Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto. File photo
Actor accused of 'making faces' during hearing
MANILA -- Raymart Santiago isn't convinced that his estranged wife, Claudine Barretto, was "bullied" by his brother amid a legal battle involving the former couple and their two children.
The 40-year-old actor on Tuesday afternoon attended a court hearing on a petition for a permanent protection order filed against him by Barretto, his spouse of seven years.
The petition stems from the alleged "physical, verbal, psychological, and even economical" abuse of Raymart against Claudine, as well as their two children, which the actor has repeatedly denied.
Citing a gag order, both camps refused to detail the court proceedings on Tuesday. The actress' legal counsel, however, appeared confident about their chances, saying, "It's looking good for us."
After the hearing, which lasted two hours at the Marikina Regional Trial Court, Santiago was asked to address his wife's allegations of "bullying" against the actor's brother, singer-host Randy.
"Wala namang sinasabi si Randy na ano... He was just protecting me. Parang... I don't know, baka she's overreacting," he told ABS-CBN News.
"Parang hindi naman bully siguro 'yung ginawa ng kapatid ko sa kanya, kasi sa mga nabasa ko, parang wala naman sinabi si Randy na nakaka-offend," he added.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News on August 6, Randy asserted that his brother is not capable of hurting Barretto or their children, saying only dedicated fans of the actress would believe her allegations. The former noontime show host also expressed confidence that the "truth will prevail."
Raymart 'making faces'?
Santiago was also asked to address another supposed case of bullying, when he allegedly "made faces" at Barretto during Tuesday's hearing to annoy his former partner.
The actor only laughed, saying, "Oh, sinabi niya 'yon?"
Referring to his legal feud with Barretto, which also includes a custody battle over their two children, Santiago said he will leave it up the court to arrive at a compromise.
"Sa akin, nasa korte na lahat, eh. Respetuhin na lang natin 'yung korte," he said.
Barretto, for her part, said Tuesday that taking to court her marital woes is meant to assure she will no longer be a victim of oppression and abuse.
"Mas stronger na ako ngayon, mas kaya ko na harapin ang laban na 'to para sa mga anak ko, syempre. Kailagan na rin malaman ng lahat kung ano ba talaga ang totoo, at heto na, babangon na, lalaban na, at hindi na ako magpapaapi. Hindi na mauulit 'yon," she said.
The actress has said she is set to file another case against Santiago for his alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.