Raymond Gutierrez has kept mum on the controversy his recent birthday party has drawn over apparent violations of Covid health protocols, which led to the closing down of the party’s venue by Taguig authorities.
“A negative PCR test is not a ticket to socialize without precaution and disregard minimum health protocols,” Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano said on Facebook to explain the local government’s decision on 22 January to shut down La Picara, a Spanish restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) where Raymond, a prominent showbiz personality, celebrated his 37th birthday with friends.
A photo from the party — whose guests reportedly included Raymond’s sister-in-law Sarah Lahbati, sisters Yassi and Issa Pressman, as well as Kobe Paras, among others — was uploaded on social media showing Raymond about to blow the candle on his cake, surrounded by about a dozen people in a tight circle.
A short video followed, with a note that everyone was PCR-tested.
But Cayetano said, “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 are swabbed. You may be infected hours or days after taking the test — in effect becoming carriers of the virus without you even knowing.”
A report on spot.ph said the strict health protocols that were implemented at La Picara were ruined when the cake was brought out and “everybody stood up.”
Said a netizen on Twitter: “Happy birthday and congratulations to Mond Gutierrez and friends for singlehandedly defying Covid restrictions and now shutting down La Picara — which will most definitely result in people losing their jobs. Why aren’t more people talking about this?”
Others speculated what consequences the violators should face over the violation.
One commented: “The restaurant where Raymond Gutierrez had his party was closed yet no charges yet for Mond. You see the double standards?”
Another said: “In BGC, pet owners got dragged to the police station for walking their dogs, moms were harassed by police for taking their kids to the park. So, what will be the consequences for Mond Gutierrez and his guests?”
One netizen tagged the official Twitter account of the City Government of Taguig.
In her Facebook post, Cayetano reminded “influencers” to set the right examples to the public and “use their platform, do good and perform their civic duty to society.”