Part 3. Nadia Montenegro talks about her heart ailment and losing Ruffa Gutierrez as a friend

IMAGE Melo Balingit / Noel Orsal

Nadia Montenegro says before she decided to file charges against Annabelle Rama, she sought the help of her then friend Ruffa Gutierrez. “Siya ang unang-una kong sinabihan na, ‘Ruf, parang I want the kids na lang to go to school. Ruffa, I have problems with Tita Annabelle, can you help me? Ruffa, ganito-ganyan,’ nagsusumbong ako kay Ruffa. And I thought na, Raymond, Richard, Ruffa, would at least, you know, gumitna man lang... Wala, e. Siya [Ruffa] pa yung


Nitong nakaraang Linggo, April 15, naibalita sa PEP Alerts ang biglaang pagsugod kay Nadia Montenegro sa Philippine Heart Center.

Sabi ni Nadia sa presscon niya kahapon, Abril 19, sa TJ Resto sa Quezon City, congenital o ipinanganak na siyang may diperensiya sa puso.

“Talagang may diperensiya ako sa puso,” banggit ng dating aktres na nakatakdang humarap sa korte laban sa talent manager na si Annabelle Rama, matapos na i-affirm ng Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office ang 14 counts of libel at 2 counts of unjust vexation and grave oral defamation na isinampa niya laban sa talent manager.

Kasama ni Nadia sa presscon ang kanyang mga abugadong sina Atty. Dexter Lacuanan at Atty. Maggie Abraham, at mga anak na sina Ynna at Anykka Asistio.

Pagpapatuloy na kuwento ni Nadia, “Two years ago, I was even supposed to join this contest, a reality contest on TV but they had to pull me out because they found out that I had a Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

“It is a congenital heart disorder, wherein my heart really doesn’t function well. Sometimes it stops, sometimes it palpitates a lot. I have irregular heartbeats.”

Ayon pa sa website na MedicineNet.com, “Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome is a condition characterized by abnormal electrical pathways in the heart that cause a disruption of the heart’s normal rhythm.”

Ang mga tao raw na may ganitong sakit ay nakakaranas ng sobrang bilis ng pagtibok ng puso na puwedeng ikahilo, ikahimatay, paghahabol ng hininga, at sa mga rare cases ay cardiac arrest at biglaang pagkamatay.

“Siguro talagang nung Sunday, talagang hindi ko na kinaya yung ano, at natakot na rin talaga ako,” sabi pa ni Nadia.

“Because hindi na ako makahinga, nakita na lang ako ni Tanya [Montenegro, Nadia’s sister] na nangingitim na. So, sinugod nila ako sa Heart Center…”

Singit naman si Atty. Lacuanan, “'Tsaka dagdagan ko lang yun, kaya siya tumakbo, I mean, this is something that she’s been going through. Matagal na niyang binibitbit 'yan.

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“Pero natakot siya last Sunday kasi hindi puwedeng iwanan yung laban ng ganun lang, e. Mayroon siyang inumpisahang laban para sa mga bata.

"That’s why I’ve been telling her na rin na she needs to take care of her body. She needs to take care of herself.

“Kaya nga six months na ‘tong kasong ‘to, her natural instinct is immediately say a lot of things. And it was difficult on her part to keep quiet on some of these issues.

“Pero ang posisyon ko kasi ever since, may tamang forum sa lahat ng bagay.

“Kaya ako ngayon, pumayag na ‘kong magkaro’n siya ng press conference kasi this time, hindi lang siya yung nagsasalita, naniwala na ang batas sa kanya. And nasa tamang forum na, para yung parties will be given the opportunity to present their respective evidence in Court.

“Under a controlled and restricted environment. Rather than yung irresponsible name-calling on TV na walang accountability.

“I really just would like to take this opportunity to thank the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for their resolution,” pasasalamat pa ni Atty. Lacuanan.

A GENTLEMAN’S FIGHT NOW. Ipinaliwanag din Atty. Lacuanan kung bakit ngayon lang siya lumitaw kung talagang matagal na pala siyang nagbibigay ng payong legal kay Nadia.

“Kasi from the very beginning, lumapit naman si Nadia sa akin. And I’ve been behind the scenes ever since.

“It’s just that I decided it would be better kung si [Atty.] Maggie po ang humawak at humarap kasi babae yung kalaban, e.

“Pangit naman, for example na, isang lalaki tulad ko, e, baka mamaya kasi kung magkatapat halimbawa sa Court, may maraming masabi at hindi ko rin halimbawang mapigilan ang sarili ko… hindi maganda.

