MANILA, Philippines - Celebrity TV host Kris Aquino on Monday apologized to fellow "The Buzz" co-host Ruffa Gutierrez and her mother, Annabelle Rama, after Gutierrez walked out of the show on Sunday, March 7.
In a statement sent via text, Aquino said she had dinner with her brother, Liberal Party presidential bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, who asked why he was being dragged into the issue.
Rama had earlier commented that people should not vote for Noynoy because the Aquino family was now becoming too proud even though the Liberal Party senator had yet to win.
Aquino said she and Gutierrez had a good working relationship for the past two years when the latter replaced Cristy Fermin as "The Buzz" co-host.
She also maintained that she never meant any malice against Gutierrez when she said that staying "Kapamilya" was much better. Gutierrez is leaving ABS-CBN after signing a non-exclusive contract with TV5 where she will do five shows including a showbiz talk show with Mo Twister and Cristy Fermin.
"I would like to extend a loving hug to Ruffa. I viewed the tape & although I still feel I gave my comment w/ affection, maybe it made her feel even worse because she's now moving in a new direction," she said in her text.
She added: "It is w/ Ruffa that I enjoyed a healthy working relationship with & I only have good words to say about her. To Ruffa, I sincerely apologize for causing u hurt. My brother Noynoy would like to add that we live in a democracy, one where we are very free to make our own choice for president."
Aquino also noted Rama disliked Noynoy and the Aquino family because of their association and "vocal proclamation of admiration for Dingdong [Dantes] and his selfless contribution to help Noy's presidential bid."
Dantes, a GMA-7 talent, is considered the biggest threat to the leading man status of Rama's son, Richard Gutierrez.
In her statement, Aquino also apologized to Rama for any distress that she and her family caused. "Hindi po ako mayabang, kaya ako nagpapakumbaba ngayon," she said.
She also said she told her brother that she is willing to move elsewhere if he wins the presidency and she is deemed a liability.
"I promised Noy that if he does win, and I'm a cause of stress for him and his presidency, I'll gladly take my 2 boys to live anywhere there is TFC so that I can continue to work but with our overseas Filipino brothers & sisters," she said.
She said Noynoy reprimanded her by saying: "Dinner daw yun- hindi teleserye ko."
Ruffa walks out of "The Buzz"
Rama admitted Sunday that she asked her daughter Ruffa to leave "The Buzz" set after she became fed up with co-host Aquino's constant interruptions during the show. "Naiinggit siya kay Ruffa siguro," Rama said during a phone interview over the talk show "Showbiz Central."
"Umiyak si Ruffa. Kanina pa, sa dressing room. Sabi ko, umalis ka na diyan sa The Buzz... Siya kasi makulit. Siya gusto niya magtrabaho. Ruffa, naiintindihan kita, nagtatrabaho ka sa ‘The Buzz’. Pero kung babastusin ka ni Kris eh hindi naman na tama iyon. At hindi ka lumalaban, eh binabara ka niya lagi. Ba't naman ganoon? Pinapabayaan mong api-apihin ka diyan?" she told host Pia Guanio.
Rama said that she already told ABS-CBN bosses that she was pulling out her daughter from the show.
"Ako, nagpaalam ako kay Cory [Vidanes, ABS-CBN Channel Head], kay Charo [Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN President], at saka kay Linggit Tan [ABS-CBN Head of Entertainment Production] na ipu-pull-out ko na si Ruffa. I did not tell them what's the reason, pero sa ginawa niya kay Ruffa... [kailangan ko sabihin sa] taumbayan, kaya ko pinull-out si Ruffa sa The Buzz, unang-una, pambabara ni Kris sa kanya di ko na ma-take," she said during the "Showbiz Central" interview.
"Ruffa, alam kong addict ka sa trabaho. Pero pag sa trabaho mo naman, kapag ginaganoon-ganoon ka ng mga kasama mo, hindi na tama 'yong ganyan. Kaya tama na pinaalis ko siya [at] mabuti na nakinig ka sa nanay mo," she said.
She also had some harsh words for Aquino.
"Kaya ako'y nananawagan sa taumbayan na huwag niyo na iboto si Noynoy [Aquino, Kris's brother running for the presidency], kasi hindi pa nga nananalo si Noynoy eh ang yabang-yabang na ni Kris. Akala mo siya na ang may-ari ng showbiz," she said during the interview.
Ballsy defends Kris
Aquino's older sister, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, meanwhile defended Aquino from comments that she is turning into a liability for Noynoy.
"I don't think she's a liability. Everywhere I go they ask about Kris and am told they love her," she said.
Ballsy said Kris has been a big help in raising funds for their brother's presidential bid. Asked if Kris was turning Noynoy's campaign all about herself, she replied: "Of course not. That's so unfair naman. If you know Kris, you will see what a big, kind and generous heart she has."
Talent manager and columnist Lolit Solis, meanwhile, urged Kris to take a leave from showbiz talk shows for the duration of the campaign.
Solis said all of Aquino's words and actions could be twisted and used to attack Noynoy's campaign. Kris currently hosts "The Buzz" while she is a judge on ABS-CBN's talent show "Pilipinas Got Talent." She is also part of the cast of the primetime teleserye "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo."
She is currently on leave from her nightly gossip show "SNN."
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting earlier urged celebrity endorsers such as Kris Aquino and Willie Revillame to take a leave from their shows during election season. Aquino, however, said she is banned from using her shows to promote the candidacy of her brother.
Despite her walkout, Gutierrez has stated in her Twitter account that she will continue to support Noynoy's candidacy.