Actor Richard Gutierrez finally decided to file a legal action against entertainment Web site Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP). On Monday, Richard filed a P25-M libel suit versus PEP at Makati Regional Trial Court for allegedly fabricating a story that besmirched his reputation.
Richard was accompanied by his parents Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama, his sister Ruffa and twin brother Raymond when he lodged his complaint for respondents Jo-Ann Maglipon, PEP's Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor Karen Pagsolingan and writer Ferdinand "Bong" Godinez.
"Hindi ako papayag na basta basta nalang akong sirain at tapak tapakan. Pinalalabas nila akong isang kriminal. Hindi ako papayag nang ganun," Richard said.
He added, "I'm doing this not only for myself but for my family, for my fans and maybe for the whole industry."
Late last month, PEP came out with a story on alleged gun-toting incident that purportedly occurred during a birthday celebration of a director in Pasay City.
According to PEP�s story, Gutierrez purportedly pointed a gun at another actor, Michael Flores, during a fight. PEP said it had two witnesses to verify the report. Both Gutierrez and Flores, however, vehemently denied it.
PEP's editor-in-chief, Joan Maglipon, later apologized to Gutierrez for "the premature and inadvertent uploading of the article" but the actor and his family were not satisfied.
Gutierrez slammed Maglipon for apologizing for the wrong reasons. He pointed out that PEP should have cleared his name and admitted that the story was false.
Acting as Richard's witness is Bubbles Paraiso. According to her, "Pinanghahawakan po namin na talagang walang nangyari. Kasama ko po si 'Chard the whole night. So imposible po na ganung may nangyari. Dahil kung meron sana nakita ko."