Former couple Claudine Barretto and Raymar Santiago. File photo
MANILA -- "Pagod na si Raymart sa mga kasinungalingan."
These were the words of Raymart Santiago's lawyer, Atty. Ruth Castelo, when asked how the actor reacted to a televised interview of his estranged wife Claudine Barretto on the controversial feud among her family members.
"Actually, pagod na pagod na si Raymart with all this. He's very tired," Castelo told reporters on Monday. "Kaya if you notice, he does not want to come out in an interview, kasi ayaw na niyang pag-usapan, eh. Pagod na siya sa mga kasinungalingan. Ayaw niya."
Referring to a recent rumor romantically linking Santiago with dermatologist and TV personality Dr. Vicki Belo, Castelo added: "'Yung mga accusations na gano'n, ayaw na. Walang gana si Raymart patulan, wala siyang plano. Hindi niya papatulan 'yung mga cheap attacks on his person."
Barretto earlier said her legal team is looking into alleged bank checks amounting P1,050,000 received by Santiago from Belo in November 2007.
Castelo also answered several other "lies" Barretto detailed in a "Buzz ng Bayan" interview aired Sunday, including the alleged deception of Santiago concerning their marriage.
On wedding, theft case, 'attack'
Barretto accused Santiago of orchestrating a "fake" marriage, saying she regrets marrying him again in a Christian ceremony in 2006, two years after their civil weeding.
Castelo said that the former couple's May 2004 wedding was registered, albeit late by a month, and therefore valid. The lawyer added that the March 2006 wedding was "purely ceremonial."
She noted that considering the couple's ongoing legal battle, it would be easier for Santiago if Barretto's allegation about their marriage were true, but added this is not the case. "If the marriage was really fake, mas madali rin for Raymart, kasi there's no marriage that would bind the parents," Castelo said.
Barretto has accused Santiago of "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse, supposedly dating back to 2002. These are detailed in her legal complaint against the actor for his alleged violation of of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
On Barretto's claim that there was a supposed attempt to harm her in her home recently, Castelo said Santiago's camp investigated the matter by checking with the barangay office and the security group of the subdivision where Barretto lives.
"Her lawyers would know what to do," the lawyer said. "They can file an incident report or have a police report or something. But as far as we're concerned, upon our investigation, there is no such slug, bullet, whatever, that was recovered."
Asked if Barretto directly accused Santiago of being behind the alleged attack, Castelo said, "Hindi naman, kaya lang kasi if there's such an attempt, siyempre Raymart is concerned about the welfare of his children (6-year-old Santino and 9-year-old Sabina)."
"Kaya kung totoo 'yon, he would do something about it. But since there is no truth to the story, it remains a story," she added.
'Simply telling the truth'
Castelo also clarified Santiago's role in a qualified theft case filed by Barretto against her former personal assistants Jennifer Murillo and Malou Pecher.
The case was dismissed in late April after Santiago testified that the alleged stolen items -- Louis Vuitton bags -- were with him and were not taken by either of the respondents.
Santiago's lawyer said the testimony was done without malice, and that he simply said the truth.
Castelo added the same is the case with the testimonies of Barretto's estranged siblings -- Gretchen, Marjorie, and JJ -- supporting Santiago's claims that his wife is mentally ill and has a history of drug abuse.
"It's not 'conniving,' because that's done with malice," Castelo said. "It's just an agreement to tell the truth. They simply wanted to tell the truth."
Asked what are Santiago's next steps concerning his legal feud with Barretto, Castelo said their camp is preparing a petition for the dissolution of the former couple's marriage.
Castelo added: "If you ask Raymart, basta nothing untoward against him, against his children, he can keep quiet. Pero once there is something for him to really stand up and speak up, magsasalita rin 'yan."