Masalimuot ang issue na kapwa binigyan ng mahabang paliwanag sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ng magkasintahang Illac Diaz at Julia Clarete noong Lunes ng gabi, February 28, nang ma-interview namin ang dalawa sa set ng Bisperas, a Cinemalaya 2011 entry na kasalukuyang sinu-shoot sa direksiyon ni Jeffrey Jeturian.
Si Julia ang isa sa mga aktres ng pelikula. Naroon naman si Illac na bumisita sa kanyang nobya.
Nang kausapin ng PEP si Julia, nag-volunteer siya na banggitin ang issue na wari'y "threatening" sa kanilang pagsasamahan.
Tungkol ito sa isinulat ng comedienne na si Giselle Sanchez sa kanyang kolum ("Gossip Girl") sa Manila Bulletin, na lumabas noong February 22, under the intriguing title: Is That You, Illac, In A Love Triangle?
Ang "love triangle" na tinutukoy, diumano, ay binubuo nina Julia Clarete, Illac Diaz, at Angelica Jones.
Narito ang item na isinulat ni Giselle sa kanyang "Gossip Girl" column sa Manila Bulletin na lumabas noong February 22, Martes:
"I can imagine multi-awarded consultant and debonaire Illac Diaz to be saying this if he had a magic mirror: Mirror, Mirror on the wall? Who's the fairest between the two? The black beauty of "Eat Bulaga" Julia Clarete? Or the white Leghorn board member of Laguna, Angelika Jones Alarva?
"According to my deep penetration agent in San Pablo City, Julia Clarete was reportedly seen storming the San Pablo parish while the churchgoers were coming out from mass.
"Her snitches were right when Julia saw Angelika Jones and Young Global Leader awardee Illac Diaz coming out from church. Her feelings were finally settled to peace when Illac explained that he was just accompanying Angelika to church because it was her birthday.
"It would be rude of him not to do so since the two were partners in a plastic bottle classroom project in barangay San Jose, San Pablo City. So, why, oh why was Julia so green with jealousy she had to travel for three hours from Manila just to catch the two coming out of a church (and they weren't even getting married!)
"Actress turned politician Angelika explains why, 'Before Illac offered his free consultancy services to be my partner in building this public classroom entirely from plastic bottles, Illac and I were dating exclusively. When we started the project, we decided to stop dating so that we could focus all our energies in building and finishing this project. That was the time he started to date Julia and he told me about it. I was also pretty shocked to see Julia in church on my birthday and she did not seem so happy to see me and Illac together.'
"I guess Julia doesn't have to be afraid anymore. After all, it seems that the relationship of Illac and Angelika is purely business after all. In fact the two are often seen brainstorming for more projects together in the hot jacuzzis of the Laguna springs."
ILLAC REACTS. Sa unang bugso ng reaksiyon mula kay Illac, hindi pa man niya nababanggit ang tungkol sa nilalaman ng artikulo ni Giselle, na kanyang inirereklamo sa PEP, naipunto agad niya ang mga naging kasinungalingan diumano ng write-up at ng nagsulat nito.
"It's a lie! It's a lie!" mariing sinabi ni Illac, isang businessman at philanthropist.
"The only thing that's not a lie is, you know, that we're building a bottle school in Laguna for the benefit of the Children of Barangay Malamig. And it's very successful, now nearing completion," banggit ni Illac.
Si Illac ang kasalukuyang executive director ng Shelter Foundation, na ang mga proyekto (schools, lighting systems, infrastructure projects, among others) ay sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga pinunong-lalawigan at mga NGOs o nongovernment organizations.
Ayon pa sa kanya, ang "damaging column" ay,"for us, a distraction on what we're trying to do and we don't know from which quarter it came."
May binanggit si Giselle na "deep penetration agent" na siya diumanong source ng ulat, pero may bahagi rin ang kolum na si Angelica Jones mismo ang na-quote ni Giselle. Na, ayon kay Angelica, she and Illac were "exclusively dating" bago naging girlfriend ni Illac si Julia Clarete.
"Yun pa, there was no dating!" pagtutol ni Illac. "And we even went daw to the jacuzzis?!"
Sa usapan namin sa set, with Julia, tinanong mismo ni Julia ang boyfriend niya: "Nagkita raw kayo ni Angelica sa simbahan, totoo ba?"
"None of these happened," sabi ni Illac. "The thing is, names were mentioned without any respect [for the concerned individuals]!
"I suppose, any decent reporter, or those who cover the entertainment beat, should give their subjects the benefit of the doubt in such sensitive issues.
"But Giselle Sanchez never spoke to Julia first! She knows Julia. She knows me. She knows how we can be contacted before she wrote her piece.
"Feeling ko, in-assassinate kami ng sniper, e. Basta lang tinira kami nang walang laban. That's wrong!"
But since it was a mere "gossip" column, Illac thought, "Giselle actually feels that she is not answerable to anybody and can instigate this kind of thing, no matter how damaging it could be."
MESSAGES FROM GISELLE. Isang bagay na lalong nakapagpagalitdiumano kay Illac ay mayroon daw paraan para ma-contact siya ni Giselle, para linawin ang anumang isyu o tsismis—o lalo kung tsismis nga lang.
Tulad ng pagpapadala ni Giselle ng mensahe kay Illac, thru text, nang kumprontahin na siya ng dating aktor. Ipinadala ni Illac sa PEP ang nasabing mensahe mula kay Giselle para sa kaukulang klaripikasyon.
