Mark de Leon, the controversial producer of the barely attended “Pepe Smith Rockfest” concert last June 2 who allegedly failed to pay the performing artists including Smith himself has resurfaced on social media.
De Leon reportedly left Amoranto Stadium where the concert was held while there are still performers on stage and while those who have already performed are still waiting for their talent fees. One of those who said he has not received his remaining balance was guitar legend Gary Perez who posted about in on his Facebook page.
Another Facebook thread initiated by seasoned rock musician, Arnold Morales of the legendary punk group, the Urban Bandits, revealed that some performers received bouncing checks as payment. Following Morales’ post, Perez then called on all unpaid artists to collectively file a lawsuit against the concert organizers.
In a viral Facebook video, Smith himself said he is a victim of what he described as “the great rock and roll swindle” and added that after leaving the concert, De Leon has not responded to calls and text messages.
Exactly 10 days after the “Pepe Smith Rockfest” and two days after he deactivated his Facebook page, De Leon returned to the social network site and posted his statement on the controversy, excerpts of which are the following:
“I just made the worst flop in PHIL. concert history . We never expected it to happen , for the last ten days I’ve been battling with stress and depression , but now I came to realize that I have to face the fact and responsibilities…To all the artist, suppliers , manpower and everything I am doing my best to gather funds to pay all my debts we’ll coordinate with you the soonest…AND SPECIALLY TO THE KING OF PINOY ROCK JOEY PEPE SMITH I’M SORRY I FAILED. I will do my best to recover…. Gagawin ko po sa abot ng aking makakaya na mabayaran kayo lahat. Pasensya na po.”
De Leon’s post suggested that not only the performing artists were unpaid but also the suppliers and other people involved in the event.
Smith and the rest of the concerned artists including Resty Fabunan of Maria Cafra who earlier called on De Leon to face the music, have yet to post their reactions to De Leon’s although Perez was among those who “liked” it.
Pearl Lleno, a member of the event’s organizing committee who insists that she only worked for De Leon only on the technical aspects shared De Leon’s post and wrote, “Hope this will help extinguish the fire. We commend you for coming out in the open, bro.”