MANILA, Philippines -- TV host Willie Revillame has been absent from his noontime game show for two straight days since he threatened to resign unless his bosses fired one of his ?detractors.?
During the May 4 episode of ?Wowowee,? Revillame announced that he would quit hosting the program should the ABS-CBN management refuse to fire Jobert Sucaldito, an entertainment columnist, radio show biz commentator, and segment host of the TV gossip program ?The Buzz.?
The network has yet to directly address Revillame?s threat. On the phone on Thursday with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, corporate communications head Bong Osorio said he and other network executives were ?discussing? the issue.
?There is a right time and place for everything. We are positive that this problem will be ironed out soon,? Osorio said.
Revillame was in Iloilo City on Tuesday night as part of the ?Rockatropa? concert hosted by Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar, whom he has been backing.
?Willie said he got tired and then decided to take a rest from hosting ?Wowowee? last Wednesday,? Osorio said.
During Thursday?s episode, one of the hosts, Mariel Rodriguez, said Revillame was still ?resting.?
Revillame had bristled at Sucaldito?s criticism of the decision of ?Wowowee? directors to invite below-average high school students to play during the show?s ?Willie of Fortune? segment, and purportedly subjecting them to ridicule.
Sucaldito is said to have raised the matter last week during his program ?Showbiz Mismo? on dzMM radio.
In his on-air tirade, Revillame called on his bosses to stop criticism against his show, which, he said, had made much money for the network.
He said ABS-CBN executives should choose between him and Sucaldito, and that if they did not axe the latter, he would quit.
He went on to say that Sucaldito had been firing broadsides at him in print although he had been holding his peace for years. He also said his show was for special people and those with barely passing grades, and that he would fight for the students.
?Nananawagan ako sa management ng ABS-CBN, huwag nyo namang payagan na tinitira ang show. Ang laki ng kita ng ?Wowowee? para sa ABS. Mamili na kayo. Kapag hindi ninyo yan tinanggal, ako ang magre-resign dito sa ?Wowowee!? Tandaan ninyo yan! (I?m calling on the management of ABS-CBN, don?t leave the show being slammed just like that. ABS is earning big from Wowowee. You better choose. If you?re not removing him, I will resign from Wowowee. Remember that.)
Addressing his detractors, Revillame said, "Wala na kayong ginawa kung hindi tirahin ako dito. Ilang taon na akong tumatahimik. Tinitira ako sa diyaryo ng Jobert na yan. Tahimik lang ako. ? Para po sa mga tao ito. Para sa mga taong espesyal, para sa mga 75 percent ang grades. Ipaglalaban ko ang mga estudyanteng yan." (You have not done anything but criticize me. I have been silent for years. I have been hit in the newspapers by that Jobert. I just kept my peace. This is for the people. This is for the special people, those who only rate 75% in school grades. I will always fight for these students.)
The Inquirer tried to reach Sucaldito for comment, but he did not return calls.
But in her Twitter account, ABS-CBN entertainment reporter Marie Lozano said she received a text message from Sucaldito on May 4 saying Revillame was being ?ridiculous? and ?unsporting.?
?His reaction to Willie trying to get him fired from the station: ?Kaloka sya. Pikon sobra,?? Lozano said.
Sucaldito made no mention of either Revillame or ?Wowowee? on his radio program on May 4.
In a statement issued on that day, ABS-CBN said it had discussed the issue with the two parties. It also expressed the belief that dialogue, and not an exchange of words on air, would lead to a resolution.
?Naniniwala ang ABS-CBN na maaayos ito sa magandang pag-uusap at di nararapat magsagutan pa sa ere,? Osorio said. (ABS-CBN believes that this can be settled amicably through dialogue and not by trading barbs on air.)