Filipino News Reporter Gretchen Fullido Files Sexual Harassment Complaints Against ABS-CBN Execs
She's the first Filipino news personality to publicly make a stand against sexual harassment in the Philippine news industry.
For many women in the Philippines, sexual harassment in the workplace has become their new normal — complaints are left unheard, and women are dissuaded from speaking up. But as this Gretchen Fullido sexual harassment case proves, women are now more willing to speak up against discrimination in the workplace.
Fullido, an entertainment reporter for the Philippine network ABS-CBN, filed a sexual harassment case on 5 October against former ABS-CBN News executive Cheryl Favila and ABS-CBN News segment producer Maricar Asprec. It's both interesting and disheartening to learn that Fullido's harassers are women — while men-on-women harassment isn't unheard of, women-on-women crimes like these demonstrate that women are just as capable of being terrible human beings.
Favila and Asprec had allegedly sent Fullido text messages loaded with sexual innuendos and requested for sexual favours. When Fullido rejected these advances, Favila and Asprec made it difficult for Fullido to do her job as a reporter and news anchor for her show TV Patrol. This harassment went on for three years.
Why didn't Fullido go to the ABS-CBN management? She did. Last July, ABS-CBN Management dismissed the case for sexual harassment against Favila, but found her liable for gross misconduct. This led to Favila's dismissal from the company.
But when she filed the complaint, three of her colleagues allegedly claimed that she was only doing so to leverage her employment status. For this, Fullido has filed libel cases against news executives Cecilia Drilon and Venancio Borromeo, as well as news reporter Marie Lozano.
Drilon allegedly victim-shamed Fullido by saying she deserved to be harassed. Why? Fullido was willing to wear a bikini in an inflatable pool with bubbles to boost ratings.
In a press statement, ABS-CBN wrote that it respects Fullido's rights to file her sexual harassment complaint in court.
"Now that she has filed charges with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, we expect all parties to allow the legal process to take its course," the statement continued. "ABS-CBN takes sexual harassment seriously and does not condone such acts in the workplace or by its employees."
Fullido is the first Filipino news reporter to publicly make a stand against sexual harassment in the Philippine news industry. We hope that this Gretchen Fullido sexual harassment case will send the message that women will no longer stand for this kind of treatment and that we will stand up for ourselves when we need to.