Bulgar editor breaks silence in legal trouble over tabloid's Catriona Gray fake nude photo

by Rachelle Siazon
Aug 5, 2020
Bulgar entertainment editor Janice Navida insists that publishing the fake nude shot of Catriona Gray (in photo) was not intended to destroy Miss Universe 2018's reputation. Navida said: "We are here not to be your enemy but to help you clear your name..."
PHOTO/S: CTTO via @catrionauniverse Instagram

Nanindigan ang Bulgar na hindi intensiyon ng tabloid sirain ang reputasyon ni Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

Bahagi ng sulat ni Bulgar entertainment editor Janice Navida kay Catriona (published as is):

"I understand how you felt when this news came out.

"It's a natural reaction of a person being destroyed helplessly, especially you're holding the most prestigious title.

"But please consider to understand that we are here not to be your enemy but to help you clear your name 'coz we know the feeling that you are being talked about behind your back and you have no way to defend yourself."

Kaugnay ang sulat sa inilathalang fake nude photo ni Catriona sa Facebook page ng Bulgar noong July 18 at sa mismong tabloid noong July 19.

Hindi iyon pinalampas ni Catriona, 26.

Sinabi ng Filipino-Australian beauty queen na siya ay "extensively offended" at "blatantly shamed" dahil pinalabas daw ng Bulgar na siya ang babaeng nasa "fake nude" photo, gayong walang katotohanan ito.

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Umalma rin si Catriona sa sinabing nitong unverified information at sensationalized headline na ginamit ng Bulgar sa pagbabalita ng "malicious photo."

Sa tulong ng kanyang legal counsel na si Josabeth "Joji" Alonso, noong July 30 ay pinadalhan ni Catriona ang Bulgar ng demand letter para sa reklamong cyber libel at libel.

Ipinunto ng abogada na bukod sa pekeng topless photo, ang dalawa pang bathtub photos ni Catriona na ginamit ng Bulgar sa Facebook post at tabloid article ay pawang mga kuha sa endorsement shoot ng isang clothing brand.

Malisyoso raw ang pagkakahalo ng mga lehitimong bathtub photos sa pekeng nude photo.

Dahil sa "immeasurable damage" daw nito sa reputasyon ni Catriona, humihingi ang kampo ng beauty queen ng, una, public apology at, pangalawa, PHP10M danyos, mula sa Facebook page administrator ng Bulgar, entertainment editor na si Janice Navida, at writer na si Melba Llanera.

Nailathala ang bahagi ng demand letter ni Catriona sa eksklusibong ulat ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) noong Biyernes, July 31.

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Noong araw ding iyon ay nakipag-ugnayan ang PEP.ph sa kampo ng Bulgar para hingan ito ng opisyal na pahayag hinggil sa isyu.

Hindi sila nagpabigay ng pahayag.

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BULGAR CAMP SAYS IT POSTED A DISCLAIMER

Gabi na ng Agosto 4, Lunes, nang matanggap ng PEP.ph mula kay Navida ang kopya ng sulat na ipinadala nito kay Catriona at Atty. Alonso noong August 3.

Inihayag dito ni Navida na hindi raw gawain ng Bulgar ang manira ng reputasyon ninuman, kundi ang maghayag ng balita para sa kaalaman ng publiko "in the most balanced way that we can."

Sa loob ng dalawampu't walong taon daw ng tabloid sa industriya, mayroon itong kredibilidad bilang isang "non-biased media entity."

Ito ang inilabas ng Bulgar na caption sa Facebook teaser nito ng tabloid article (emphasis supplied): "After ng bantang pasabog ni Clint... NUDE PHOTOS NI CATRIONA, KALAT NA! OMG!!! Basahin ang detalye sa INSIDER ni Melba Llanera bukas, Linggo. Bili na ng Bulgar para lagi kang updated!!"

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Inirereklamo ito ng kampo ni Catriona.

Ganito naman ang headline sa Bulgar article (emphasis supplied): "After ng bantang pasabog ni Clint... Nude photos ni CATRIONA, kalat na!"

