uncommon inflammatory disease marked by muscle weakness and a distinctive skin rash.” This condition has “no cure but periods of symptom improvement can occur.”
“I already started treatment but the journey to recovery is far from over. There are good days but there are still bad days,” Pineda stated. “I am hopeful that this is just temporary and I will work on getting better one day at a time.”
“Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and messages of love and support! It meant a lot to me,” she added.
The couple got engaged in 2022 after being in a relationship for four years. Domingo moved out of his bachelor pad last June while preparing to build a new home with Pineda.
TAPE draws first blood
TAPE Inc. has received from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) a certification of renewal of registration for the “Eat Bulaga” trademark, amid the production company’s ongoing legal tussle with Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon.
The trademark registration was renewed on June 14, 2023, and is effective until June 14, 2033, with TAPE Inc. named as the registrant. A copy of the certificate was released to the media last Aug. 5.
TAPE executive Bullet Jalosjos also announced this through his Instagram Stories as he shared a report about the production company’s “successful” renewal of registration.
“May awa ang Diyos,” he captioned his post, adding folded hands emoji.
This came amid the copyright infringement and unfair competition complaints filed by the comedic trio against TAPE and GMA Network in June.
TVJ also filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to stop TAPE and GMA from using the name, logo and other devices by the new “Eat Bulaga” while the copyright infringement and unfair competition case is pending.
‘Thanks for promoting us’
After TAPE Inc. successfully renewed “Eat Bulaga’s” trademark registration for another 10 years, Joey de Leon, who is now with the competing noontime show “E.A.T.,” found something to be thankful for.
The IPOPHL granted TAPE’s application for a Certificate of Renewal of Registration for Eat Bulaga’s trademark. The renewal was made last June 14, 2023, and is effective until June 14, 2033. The certification was issued amid the latter’s ongoing legal battle with the comedic trio of de Leon and Tito and Vic Sotto.
TAPE finance director Bullet Jalosjos also confirmed the production company’s successful renewal on his Instagram Story with the caption, “May awa ang Diyos.”
On his Instagram, de Leon posed for a photo with “E.A.T.” co-host Paolo Ballesteros and an image of Allan K in the background. In his caption, he thanked TAPE for “promoting” them for the next 10 years, even as he took a swipe at the production company for renewing the hotly contested “Eat Bulaga” trademark.
“Sa kanila ang RENEWAL, sa amin ang NUMERAL! Thanks for promoting us for the next TEN years! I’m still with EB, ah ah, not that EB but with Ellen and Barbie,” he wrote, without mentioning TAPE Inc.
De Leon’s post caught the attention of Ballesteros and his supporters in the comments, with some questioning how TAPE Inc. was able to “steal the [noontime show’s] brand” from TVJ.
The veteran host earlier claimed that he was the one who thought of the title “Eat Bulaga” for the noontime show, as he insisted that TVJ is the rightful owner of the noontime show’s trademark and copyright.
TVJ previously filed charges of copyright infringement and unfair competition complaints against TAPE and GMA Network in June, as well as a petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the production from using all devices related to the noontime show amid their legal battle, which is seemingly far from over. /ra