In a statement sent by ABS-CBN Head of Corporate Communications Bong Osorio, the network and the Queen of All Media has finally reached an agreement after several meetings: She has agreed to take a leave of absence instead.
According to the statement, the leave of absence “will allow her to spend quality time with Bimby in June when he is on school break, and to bring Josh abroad to advance his developmental progress.”
While the duration of the leave was not specified, the statement continued, “After her leave, Kris will honor her responsibilities and will fulfill her contractual commitments to ABS-CBN without impairing her role as a mother.”
President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s youngest sister announced she would resign from all her shows on ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol on March 21 amid a highly publicized legal dispute with estranged husband PBA player James Yap, the father of her son Bimby. Josh is Kris’ elder son by actor Philip Salvador.
The rest of the statement read: “ABS-CBN and Kris Aquino have met several times to discuss her intention to resign. ABS-CBN fully understands Kris’ desire to be the best mother to Bimby and Josh. On the other hand, ABS-CBN values Kris as an iconic talent and a respected national media personality. Both parties recognize her responsibilities to the public, her co-workers and to the advertisers.”
No legal impediment
The question now is, did she mean it or was it all for show?
This is especially so since The Manila Times clarified with Osorio in a telephone interview on Wednesday whether there was any legal impediment to Kris’ resignation from ABS-CBN, and he said no. According to labor laws, a company can only refuse an employee’s resignation if it is clearly stipulated that he or she cannot do so.
With Kris being a prized talent of ABS-CBN, Osorio added that the network clearly did not want to lose her, which is why they called for a series of meetings with the actress. When asked who brought up the idea of a leave of absence, the top executive replied that it was a “mutual decision,” owing to the good relationship fostered between network and talent for many years.
To this, Kris’ critics now say that if she really wanted to resign, nothing and no one should stop her.
The 43-year-old celebrity currently has three shows for ABS-CBN—the daily morning show Kris TV; a foreign franchise Pilipinas Got Talent, and the primetime drama Kailangan ko’y Ikaw, which is on its final week.
Benefit of the doubt
While Kris’ resignation was never deemed irrevocable (she replied to news anchor Ted Failon that she cannot “speak about forever” when he asked if she was leaving show business for good), her very tearful announcement in the presence of her sisters Ballsy, Pinky and Viel on national TV seemed adamant.
Many industry observers maintained that no matter how serious Kris had been about leaving showbiz to pursue a quieter life, she cannot walk away from the industry that easily.
While she can resign from her contract with ABS-CBN, many of her endorsement deals are ironclad, according to her manager for television commercials, Boy Abunda.
Meanwhile, a source close to Kris said that the actress and host might have simply been overtaken by her emotions when she announced her resignation, pointing out that she had said on TV Patrol that she only made the decision to quit showbiz on her way to the interview, and without consulting anyone.
“Maybe it’s not as black and white as, ‘did she mean it or not.’ Let’s give Kris the benefit of the doubt; she probably just wasn’t able to think it through at the time,” added the source.
Nevertheless, the source also acknowledged that Kris will have to deal with a lot of criticism in the days to come.
Following the TV Patrol interview, several social networking sites like Twitter erupted with discussions and reactions to Kris’ tearful announcement.
Many described it as deja vu as Kris also made an earlier promise to quit showbiz after her brother assumed the presidency. And while some expressed their support to Kris for prioritizing her role as a mom, others viewed it as another stunt, with rumors of her running for vice president in 2016—just as she hinted before when she said she would only join politics when PNoy finishes his term.
There are also those who were annoyed as Kris’ resignation overshadowed more important issues at that time such as the Sabah dispute and the UP student who committed suicide.
As to her latest decision to take a leave of absence, The Manila Times was unable to reach James Yap for his reaction as of press time.
His lawyer Lorna Kapunan, however, replied to The Manila Times via text message, saying, “I am not surprised. Kris is a good actress. You can’t tell anymore when she’s acting and when she’s not. Truly sad, especially when her drama affects other innocent people’s lives and legal rights. The world is not one big stage!”
Here is the complete statement from ABS-CBN:
ABS CBN and Kris Aquino have met several times to discuss her intention to resign.
ABS CBN fully understands Kris’ desire to be the best mother to Bimby and Josh. On the other hand, ABS-CBN values Kris as an iconic talent and a respected national media personality. Both parties recognize her responsibilities to the public, her co-workers and to the advertisers.
After thorough discussions, Kris has agreed to take a leave instead. This will allow her to spend quality time with Bimby in June when he is on school break and to bring Josh abroad to advance his developmental progress. After her leave, Kris will honor her responsibilities and will fulfill her contractual commitments to ABS-CBN without impairing her role as a mother.