“Pero ngayon, tapos na sila sa Prosecutor’s Office. Nasa Court na ito, hopefully it will be raffled. I think it has been raffled today. Then tama na yung forum.

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“It’s a gentleman’s fight, so to speak. And I consider myself a gentleman lawyer. So, yun lang!” natatawa pang pahayag ni Atty. Lacuanan.

Sabi naman ni Nadia, hindi lang abugado si Atty. Lacuanan para sa kanya, “He’s been a friend of the family for the longest time.

“And he has blessed me with another good friend here, beside me on my left,” tukoy naman ni Nadia sa katabi niyang si Atty. Abraham.

LOSING RUFFA. Kung may bagong kaibigan sa katauhan ni Atty. Abraham si Nadia, nawalan din siya ng isa pang kaibigan dahil sa pagsampa niya ng kaso laban kay Annabelle.

Ayon kay Nadia, “Ruffa [Gutierrez] was the first person I ever texted.

"Nung nagdedesisyon na ‘ko, it took me four months to think things over if I was gonna file a case or not.

“And Ruffa, since she was the one closest to me sa Gutierrez family, and she’s been my friend from the very beginning… she was.”

Halos sabay na nagsimula sa showbiz sina Nadia at Ruffa nung 1980s at naging malapit na magkaibigan bago nangyari ang pagsasampa ng kaso ni Nadia laban sa ina ni Ruffa na si Annabelle.

“Siya ang unang-una kong sinabihan na, ‘Ruf, parang I want the kids na lang to go to school. Ruffa, I have problems with Tita Annabelle, can you help me? Ruffa, ganito-ganyan,’ nagsusumbong ako kay Ruffa.

“And I thought na, Raymond, Richard, Ruffa, would at least, you know, gumitna man lang. Gumitna man lang at tumulong, since like they said, they’re part of the Royal Era management, di ba?

“Wala, e. Siya [Ruffa] pa yung unang-unang nagmura sa ‘kin.

“Hindi ko na alam kung saan ako nagkulang sa paghingi ng tulong sa kanila, na kausapin ang nanay nila,” sabi ni Nadia.

Sa sinabi naman ni Ruffa na hindi na sila puwedeng maging magkaibigan, sagot ni Nadia: “I will respect the judgment of my lawyer.

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“We can be civil when the time comes, but I don’t think any crime will ever pay for the hurt and the pain that her family has caused me, and her mother.

"So, it’s gonna be difficult.

“Sa statement niya, I agree with that. Kasi siya ang unang bumitaw sa akin. She could’ve at least tried [to save their friendship].”

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APPROACHING AGAIN THEIR POTENTIAL WITNESSES. May labinlimang araw para isumite nina Atty. Lacuanan at Atty. Abraham ang kanilang Motion for Reconsideration. Labinlimang araw mula nang matanggap nila ang Resolution ng QC Prosecutor’s Office nung Lunes, Abril 16.

Sa pag-submit daw nila ng kanilang apela ay muli rin daw silang aapela sa mga nilapitan noon para maging witnesses nila.

Mga witness na, ayon kay Nadia, ay malapit din kay Annabelle.

“Merong talents niya [Annabelle], meron ding mga katrabaho niya, meron ding mga nakatrabaho ng mga anak ko na nakita kung paano niya tinrato yung mga bata.

“These people are scared to lose their jobs because you know how Annabelle fights…”

Naiintindihan naman daw ni Nadia ang posisyon ng mga taong gusto nilang kuning witnesses.

Pero ipinapanalangin daw niya na makumbinsi talaga nila’t magawan ng paraan na maging witnesses nila ang mga ito.

“Maybe after this [presscon], kahit papa’no lumakas na rin ang loob nila na, ‘Sige tulungan ko na lang si Nadia na sabihin ang totoo.’

"Yun ang mga ipinapanalangin ko ngayon," asam ni Nadia.

STOP PLAYING THE GAME. Pagkatapos ba ng presscon ay mananahimik bang muli sina Nadia at hindi na muna magsasalita tungkol sa kaso?

Sagot ni Atty. Lacuanan, “I’m hoping that they [Nadia, Ynna, and Anykka] will not play this game anymore. Yung may sinabing masama, sasagutin nila.

“Ako, ang gusto kong mangyari, that they rise above it and be the better person in this dispute.

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“Kasi whether they admit it or not, they are influential in one way or another. The people are looking at how this thing develops.

“So, ang gusto ko, from this conflict, each learn their lessons and become better persons.

"That’s it.”


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