Last January 27, Nadine Lustre made waves online after she decided to leave Viva Artists Agency, the talent arm of Viva Entertainment Incorporated, which has managed her since 2009.
Lustre’s lawyer, Atty. Lorna Kapunan of Kapunan & Castillo Law Offices, issued a statement that the actress was no longer a talent of Viva Artists Agency.
According to Lustre’s lawyer, “She is self-managed and will continue to be so indefinitely.
“She shall directly manage her affairs from now on, and bookings and inquiries.”
However, Viva opposed this, saying Lustre remains an exclusive artist of the agency and she could not unilaterally withdraw from her contract.
Viva also warned that it will not hesitate to initiate proper legal actions to anyone who contravenes the managerial contract of Viva.
In response to this, Atty. Kapunan released another statement on behalf of Nadine and lambasted the agency.
“We welcome any legal action by Viva so their unconscionable, oppressive, and illegal contract with Nadine (and their other artists) can be litigated in the proper forum,” she said.
But according to Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Lustre’s move is a mistake both “professionally” and “morally.”
He also added, “May presumption na when you enter into a contract, alam mo yung pinapasok mo. It is up to Nadine to prove na naloko siya o hindi niya alam yung ginagawa niya.”
Lustre’s legal counsel Atty. Kapunan stated that the actress has the right to terminate her contract based on the “Civil Code of The Philippines, specifically Article 1920.” But then, Atty. Topacio said that the provision used is wrong because it pertains to a simple agency.
“My point of view as an entertainment lawyer is that yung case ni Ms. Nadine Lustre, mali po yung basis.”
He said to the press, “Ang sina-cite nila is Article 1920 ng Civil Code. Yun po ay pertains to simple agency.”
He clarified, “Ang correct provision diyan ay 1927 ng civil code. Kung iyan ay pinakealaman mo,papasok yung article 1314 yung tinatawag na tortious hindi courteous kasi iba nilagay eh.
“Ibig sabihin tort is an element of damage may be civilly liable dahil may kontrata si Nadine sa Viva pinakelalaman mo.”
Giving some advice to Lustre, Topacio stated that a proper discussion between Lustre and the agency boss Vic Del Rosario can mend the rift.
“Tingin ko naman kay Mr. Del Rosario mabait na tao naman. Siguro if she talks to him, owns up her mistake. Boss Vic, baka pwede naman i-negotiate natin,” he suggested.
Topacio then warned that Lustre may be put in danger as the case progresses.
“Magdedemanda yan. Well ayoko manghula ano although legally Nadine Lustre stands on very shaky legal ground. Ang problema diyan if Viva started suing people who would enter into other contracts with Nadine, not going through Viva, who’s going to deal with her?”
He said that if by chance Lustre has the grounds to leave the Viva agency, then she must take it to court.
“Then prove it in court. You just cannot say ‘Ay! Illegal yung contract,ayoko na’ hindi.”
“Kasi siyempre kung payag ung Viva,no problem.
“Eh kung ayaw hindi pwedeng ikaw magdecide. Hindi pwede ang Viva mag-decide. It has to be the court” Topacio said.
Topacio also said that he has no idea why Lustre terminated her contract with Viva as he is not acquainted with the actress and he also denied that he has no close ties with the agency.
“Si Nadine naman, I don’t know her at all. I cannot pretend to know what motivates her.”
If ever Lustre would seek his help, Topacio said, “Will give advice na tagilid yung stand mo, let’s talk to Viva.”
Despite Lustre’s departure from the agency, Viva Entertainment chief executive officer (CEO) Vic del Rosario firmly said that Lustre is still a talent of their agency. Lustre still has her exclusive movie contract with Viva Communications, Inc.
Lustre started her career with Viva in 2009 as a member of the sing and dance group Pop Girls. Her breakthrough came with the film “Diary ng Panget” in 2014, which launched her reel turned real romance with singer-actor James Reid.