ABS-CBN anchor and reporter Gretchen Marie Fullido has filed before the City Prosecutors’ Office of Quezon City a sexual harassment case against her Cheryl C. Favila, a former ABS-CBN News Executive, and Maricar P. Asprec, an ABS-XBN News Segment Producer.
Fullido’s complaint outlines the sexual harassment she received from Favila and Asprec. The two allegedly sent Fullido sexually suggestive text messages, even going so far as to ask for sexual favors. Fullido made clear in her case that she rejected the advances. As a result, her claim says that the spurned two turned to making her professional life difficult. Fullido endured this cycle of abuse and harassment for three years as she worked as a reporter and news anchor for TV Patrol.
Previously, Fullido had filed a case with ABS-CBN’s management to report the misconduct of her superiors. Fullido similarly cited sexual harassment from Favila and Asprec. However, in July 16, 2018, ABS-CBN Management released their decision to dismiss the case against Cheryl C. Favila.
Management found Favila guilty of gross misconduct, though not of the full offense outlined by Fullido’s complaint. The ruling still eventually led to Favila being dismissed from the company.
Fullido has also filed libel causes against two of ABS-CBN’s news executives, Cecilia Drilon and Venancio Borromeo, as well as against news reporter Maria Lozano. Fullido’s complaint against the three cites their acts to besmirch her reputation as grounds. From Fullido’s complaint, the three stated that they believed Fullido’s cases against Favila and Asprec were only moves to gain more political capital in the office and leverage her employment status with ABS-CBN.
In Fullido’s Complaint Affidavit, she cites Drilon’s victim shaming and imputed statements that Fullido deserved harassment since Fullido, allegedly, was willing to don a bikini in an inflatable pool filled with bubbles just to boost the ratings of TV Patrol.
Sexual harassment in the workplace often exploits the power dynamic and internal politics of office spaces. People holding superior positions may exercise their control over another employee in order to get sexual favors or treatment by threatening their careers and livelihood. It is often difficult for victims to speak out against the abuse because their abusers hold higher ranks than them and company’s might act in the interest of protecting their more senior employees. It can also be isolating for victims as people could rally around the abuser, treating them as a victim of accusations rather than a perpetrator of abuse.
Victims of sexual and workplace harassment should not have to fear the repercussions of outing their abuser. Fullido is the first Filipino news celebrity to speak publicly about sexual harassment in the news industry in the Philippines. If she can do it, so can anyone. Don’t be afraid.