Inalmahan din ito ng kampo ni Catriona.

Depensa rito ni Navida, sa nilalaman ng Bulgar article ay may pagtatanong kung lehitimo ang topless photo ni Catriona. Ito raw ay nagsisilbing disclaimer.

Paliwanag ng Bulgar entertainment editor (emphasis supplied): "That is why when we learned that there's this indecent topless photo that allegedly claims to be you, our intention is to inform the readers, not just you and your camp, that someone, or maybe a group of people, is doing this, spreading the obscene photo through online to destroy your name."

Dagdag nito, "This, in fact, is supported by the article that was published in our newspaper under the Insider column of Ms. Melba Llanera dated July 19, 2020.

"It's clearly stated there that 'Kung sakaling totoo ito at hindi edited lang, ‘di na namin papangalanan pero tiyak na may ideya na ang ibang tao kung sino ang maaaring nasa likod ng paglalabas nito.'"

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Ani Navida, nais lamang ipabatid ng Bulgar kay Catriona na tila may "ibang tao" sa likod ng kumalat na "indecent topless photo."

Sabi pa ng editor (published as is): "And we also would want to reiterate that even when we decided to publish in print and uploaded the said photo in our FB page, we did our part to protect you — because you deserve that — by not releasing the original photo sent to us, instead we blurred the private part because our intention is not to show the readers that 'eliciting to the mind' portion but just to inform everyone that there's someone or maybe a group of people that want to destroy you."

BULGAR EDITOR: NO INTENTION TO MALIGN CATRIONA

Pinanindigan din ni Navida na naging patas ang Bulgar sa pagbabalita ng kontrobersiyang kinasangkutan ni Catriona.

Naiintindihan daw ng entertainment editor na inaalagaan ni Catriona ang pangalang naipundar nito matapos siyang magdala ng "pride" sa bansa bilang Miss Universe 2018.

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Kaya raw sa isang hiwalay na news article, inilathala ng Bulgar ang paglilinaw ng kampo ni Catriona na "fake" at "digitally altered" ang topless photo na inuugnay kay Catriona.

Paliwanag ni Navida: "And so when we received the copy of the topless photo which claims as you, and this came out in the middle of the enthralling actions being made by your ex-boyfriend, Clint Bondad, the first thing that got into our mind is of course, is this true or fake?

"Of course, you got our sympathy without asking for it 'coz as I’ve said, women should be respected at all times.

"And this is evident in the articles being published in our newspaper and online platform, BULGAR, for consecutive days from the time the controversy involving you and Mr. Bondad started."

Suportado rin daw ng Bulgar ang aksyon ni Catriona na ipahanap sa National Bureau of Investigation ang may pakana ng pagpapakalat ng "fake" at "digitally altered" topless photo.

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Dagdag ni Navida (published as is): "I hope too that you may see our intention to help you in clearing your name to the whole universe that the nude photo circulating online is fake and edited only, that’s why when we learned about your clarification on the matter, we quickly posted your camp's statement on our Facebook page and website to enlighten everybody about that controversial photo."

Sa kabuuan ng sulat ni Navida, hindi nito ibinigay ang public apology na hinihingi ng kampo ni Catriona.

Ang tanging sinabi ng entertainment editor ay hindi pa niya personal na natatanggap ang kopya ng demand letter ng abogado ni Catriona.

Ani Navida, hindi pa siya pumapasok ng opisina ng Bulgar—kunsaan ipinadala ng abogado ang demand letter noong July 30—dahil siya ay nakasailalim sa "quarantine" sa loob ng "14 days."

Sinasabing tumangging tanggapin ng Bulgar ang demand letter noong July 30 dahil hindi pumasok ang isang respondent at ang dalawa pa ay hindi naman office based.

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Bulgar entertainment editor Janice Navida insists that publishing the fake nude shot of Catriona Gray (in photo) was not intended to destroy Miss Universe 2018's reputation. Navida said: "We are here not to be your enemy but to help you clear your name..."
PHOTO/S: CTTO via @catrionauniverse Instagram
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