Abrenica is demanding P1 million in moral damages over his "besmirched reputation, sleepless night and serious anxiety," after the network supposedly required him to work for long hours despite feeling ill, and therefore, affecting his performance as an actor.
The complaint, signed by Abrenica's legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, is also calling for P100,000 in examplary damages, and an additional P800,000 in attorneys' and other legal fees.
Speaking with ABS-CBN News and other reporters, Abrenica explained that he had exhausted all efforts to reach an agreement with his home network.
"Sa totoo nga lang po, ayoko po talagang umabot sa ganito," he said. "Ako po 'yung huling taong mag-de-desisyon na malagay sa ganitong kalagayan."
Topacio said GMA-7 left Abrenica "with no choice," pointing out that the actor had already spoken with network executives personally and without the presence of a lawyer.
Their camp, Topacio emphasized, is not out to "start a fight," adding that Abrenica is open to a dialogue with GMA-7 executives concerning a possible termination of his contract.
"Noong talagang hindi na maayos, pinadalhan namin ang GMA-7 ng isang formal letter, hoping they would sit down on what the problem was, but they insisted on the contract," the lawyer said.
Abrenica said he has been considering the move as early as last year, but initially decided against it in the hopes of fixing differences with his home network.
"Sa katunayan po, matagal na po, taon na po. Pero, sabi ko nga, ayaw ko po talagang umabot sa ganito dahil hangga't maaari, gusto ko pong ayusin," he said.
"Pero with the guidance ng mga tao sa paligid ko, guidance po ng mga magulang ko at mula po sa Panginoon, kinailangan ko na pong pumunta sa hukuman," Abrenica added.