Richard Gutierrez drops P25 million libel case vs PEP.ph
Actor Richard Gutierrez and the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) editors, led by editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon, reached a peaceful settlement yesterday, February 9, concerning the libel suit filed against PEP for an article published on March 29, 2009, reports GMANews.tv.
Maglipon, together with PEP Managing Editor Karen Pagsolingan and staffwriter Ferdinand Godinez, formally apologized to the Gutierrez family for the erroneous article. GMANews.tv reported that the original PEP post implicated Gutierrez in a serious altercation that lead to gun toting with fellow actor Michael Flores during the birthday party of Zorro director Mark Reyes.
The two parties mutually agreed on a settlement as PEP released this public apology:
"The Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) hereby reiterates that Mr. Richard Gutierrez was never involved in any "heated altercation" or "tutukan ng baril" with Michael Flores or with any other individual on 29 March 2009, during the party of Zorro director Mark Reyes, contrary to an article briefly uploaded on its website on the same day.
"PEP editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon, managing editor Karen Pagsolingan and staffwriter Bong Godinez acknowledge their error; repeat their assurance that they have no malicious agenda against Mr. Gutierrez; and apologize for the publication of the article and their failure to get his side of the story and for the hurt it has caused him and his family."
In an interview with 24 Oras, Gutierrez expressed his relief, "Nakakagaan ng loob siyempre dahil nakakatuwa na finally natapos din itong problemang itong peacefully. Since day one naman talagang hinihingi ko lang sa kanila 'yung apology. [It's a good feeling to know that this issue has finally been resolved peacefully. Since day one, all I've been asking for is their apology.]"
Gutierrez and Maglipon shook hands at the office of DOJ Secretary Agnes Devanadera which signaled the end of the long dispute. The charges were initially filed on April 13, 2009 and were eventually dismissed by the Department of Justice on July 9 due to "lack of probable cause." A resolution was then issued on December 4, reversing the court's earlier decision.
GMA Films President Annette Gozon-Abrogar told 24 Oras that the truce was a positive step which would prove fruitful for both parties involved.