Sabi ni Giselle: "I'm just going in to give a talk. U may call me at [number] or better, email me everything u want me to write at [email address] so there's no dagdag-bawas when u see it in my column. u have the right to air ur side. it's called the right to fair comment.:) if you still need to speak with me, call me at..."
Ang tila ikinaasar pang lalo ni Illac, nang makausap daw niya sa phone si Giselle at kumprontahin ito at tinanong tungkol sa kanyang column, ang sagot daw ni Giselle: "Ay, ay, ay, hindi pala church! Nag-usap lang kayo [ni Angelica]..." or something.
"Sabi ko," patuloy ni Illac, "'So, that story is changing already. You see, the story has already changed the second time you talked to me.
"You're the writer, you published it, and you're changing it through a mere phone call? Didn't you have any consideration before even writing it?
"Kung isusulat mo, panindigan mo, 'wag mong palitan! Tapos, kailangan ba ako ang mag-defend sa sarili ko?'"
MESSAGES FROM ANGELICA. When confronted, dahil siya ang na-quote ni Giselle as allegedly having "exclusively dated" Illac before he went steady with Julia, nagalit naman si Angelica. Dinenay nito ang isinulat ni Giselle.
Ito naman ang nilalaman ng text message ni Angelica kay Illac, which he shared with PEP: "Ha? What are you talking about? Wala 'ko pina-ra-write up about u.
"Pls. Lang nanahimik ako pwede ba. Wala nga ako pakialam sa buhay nyo. Pls. Lang wag mo ko pagbibintangan. Kayo mag usap ni Giselle."
Ang text message naman ni Angelica kay Giselle: "Sis, pls. clear my name to Illac. Ang nasa isip niya ako nagpasulat sa 'yo. Ang pinag-usapan natin, bottle school.
"Wala akong sinasabing ganun. Nasisira ang name ko at pinagbibintangan ako, wala ako kinalaman dyan."
Apparently, sumagot si Giselle kay Angelica, at itinext ni Angelica kay Illac ang tungkol dito: "She [Giselle] called me. Nagkamali raw siya ng sulat at nag-apologize siya. Pwede ba nananahimik ang buhay ko. Wala akong pakialam sa buhay mo. Masaya ako sa work ko at life ko. Pls. Stop pagbintangan ako!"
At may follow-up text message naman si Giselle kay Illac, patungkol kay Angelica: "Angelika is in panic mode. I hope u go easy on her. maybe just finish the project with her so that u won't gain enemies. u would gain an even better reputation if u finish what u started inspite of all the drama. sakit mo raw magsalita. just still be the gentleman that u always are."
REACTION FROM GLORIA DIAZ. "I've been consulting [people] and everybody says, reckless talaga," sabi ni Illac tungkol sa pagkakasulat ng column ni Giselle.
Kabilang daw sa mga nag-react, in sympathy with Illac and Julia, ay sina Gloria Diaz, na auntie ni Illac, at ng pinsan niyang si Robin Da Roza, also a former actor like Illac.
Kahapon, March 1, may latest information na nabanggit din si Illac sa PEP: "I just found out that Angelica paid Giselle to be an entertainer during her week-long birthday in Laguna. Then the article came out [on February 22].
"It could be why Giselle was so careless, as it was pay back for the concert and hosting gig. So she was not neutral as a journalist..."
"Reckless!" ang salitang ginamit ni 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz.
LEGAL ACTION. May plano bang magsampa ng kasong libelo si Illac laban kina Giselle at Angelica, o pati sa publikasyon, sanhi ng nasabing write-up? O kaya'y kumonsulta sa managers ni Julia sa APT Entertainment?
"We don't know at this point, e. We're looking at all angles," sagot ni Illac.
"What we know is that it was done out of pure malice, that she [Giselle] was so enamoured by the gossip thing that she thought it was the right thing to do, at other people's expense.
"Julia and I both believe nobody knew about this controversy except Giselle, and it existed in a convoluted world of showbiz gimmickry that me and Julia should not be involved, in the first place.
"My Shelter Foundation is very professional. We're recognized around the world for our projects. We're a pioneer when it comes to alternative construction."
DAMAGE DONE. At day's end, no amount of apology or retraction from the gossip columnist could appease Illac.
"It's the irresponsibility... journalistic abuse that's damaging. That's why I'm speaking out... also for the sake of the foundation," sabi pa ni Illac.
"I have my own life now, separate from show business. And I deal with volunteers and donors who could attest to my being morally upright.
"Also, most importantly, for Julia, for the woman she is. She's now a mother, and she's got nothing to do with it, except, you know, love and support me."
Mahalaga kay Illac ang pagtutuwid sa issue para sa relasyon nila ni Julia, at nang huwag manaig ang 'ika niya'y "potential collapse of a relationship" sanhi ng mapanirang pag-uulat.
"Many times, Julia stood up for me," sabi ng boyfriend ng aktres, "and she needs to be defended. Her honor needs to be shielded from these kinds of attacks."
Sa isang taon nilang pagkakaroon ng relasyon, na minahal na rin ni Illac ang anak ni Julia sa dati nitong nakarelasyon, sabi ng dating aktor: "We're pretty happy."
GISELLE'S ANSWER. Tinawagan ng PEP managing editor na si Karen Pagsolingan si Giselle sa telepono ngayong hapon upang kunin ang kanyang reaksiyon sa mga naging pahayag ni Illac.
Nangako si Giselle na magbibigay siya ng kanyang panig bago matapos ang araw na ito.