As expected, “Paparazzi Showbiz Exposed” returned to the air on Saturday without Ruffa Gutierrez, who hastily quit the show after the June 23 telecast after feeling disrespected on her birthday celebration.
“As of June 27, 2012 I have formally submitted my resignation letter to Mr. Perci Intalan, Entertainment and Creative Head of TV5,” Ruffa, who joined “Paparazzi” in early 2010, said in a statement.
“The values and the principles that the show stands for are no longer aligned to what I wish for myself and for my children and even the causes I stand for,” she added.
Ruffa took offense at the “Bulong ng Palad” segment where her co-hosts took turns whispering a personal question to her concerning three of her ex-boyfriends, Zoren Legaspi (a co-host on the show), Aga Muhlach, and Robin Padilla.
“From this day on, I will no longer be part of Paparazzi. I will never tolerate DISRESPECT in any form done to me, to my children or to my beloved viewers,” Ruffa said on Twitter immediately after the June 23 show.
Although some of her Twitter followers urged the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to penalize the program, MTRCB chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares said the board had reviewed the controversial segment and found no “blatant abuse” to merit any further investigation.
The production staff issued their own statement during the show on Saturday: “Sa gitna ng mga kaganapang ito, nalulungkot ang lahat ng bumubuo ng programang ‘Paparazzi Showbiz Exposed’ dahil hindi nagustuhan ng host na si Ruffa Gutierrez ang naging takbo ng mga pangyayari noong Sabado.
“Kung sa gayon pa man, nais naming iparating na hindi intensyon ng programa na makasakit ng kanyang mga damdamin sa anumang paraan. Hangad naming tuluyan nang matuldukan ang isyung ito at magpatuloy ang magandang karera ng bawat isang nauugnay sa intrigang ito.”
In the panel discussion that followed, Zoren Legaspi confessed that he apologized to Ruffa after a phone conversation with her publicist, Jun Lalin.
“Tumawag agad ako sa kanya at nag-text ako, nag-apologize ako whether may kasalanan ako o wala. Ayoko na kasing lumalaki yung isyu,” he explained.
Cristy Fermin — who had previously defended the staff against the attacks of Ruffa’s mother and manager, Annabelle Rama – also took a conciliatory tone.
“Ang hangad ko ngayon,” she said, “mula sa puso ko, sana pagkatapos ng lahat ng ito, tayo ay sumulong na at kalimutan na ang lahat ng ito. Ito ba ay palalawakin pa natin, magka-Kapatid, iisang istasyon?”
Asked by Zoren how she feels about Annabelle’s threat of a return engagement of their 1995 feud, Cristy retorted, “Hindi natin mapipigil ang tao kung ano interpetasyon nila dun. Pero hindi rin naman siguro tayo uupo na lang para dikdikin”
Mr. Fu said he and Ruffa have already made their peace to each other through text messages.
Co-host Dolly Ann Carvajal and guest co-host, Leyte congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez were not present the previous Saturday but likewise urged everyone to move on.
Another guest co-host, Gelli de Belen, still wondered if Ruffa’s resignation was indeed final.
“Malamang final na yung upuan mo diyan, Gelli,” Zoren quipped.
Ruffa only resigned from “Paparazzi” and not TV5. She is in the cast of the Kapatid Network’s upcoming fantasy series, “Enchanted Garden”.