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TAPE feels ‘vindicated’ after employees’ complaint is dismissed

April 15 ------ The labor complaint filed against TAPE Inc. by its employees who left with Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon (TVJ) in May 2023 was dismissed, which legal counsel Maggie Abraham-Garduque hopes is a “prelude” to the disclosure of the “truth.” 


Nine employees—including a utility staff, talent coordinator, VTR playback assistant, researcher, lighting director and cameramen of “Eat Bulaga”—lodged before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in August 2023 a complaint “for regularization, non-payment of overtime pay, holiday pay, holiday premium, 13th month pay and nightshift differential, damages, attorney’s fees and other causes of action, i.e., non-payment of special project, unexplainable deductions.” “The record of the case is bereft of any showing that complainants were dismissed, but they instead resigned from respondent company. There is no evidence more glaring and conclusive than the resignation letters written and submitted by complainants themselves,” a part of the decision dated March 27, 2024, read. “The voluntary nature of complainants’ action manifested itself clearly to this office and belies their claim of constructive dismissal. The totality of the evidence presented indubitably shows that complainants resigned from their employment without any coercion or compulsion from respondents,” it continued. 


The complainants’ claims for separation fees and attorney’s fees and damages were denied for “having no legal grounds to justify said award complainant having effectively resigned from respondent company.” It added that “there is no provision in the Labor Code that grants separation pay to voluntarily resigning employees.” “As for the claim for overtime pay, complainants failed to adduce evidence that they rendered actual overtime work which would entitle them to overtime pay. Likewise, for lack of proof of rendition of work during holidays and rendition of work during night time which would entitle them to salary differentials, the same must be dismissed.” “All other claims are denied for want of factual and legal basis,” it stated, also noting that “no motion for reconsideration of this decision shall be entertained.” 


After receiving the decision on Friday, April 12, Abraham-Garduque underscored that TAPE has been “for the employees” ever since. “TAPE felt vindicated. From the start tape is for the employees,” she said in a statement sent to “That was the reason why they continued to air ‘Eat Bulaga’ sans TVJ and other key employees who went with them for their new show at TV5.” “Tape thought of the 200 employees left who will have no work if they did not continue with the show,” she continued. “This as a prelude, I hope truth will start to come out.” 





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