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'Eat Bulaga!' producers claim 'questionable expenditures,' treatment like 'unwelcome outsiders'

By NICK GARCIA Published Jun 08, 2023 10:47 am Updated Jun 08, 2023 12:14 pm

Executives from TAPE Inc., the company that produces Eat Bulaga!, said there were "questionable expenditures" following the departure of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon (TVJ).

In an interview with uploaded on YouTube on June 6, TAPE president Romeo "Jon-Jon" Jalosjos Jr. said though Eat Bulaga! was still "financially stable"—despite previous statements on losses and questions from advertisers—they saw something in the show's expenditures which prompted them to investigate.

TAPE chief finance officer Seth Frederick "Bullet" Jalosjos, meanwhile, said there was a "discrepancy" in the monthly and yearly reports, including a P15 million cash advance from a staff member charged to their early retirement despite still being on the show.

"One go," Bullet said of the money. "It's unheard of... Kailangan namin mag-come in to correct it.”

Bullet explained that it's the president who approves cash advances and allowances.

From 1981 to 2022, it was Antonio Tuviera who was in charge, until Jon succeeded him. “I haven’t seen the approval of the president. To be honest, ha, voucher lang nakikita namin," Jon said, adding they hired an external auditor in light of the discrepancies.

The report will come out by July, he said.

Jon-Jon also pointed out that their family has a 75% stake in the company while Tuviera has 25%, as Tito previously slammed the Jalosjoses for supposedly having the lion's share in the show's revenues.

"It’s natural siguro kung may-ari kami, may mapupunta sa iyo. Natural," he said. "That’s why we’re making an audit para malaman kung sino ba ang nag-withdraw ng mas malaki o magkano naman ang winithdraw ng isa’t isa."

'Unwelcome outsiders'

In another part of the interview posted on June 7, Jon-Jon and Bullet claimed to have been treated like unwelcome outsiders by Eat Bulaga! staff, including the show's hosts, the production team, and even the security guards.

"We didn't want any special treatment, pero nakakalungkot lang knowing that we're also part of everything," Bullet said. "We were never treated like we were even family."

Jon said despite his status as president, he was not allowed to go inside the dressing room at the studio.

Whenever he wants to meet with TVJ, he said he had to course it through Tuviera first.

“I'll wait in another room and wait for them to say 'Pwede na,' and then I’ll enter," he said.

Jon-Jon said he was also "never invited" to eat with TVJ and he only eats in the guest area.

During their Christmas party, he said they weren't even introduced to everybody.

For Jon-Jon, TVJ's "creative freedom" for the past four decades may have been too much.

"Nasobrahan iyong walang connection ang artista sa chairman," he said.

Still, Jon-Jon insisted that they have huge respect for the trio, and that they've always treated them like family.

“Hindi ko na problema kung ang turing nila sa amin ay iba," he said.

TVJ has yet to issue a statement on the Jalosjoses' pronouncements. PhilSTAR L!fe has reached out to the trio for comment.

TVJ and other Dabarkads joined TV5 on June 7. MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the company that owns and operates TV5, said they will produce content for the network and other MediaQuest platforms, including Cignal TV.

While it’s not yet clear whether they’ll run Eat Bulaga! itself on TV5, Tito previously said that they “will continue with Eat Bulaga!” as TAPE Inc. does not own the program’s name as well as its segments.

TVJ announced they have parted ways with TAPE Inc. last May 31 after rumors about an Eat Bulaga! rebranding—and the trio getting fired—broke out. After the announcement, staff members, including hosts, writers, sales, production, and cameramen, tendered their resignation

Last June 5, the noontime show went on with its live airing and introduced a new set of hosts, including Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar, Betong Sumaya, Alexa Miro, Cassy Legaspi, and Mavy Legaspi.