| Star cager James Yap. File photo
MANILA – The camp of star cager James Yap believes there’s a deeper reason television host Kris Aquino has filed for a temporary protection order (TPO) against her former husband.
The request for a temporary protection order (TPO) against Yap was filed by Aquino on March 15 before a Makati City court, and was granted on the same day with an effectivity duration of 30 days.
The TPO requires Yap to keep a distance of at least 100 meters from Aquino, their son James "Bimby" Yap Jr. and any household member. It also orders the basketball player to stay away from any place frequented by Aquino and their son, such as their home and Bimby’s school.
But Yap’s legal counsel Lorna Kapunan said the TPO filing may just be an afterthought after her client decided not to sign the consent affidavit that would allow Aquino to legally adopt their son.
Aquino and Yap were married in civil rites in July 2005. Their marriage was declared null and void in February last year.
“That is crucial in a marriage kung walang authority ang nagkasal, talagang void at walang bisa ang marriage at ang epekto noon, ang anak ng marriage na iyon are illegitimate. As a result of that petition which Kris filed, Baby James is now an illegitimate child of the both of them,” she said.
“Kris wants to adopt Bimby. The result of that is if a person is adopted, if Bimby is adopted by Kris, James will lose all parental authority over Bimby. If you are not married, you cannot jointly adopt, but the biological father needs to give consent. He did not give consent to the adoption,” she added.
Kapunan said it is "incredible" that Aquino is filing for a TPO three months after Yap allegedly forced himself on her.
“Three months ago pa iyon. Kung totoo talaga iyon, one would logically say, why would James do that? He may be naive but he’s not crazy. There are security guards there, this is the first family, they have security guards. The condo has security guards. If this is really true and she was molested and James physically abused or tried to have carnal knowledge of her, then she should have reported it if not to the barangay or to the police, at least to the security guards. And added security measure,” she said.
Kapunan said this is why they were shocked about Aquino’s most recent move.
“Tinanong namin si James and sadly it has occurred after such time that James refused to sign adoption papers,” she said.
According to Kapunan, Yap has already moved on from his relationship with Aquino, adding that he is no longer romantically involved with her.
“This is not about James versus Kris. I can tell you from what we have learned from James na prior to this petition, there has been no animosity. There has been very great respect for the elder brother, notwithstanding the fact that Kris has used as a threat to James that they are still in power, which we think is uncalled for,” she said.
Calling the Aquino-Yap romance a closed chapter, Kapunan said: “He has moved on and not to intrude into his private life, he has new romantic interest.”
Kapunan said Yap is a “father just wanting to exercise his rights in visitation under the law.”
“That’s why we are wondering bakit naman domestic violence ang ginamit dito? If she really didn’t want visitation rights, then she should have gone to the same court [that nullified their marriage] because an order for visitation and support is never final. The court that ordered it can always modify for the best interest of the child,” she said.
“That’s why to file a separate case for domestic violence, I think is cruel. It’s cruel especially since the child now will be dragged into another case or maybe hindi dapat dumating sa ganito kung totoo man ang sinasabi ni Kris na traumatized si Bimby. The father and mother can still talk to each other if really that is the purpose of the petition,” Kapunan added.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Aquino’s legal counsel Francisco Chavez said Bimby adoption is “totally immaterial and irrelevant” as to why the TV host filed for a TPO.
"Even assuming for the sake of argument that there was such an attempt to apply for adoption on behalf of the son, that is totally immaterial and irrelevant to the issues raised in the petition," the lawyer said.
"The other side, meaning Mr. James Yap, should only limit himself to the issues raised in court," he added.