Around five months since basketball player Ricci Rivero and Los Baños councilor Leren Mae Bautista shut down rumors of a blossoming romance between them, the two have officially admitted to the public over the weekend that they are indeed in a relationship.
It was Ricci who went on his Instagram on Saturday, October 21, to share photos of and with the beauty queen-turned-politician as he expressed his love for her.
“To the girl who i see as a real QUEEN. With all the wrongs hounding me, I’m blessed to have found the right one,” he began on his post.
“Allow me to shield you from things you don’t deserve. Hindi tayo magtatago dahil walang dapat ikahiya. Walang nang agaw at walang inagaw. Walang bibitaw dahil masaya tayong magka hawak kamay.”
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“I love seeing how you genuinely continue to help and care for people everyday despite others trying to ruin your reputation,” he continued. “Rest assured I will be with you in inspiring people to always be better. Thank you for being so selfless and simple.”
He then seemingly hit back at netizens criticizing him since his controversial breakup with Andrea Brillantes when he promised to “never again live a life manipulated by someone’s fantasy.”
“This is our story, hindi dapat iba ang mag kwento ng storya nating dalawa!” he ended.
The comments section of his post was filled with positive and congratulatory messages from fans, friends, and family, although it must be noted that he limited his Instagram replies.
Leren Mae has yet to issue her own statement regarding the matter. It can be recalled that she posted an official statement on her office’s Facebook page last June debunking allegations that she was the cause of Andrea’s breakup with Ricci at the time. “We want to make it clear that these claims are entirely false and have no basis in reality,” the statement read, adding that the councilor is “dedicated herself to serving the community of Los Baños with utmost sincerity and integrity.”
Leren Mae was accused of being the third party to Andrea and Ricci’s relationship, which lasted for a year, when netizens caught Ricci reposting a photo of himself taken by the councilor on his Instagram Stories, which he later deleted. Fans also noted that Ricci and Leren were previously seen together on May 25 at an outreach program, further escalating the rumors.
Two months later in August, the two were again spotted together having a morning jog at the University of the Philippines Los Baños Freedom Park in Laguna and while shopping inside a store. They were then seen in public holding hands last September.
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