[PHOTO -ALBERT and Liezl Martinez: Together in good times and bad]

MANILA, JUNE 15, 2012 (INQUIRER) By: Marinel R. Cruz - Albert Martinez would rather keep mum about the squabble between his mother-in-law, Amalia Fuentes, and talent manager Annabelle Rama “because getting involved would help no one.”

The feud between the two feisty women began in April, when Annabelle attended the wake of Amalia’s husband, Joe Stevens, reportedly wearing a red outfit. This offended Amalia, and a word war between them ensued on Twitter. This resulted in Amalia filing a libel suit against Annabelle’s daughter Ruffa Gutierrez, whom she accused of posting malicious comments about her on the Web.

“I don’t meddle … I’d rather keep quiet, especially if what I say or do will not improve the situation,” Albert told the Inquirer. “I have no problem with my mother-in-law. It’s just that … right now, I have so much on my plate.”

In remission

Albert’s wife, former actress Liezl Martinez, has been battling breast cancer for four years now. In December 2010, she announced that her cancer was in remission. “She’s okay now,” Albert said. “She is being examined periodically to monitor her health.”

He said Liezl became depressed when she first found out about her illness. “But she has come to accept it, knowing her entire family is behind her. We’re all doing our part to help her fight, and taking one day at a time.”

Albert said his part consists mainly of making sure Liezl lives “as normal a life as possible.” He explained: “We simply enjoy family life. We travel — that’s Liezl’s favorite thing. Every opportunity, every break I get, we go somewhere to relax.”

He is happy that her work as board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) helps take her mind off things. “She’s excited to wake up every morning to go to work. She obviously enjoys what she’s doing.”

Liezl was a member of the adjudication committee that issued a 20-day preventive suspension against the TV5 public affairs program “T3: Kapatid, Sagot Kita.” In the program’s May 7 episode, hosts Ben, Raffy and Erwin Tulfo threatened Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto following the mauling of their eldest brother, Inquirer columnist Mon Tulfo.

Albert said they didn’t even discuss the case. “Liezl is a very fair person. She was just part of a team. It wasn’t a personal thing.”

The actor is currently in the cast of ABS-CBN’s fantasy-drama, “Princess and I.”

Amalia Fuentes sues Rama for libel Amalia Fuentes sues Rama for libel By: Julie M. Aurelio Philippine Daily Inquirer

[PHOTO- Amalia Fuentes and Annabelle Rama. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO]

MANILA, Philippines—Another former actress filed a charge of libel on 11 counts against talent manager Annabelle Rama at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday for statements the latter posted on her Twitter account.

Amalia Fuentes also charged television host and Philippine Star columnist Bianca Gonzales with libel.

According to Fuentes, Gonzales wrote in her column that Rama had told her that Fuentes and Rama’s husband, actor Eddie Gutierrez, used to have a romantic relationship.

Fuentes, however, denied this and said that the libelous statement had gravely damaged her reputation.

Meanwhile, a Quezon City court junked Rama’s plea for a 90-day suspension of her arraignment on the 14 counts of libel filed against her by former actress Nadia Montenegro.

In a three-page order, Judge Eleuterio Bathan of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 92 said he found no merit in Rama’s petition.

At the same time, he formally issued separate arrest warrants for each count of libel filed against Rama following her failure to attend her scheduled arraignment last Monday.

The talent manager had asked the court to move her arraignment to Sept. 10, saying she had an appeal pending in the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

However, according to the court, the revised rules on criminal procedure state that suspensions can only be allowed if the accused is mentally ill, if there exists a prejudicial question or if there is a petition for review pending before the justice secretary or the Office of the President.

The judge noted that the reason cited by Rama was not among the conditions stated in the rules.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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