Nagbigay ng kanyang panig ang editor-in-chief ng YES!magazine at PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na si Jo-Ann Maglipon kaugnayng balitang kumakalat na "minura" siya diumano ni Gretchen Barretto dahil sapagkalat ng credit-card incident na kinasangkutan ng aktres.
May lumalabas kasing isyu na dahil sa PEP unang lumabas angkuwento ng pumalyang credit card ni Gretchen, minura raw ng aktres ang editor ngentertainment online site.
"Hindi totoo na nagkaroon ng insidente sa amin ni Gretchentungkol sa credit card," pahayag ni Jo-Ann. "Ang huling pag-uusap namin niGretchen ay noong Abril pa, late April. Ang credit-card issue ay lumabas langnitong June, so that's impossible."
AN EMOTIONAL CALL. Ayon kay Jo-Ann, mukhang nagkahalu-halo na ang mga pangyayari sa isipanng mga tao. Iba raw ang credit-card issue na lumabas sa PEP nitong Hunyo at ibaang Gretchen Barretto-Dody Puno issue na lumabas sa YES! noong Mayo.
Sahuliraw niyang pakikipag-usap kay Gretchen noong Abril, ang napag-usapan nila aytungkol sa May 2008 issue ng YES!, kung saan may 14-page article tungkolkay Gretchen na may titulong "Tonyboy,Dody, Ricky & John—What's it all about, Gretchen?"
"It was a long piece," paliwanag ni Jo-Ann patungkol sawrite-up. "Gretchen called me around the second day the magazine was out to ask if there was indeed an article. Seemslike she hadn't seen it then."
Sinabi raw ng editor ng YES! na meron ngang artikulo, at itoiyong matagal na niyang ihinihingi ng panayam kay Gretchen. Noong panahon dawna binubuo ng YES! ang nasabing artikulo ay makailang ulit humingi nginterview si Jo-Ann kay Gretchen para maibigay nito ang kanyang panig at parana rin malinawan ang mga isyu na kinasasangkutan nito.
Bukod sa isang mahabang text message noong Pebrero aypersonal ding humingi ng interview si Jo-Ann ng buwan ding iyon nang nagkitasila ni Gretchen sa burol ng ina ng talent manager na si Ethel Ramos. Naulitang panghingi ng interview, ayon kay Jo-Ann, nang muling magkita ang dalawa sa56th birthday party ng yumaong action star na si Rudy Fernandeznoong 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 threetimes, so she knew I was writing about it. But I don't know if my askingregistered 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 andwas coming out in The Buzz where she was being asked about Dody Puno. Itwas then that she had formally made Dody news, whether she understood it ornot."
Dagdag na paliwanag ni Jo-Ann, "As reporters, we can writearound the subject. We're not confined to just interviewing the subject. Infact, if the subject refuses to be interviewed at all and a reporter stillwants to do the article, then nothing in the profession stops the article frombeing made. YES! magazine went on with the piece in its May issue, and I thinkshe minded."
Nag-insist daw si Gretchen na hindi niya alam na may lalabasna artikulo, at doon na umikot ang kanilang usapan. Bagamat inamin ni Jo-Annna naging "emotional" ang pag-uusap nila ng aktres ay wala naman daw binitawangmasakit na salita ang aktres laban sa kanya.
"In fairness to Gretchen, she did not curse me. She mighthave cursed the wind and the world, but she did not curse me. Hindi niya akominura," diin ni Jo-Ann.
"It was a very emotional call, but she did not curse me. AndI might add that I wouldn't have allowed anyone to curse me, in any case. Ifthat 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 theincident never happened."
OLD FRIENDS. Sa panayam ng PEP kay Boy Abunda, ang TVhost na tumatayong manager ni Gretchen, noong Miyerkules, June 25, sinabinitong wala siyang alam kung ano man ang current status ng relationship nilaGretchen at Jo-Ann.
"I am not privy to that because Jo-Ann and Gretchen have apersonal relationship outside of me. Kaibigan ko rin si Jo-Ann. Kaibigan attalent 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-ayonnaman ito. "Tama si Boy nung sinabi niyang may personal relationship siya kayGretchen at sa akin na independent of each other, at ako naman din ay maytinitignang relationship sa kanya na labas sa relationship ko kay Gretchen. Andit should be that way, if we're to be professionals."
Sa pag-alaala ni Jo-Ann, "There was a time, for about threeyears, when Gretchen and I really enjoyed each other's company. Gretchen showedme a side to her that was playful, nice, warm, and kind. I enjoyed her. Ienjoyed our phone calls and the little gatherings that we managed between us.
"I must admit, however, that in the last year she has chosento stay away and chosen to be with other reporters, which is her prerogative. Idon't know exactly how she sees me at this stage, although all these issues nowseem to point to an uneasy state of affairs. I suppose this uneasiness happensall the time between reporters and the stars they write about. I reallywould've wanted things to go differently between us though."