La Picara, which is owned by Spanish expats Isabel Calvo and Felipe Antonio Díaz, defied the community quarantine restrictions to host the birthday party of Raymond Gutierrez, from the famous showbiz clan.
Snapshots from the party uploaded online showed guests crowding around Gutierrez inside the restaurant. One of the photo’s caption read: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @mond! [champagne glasses emoji] Note: everyone was PCR tested.”
For the local government, however, the swab test conducted on the guests wasn’t an excuse for the restaurant’s violation.
Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano said the restaurant has been breaking health protocols since September 2020. The owners, he claimed, also turned a deaf ear to warnings by the owner of
One Bonifacio High Street Mall, Ayala Land.
“While we are aggressive in wanting all business to reopen, there are some restaurants and tenants which are just abusive. Their co-tenants are the ones reporting to us their rampant violations,” the mayor said.
Cayetano’s sister-in-law, Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano, took a swipe at the wanton disregard of Gutierrez and his guests for government rules.
“To influencers, the present situation calls for you to set the right example 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 in a Facebook post.
La Picara’s owners might have thought they’re being cute by living up to the restaurant’s name—which means “makulit in Filipino”—but they’re now paying dearly for it.