‘We are not your enemy’: Bulgar responds to Catriona’s demand for public apology, P10M over fake topless photo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 08:12 PM

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation in July to find those responsible behind the circulation of her fake topless photo online. ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Bulgar on Tuesday responded to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who is seeking P10 million in damages and a public apology over the tabloid’s publication of a fake photo depicting her topless.

Bulgar entertainment editor Janice Navida, one of the respondents along with writer Melba Llanera, addressed Gray in a statement published on the newspaper’s website.

Navida said she received Gray’s July 30 demand letter only on August 3, as she had been in quarantine for 14 days.

Referring to Gray’s legal action, Navida wrote, “It’s really unfortunate and I feel so sorry that we came to this point when we could have talked nicely.”

She noted that Gray’s lawyer, Atty. Jojie Alonso, is “a good friend in the entertainment world.”

Citing Gray bringing pride to the Philippines as the fourth Filipino Miss Universe, Naveda told the beauty queen: “I want you to know that we truly honor and acknowledge all your hard work and effort to build that name and to deserve that most prestigious crown.”

“I personally believe that you’re truly an amazing pride of our country and that’s why we look up to you with highest respect and that we also care for your image.”

Gray’s camp, in her demand letter, said Bulgar has caused “immeasurable damage” to her reputation by publishing the edited photo showing her “topless.”

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Navida pointed out that Bulgar received a copy of the photo “in the middle of the enthralling actions being made by your ex-boyfriend, Clint Bondad.”

Navida was referring to Bondad’s cryptic Instagram posts pertaining to Gray and her current boyfriend, actor Sam Milby,

“The first thing that got into our mind if of course, is this true or fake?” Navida said.

“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.”

Navida claimed that the intention of Bulgar in publishing the photo was 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.”

The article written by Llanera, Navida pointed out, cast doubt as to the authenticity of the photo.

A portion of it read: “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.”

Referring to the excerpt, Navida said Bulgar hopes that Gray can see that their sympathy is with the beauty queen.

Bulgar, she said, also fully supports Gray’s “decision to seek the help of NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) in hunting the person or people that want to destroy your good image and most respected name.”

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“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,” Navida wrote.

“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 those 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.”

Navida said that while Bulgar, the name of the newspaper, “sounds vulgar,” what it actually stands for is “finding and revealing the truth with no bias.”

“I understand how you felt when this news came out,” Navida told Gray. “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 have no way to defend yourself.”

Concluding her statement, Navida said she believes Gray is “smart enough to see clearly the whole situation,” and that she would “understand our side as a media entity.”

“Thank you so much for your most precious time and for giving us the opportunity to be heard. I hope we can have the chance to meet in person in the future.”

Read Bulgar’s full statement below:

Bulgar/ Sison’s Publishing House, Inc.

Bulgar/ Sison’s Publishing House, Inc.

Bulgar/ Sison’s Publishing House, Inc.