PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) called up Annabelle Rama this afternoon, April 18, to verify an online news item saying that her son, actor Richard Gutierrez, was caught overspeeding at the South Luzon Expressway early this morning.
The report on Inquirer.net stated that the actor was “stopped by traffic enforcers after being caught driving his red Chevy sports car at 178 kilometers per hour.”
The report also mentioned that the actor was driving to Tagaytay City, “when he was flagged down by traffic enforcers on the southbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway, in front of Eton City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.”
In the phone interview by PEP, Annabelle came to her son’s defense, stating that her son was apparently fast asleep on a black Savana van that was being driven by a personal chauffeur.
Annabelle clarified, “Wala nga siyang pulang kotse, e. Black ang kanyang kotse, van—Savana!”
Annabelle said that prior to reacting, "nag-imbestiga muna ako."
She first tried to reach the executive producer of Makapiling Kang Muli, Richard’s upcoming primetime series in GMA-7.
She asked, “Ano bang kotse ni Richard ngayon, ‘day?”
The producer told her, “Yung van niya, Tita. Yung black.”
Annabelle likewise said, “Bago kasi ako mag-react, tinawagan ko muna yung mga staff!
“Ang alam ko kasi andiyan sa news, red na Chevy. Wala naman siyang red na Chevy.
"Saka on the way kasi, tulog siya! Tulog siya.”
Annabelle was as well able to communicate with her son’s driver who confirmed that he and his employer indeed drove the black Savana van on their way to Batangas.
Dismayed by the false report, Annabelle said, “Ayaw kong nasasabi na nasa news kasi hindi naman totoo!
“Ako mismo, kilala mo ako. Magye-yes or no ako, ‘Day, ’no! Magsasabi naman ako ng totoo.”
Annabelle recalled the last time Richard’s driver was caught overspeeding along Commonwealth Avenue in May last year.
“Dati, totoo yun, pero may driver siya. Yung overspeeding dati, ang nag-drive [ay] ang driver. Di ba, na-clear ko na yun dati?
“Ngayon naman, talagang may pagka-foul ang news!"
She reiterated, “Wala siyang kotseng pula, at wala siyang ginamit na Chevy! Magte-taping siya…
“May driver [siya] lagi… di naman magda-drive yun, e! Tulog yun, e.”
RICHARD’S STATEMENT. A short statement from Richard was forwarded by his publicist Jun Lalin to PEP via text messaging.
The actor said about the issue: “I don’t drive going to Tagaytay. I bike going up there regularly..may overspeeding ba sa bike?”