Filipinos are going after host Raymond Gutierrez for throwing a party amidst the pandemic, one that allegedly led to the closure of a Taguig City restaurant.
Photos of Gutierrez’s birthday bash at La Picara Restaurant started spreading on social media during the weekend. It showed him partying with sister-in-law Sarah Lahbati, celebrities Yassi Pressman, Issa Pressman, and basketball player Kobe Paras, all of whom appeared in photos without face masks.
In one post, Gutierrez was mobbed by cellphone-toting friends taking his picture, all of whom, at least according to the caption, were tested for COVID before the event.
It’s unclear whether it was Gutierrez’s party that led to La Picara’s closure but in an interview with Spot.ph, the restaurant said that they “failed” to keep some customers “properly distanced for a minute of a cake moment.”
The restaurant did not say when this “cake moment” occurred. The restaurant was shut by the Taguig government on Jan. 22 for violating health protocols.
In a statement, Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano told the public that a negative COVID test result “is not a ticket” to party and forget the health protocols mandated by the government.
It’s unclear if she was referring to Gutierrez and his friends.
“A test result detects the virus at one point in time. It only means that COVID-19 is undetected at the time and place you were swabbed. You may be infected hours or days after taking the test – in effect becoming carriers of the virus without you even knowing,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano told influencers to set a good example to the public and “do the right thing for everyone’s safety.”
“People look up to you and admire you. This responsibility should not be taken lightly. Now is the time to use your platform, do good, and perform your civic duty to society,” she said.
It was just in December when Senator Manny Pacquiao was called out for hosting a birthday party. Like Gutierrez, he tried to assure the public that all guests took COVID-19 swab tests before attending the party.
This article, Raymond Gutierrez throws birthday bash amidst pandemic, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.