MANILA, Philippines - Estrella "Inday" Barretto gave her last words to daughter Gretchen Barretto.
In a statement sent to entertainment journalist Ricky Lo published on Philippine Star on Friday, Inday said that she just wishes Gretchen will be happy.
But Inday still answered all the statements made by son Joaquin "Jay Jay" Barretto and Tanya Montenegro, who both defended Gretchen.
Inday stressed that her first statement given to Lo was actually an appeal to Gretchen to stop attacking her youngest daughter Claduine and not to start a word war.
"This is to respectfully inform anyone curious and concerned that the first statement to Ricky Lo was supposed to put a stop, a plea in fact, to the allegations maligning my daughter Claudine in social media. It was never my intention to prolong it into the World War III level."
"I am back for the last time, now the target of vicious lies and allegations, a leading lady to a teleserye of made-up stories. I was warned that it is hard to win a war against those evil unless one is evil, too. I should be afraid having no money and power to get legal assistance. Many offered to talk on my behalf, people not related but have been part of and witness to our family life. And so having no need for a Limping Cockroach to come out from a hole for a glimpse of light, I stand up unafraid to correct these vicious lies."
Inday also questioned the credibility of Tanya who said that she witnessed how Gretchen went to school with bruises, and didn't have money to pay for food and tuition.
"To Tanya, you say you respect me. Please don’t — keep it— you need that for yourself. I don’t need respect from someone like you. I have plenty of it from where I come from. I know who you are, what you are, but you shocked the world at how you could face the camera so professionally comfortable in lying to tell a story of more than 30 years ago as if you were there when it happened, as if you were part and parcel of our household when not even our cats and dogs know you — tsk, tsk, tsk! — lying to the hilt without batting an eyelash. Unless you were coached to read a prepared story."
"No. 1: No, Tanya, it is never true that Gretchen’s tuition was not paid. School is top priority of our payables. No. 2: No money for recess and lunch? I don’t even want to dignify you on that since you are not a dignified one. No. 3: So you saw Gretchen with a bruise of black and blue? Do you want to insinuate that we did that to her? We have no history of violence. Don’t be dramatic. People might ask you to convince them some more and all these events of 30 years ago, huh?"
On Mother Lily Monteverde's claim that she was the one who always got Gretchen's checks: "To Mother Lily: Yes, Mother Dearest, it is true that I was the one who used to pick up Gretchen’s checks because she was a minor, remember? But it is not true what you said that you know that not a cent went to her. The cents went to pay for, 1) car, 2) driver, 3) yaya, 4) gasoline, 5) food, 6) clothes, 7) and others (kulang pa). I hope you understand being a mother, too. And by the way, we still have the contract we signed with you."
On Robbie Tan's statement that Gretchen worked for him when she was 18 to support her family: "To Robbie Tan: Thank you, Robbie, for having given Gretchen more work because you thought she needed money for the family. But for your information and correction, at age 18 she was no longer with us because she was already living-in with Joey Loyzaga and our family was already in Iloilo. We did not use her money, period, same way you made good business from the projects you made for her. More power to you."
"For the last time on Gretchen being the bread winner, this much I can say: How can she be when her father and I were alive and still are?"
Also Inday insisted that Gretchen never sent her other siblings to school.
"Gretchen sent her siblings to school? Three of them were already out of school when she joined show business at age 14. The projects she had when she was still under my care were never enough to pay for our, 1) rent, 2) electricity, 3) food on the table and 4) pay for the schooling…all of them on that meager income?"
Contrary to Jay-Jay's statement that Gretchen paid for the hospital bill when their father had a heart attack twice, Inday said health insurance paid for the first hospitalization.
The second one was paid by Tonyboy Cojuangco and not by Gretchen.
"The bill for Mr. Barretto’s first heart attack was paid for from a health insurance. The second heart attack that required a bypass, yes, was paid by Tonyboy Cojuangco, something which Gretchen never made us forget. I went to the billing section to settle the bill. I was told that it had already been paid from a PLDT account. We are eternally grateful to Tony for that sincere generosity."
In the end, Inday reiterated her statement that she is now letting go of Gretchen to be happy.
"Gretchen, yes, I am letting you go to set you free from the burden of being a part of our family. Whatever else you want to exact from us to buoy up your portrayal of a damsel in distress that got you the sympathy and brought you to where you are now? Be happy."
"At least from this squabble, the truth has finally come out from the talks that have been going on behind our backs about you being an abused child admitted by you when you made sumbat through what you made Jayjay sign. Thank you that we are able to correct the lies before dad and I close our eyes and give back to your father the dignity he deserves for he really is an honest and principled person."
"Again, for your sake, to remind you with no apologies for the lack of classy cars, bodyguards and bling-blings, our house, our home was what gave you these: A roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothes on your back and the love and care that you think is lacking when you were a nobody and had nothing. God be with you, as He is with us, now that the truth has set us free."
The latest controversy involving the Barretto family stemmed partly from comments on the image-sharing service Instagram, supposedly made by Gretchen, saying that her sister Claudine is not happy that their niece, Julia, is starting to make a name for herself in showbiz.
Julia, the second daughter of Marjorie Barretto, was recently introduced as an artist of Star Magic, the ABS-CBN talent management firm that launched Claudine to stardom until her transfer to another network in 2009.
In response to reports on the alleged exchange on Instagram, Inday had released a statement denying Claudine's supposed plans to "block" Julia's road to stardom.
In the same statement, Inday announced she has disowned Gretchen "in order to save one who has always been there for all, and with all of her love…Claudine."
Subsequent statements made by Joaquin and Gia addressed the issue. The latter sided with her mother and youngest sister, while Joaquin sided with Gretchen, saying Claudine's "condition" should be addressed.