Nagbigay ng kanyang panig ang editor-in-chief ng YES! magazine at PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na si Jo-Ann Maglipon kaugnay ng balitang kumakalat na "minura" siya diumano ni Gretchen Barretto dahil sa pagkalat ng credit-card incident na kinasangkutan ng aktres.
May lumalabas kasing isyu na dahil sa PEP unang lumabas ang kuwento ng pumalyang credit card ni Gretchen, minura raw ng aktres ang editor ng entertainment online site.
"Hindi totoo na nagkaroon ng insidente sa amin ni Gretchen tungkol sa credit card," pahayag ni Jo-Ann. "Ang huling pag-uusap namin ni Gretchen ay noong Abril pa, late April. Ang credit-card issue ay lumabas lang nitong June, so that's impossible."
AN EMOTIONAL CALL. Ayon kay Jo-Ann, mukhang nagkahalu-halo na ang mga pangyayari sa isipan ng mga tao. Iba raw ang credit-card issue na lumabas sa PEP nitong Hunyo at iba ang Gretchen Barretto-Dody Puno issue na lumabas sa YES! noong Mayo.
Sahuli raw niyang pakikipag-usap kay Gretchen noong Abril, ang napag-usapan nila ay tungkol sa May 2008 issue ng YES!, kung saan may 14-page article tungkol kay Gretchen na may titulong "Tonyboy, Dody, Ricky & John—What's it all about, Gretchen?"
"It was a long piece," paliwanag ni Jo-Ann patungkol sa write-up. "Gretchen called me around the second day the magazine was out to ask if there was indeed an article. Seems like she hadn't seen it then."
Sinabi raw ng editor ng YES! na meron ngang artikulo, at ito iyong matagal na niyang ihinihingi ng panayam kay Gretchen. Noong panahon daw na binubuo ng YES! ang nasabing artikulo ay makailang ulit humingi ng interview si Jo-Ann kay Gretchen para maibigay nito ang kanyang panig at para na rin malinawan ang mga isyu na kinasasangkutan nito.
Bukod sa isang mahabang text message noong Pebrero ay personal ding humingi ng interview si Jo-Ann ng buwan ding iyon nang nagkita sila ni Gretchen sa burol ng ina ng talent manager na si Ethel Ramos. Naulit ang panghingi ng interview, ayon kay Jo-Ann, nang muling magkita ang dalawa sa 56th birthday party ng yumaong action star na si Rudy Fernandez noong March 3 sa William J. Shaw Pavilion ng Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club, Mandaluyong City.
Sabi ni Jo-Ann, "I asked for an interview at least three times, so she knew I was writing about it. But I don't know if my asking registered with her or she was in denial, but she ignored all these requests. At the same time, she was issuing scattered statements to some reporters and was coming out in The Buzz where she was being asked about Dody Puno. It was then that she had formally made Dody news, whether she understood it or not."
Dagdag na paliwanag ni Jo-Ann, "As reporters, we can write around the subject. We're not confined to just interviewing the subject. In fact, if the subject refuses to be interviewed at all and a reporter still wants to do the article, then nothing in the profession stops the article from being made. YES! magazine went on with the piece in its May issue, and I think she minded."
Nag-insist daw si Gretchen na hindi niya alam na may lalabas na artikulo, at doon na umikot ang kanilang usapan. Bagamat inamin ni Jo-Ann na naging "emotional" ang pag-uusap nila ng aktres ay wala naman daw binitawang masakit na salita ang aktres laban sa kanya.
"In fairness to Gretchen, she did not curse me. She might have cursed the wind and the world, but she did not curse me. Hindi niya ako minura," diin ni Jo-Ann.
"It was a very emotional call, but she did not curse me. And I might add that I wouldn't have allowed anyone to curse me, in any case. If that had happened, I might have said, ‘Excuse me, I don't have to take this,' and ended the conversation, but there was no need for any of that because the incident never happened."
OLD FRIENDS. Sa panayam ng PEP kay Boy Abunda, ang TV host na tumatayong manager ni Gretchen, noong Miyerkules, June 25, sinabi nitong wala siyang alam kung ano man ang current status ng relationship nila Gretchen at Jo-Ann.
"I am not privy to that because Jo-Ann and Gretchen have a personal relationship outside of me. Kaibigan ko rin si Jo-Ann. Kaibigan at talent ko si Gretchen. Hindi ako privy sa kung anong nangyayari sa kanila," paliwanag ni Boy.
Nabasa ni Jo-Ann ang nasabing pahayag ni Boy at sumang-ayon naman ito. "Tama si Boy nung sinabi niyang may personal relationship siya kay Gretchen at sa akin na independent of each other, at ako naman din ay may tinitignang relationship sa kanya na labas sa relationship ko kay Gretchen. And it should be that way, if we're to be professionals."
Sa pag-alaala ni Jo-Ann, "There was a time, for about three years, when Gretchen and I really enjoyed each other's company. Gretchen showed me a side to her that was playful, nice, warm, and kind. I enjoyed her. I enjoyed our phone calls and the little gatherings that we managed between us.
"I must admit, however, that in the last year she has chosen to stay away and chosen to be with other reporters, which is her prerogative. I don't know exactly how she sees me at this stage, although all these issues now seem to point to an uneasy state of affairs. I suppose this uneasiness happens all the time between reporters and the stars they write about. I really would've wanted things to go differently between us though."