Purpose is to get children, says actor's camp
MANILA -- Claudine Barretto was quick to dismiss questions about Raymart Santiago, as the actress sought Thursday to permanently bar her estranged husband from seeing her.
A smiling and soft-spoken Barretto addressed questions at the Marikina Regional Trial Court (RTC) but appeared to shift her tone when Santiago's name was brought up.
"Alam mo, ayoko na siyang pag-usapan. Hindi naman siya importanteng tao, at hindi rin siya sikat. So huwag na natin siyang pag-usapan, 'yun lang," the 34-year-old actress said.
The former "Mula sa Puso" star was accompanied by her legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, to a court hearing on her petition to make permanent a temporary protection order (TPO) against Santiago, which was granted in July.
In her initial request for the TPO, Barretto accused her husband of "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse -- which were detailed in a separate case filed against Santiago in August for his alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004 in late August.
Citing a gag order issued by the Marikina RTC, Barretto and Topacio refused to confirm whether the permanent protection order has already been granted.
As the TPO still stands, Santiago is not able to see his children, who are currently living with Barretto.
The court order prohibits the actor from being within 300 meters of his wife.
Following the recent hospitalization of Sabina, her 9-year-old adopted daughter with Santiago, Barretto said Thursday she is now worried over the health condition of their second child, 6-year-old Santino.
"Si Santino naman ang na-admit ngayon, so sobrang stressful. Sobra akong nag-aalala, pati ako nagkakasakit na rin. Pero syempre maraming-maraming sumusuporta at maraming nagdadasal, so I'm really thankful. So eto, babalik ako agad sa ospital," the actress said.
As Barretto exited the Marikina RTC, she only hurriedly addressed a question about the supposed denial of women's rights group Gabriela of its support for the actress in her legal tiff with Santiago.
"'Yung kabilang kampo nagpalabas niyan, ewan ko," she said.
Santiago, who did not attend the hearing, was represented Thursday by his legal counsel, Atty. Ruth Castello.
The lawyer, in a separate interview, addressed a perjury case Barretto filed on Wednesday. The complaint is in relation to a sworn statment made by Santiago's camp in August for his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which allowed him to see his children in court.
"We actually don't want to be diverted from the main case, kasi the purpose talaga of Mr. Santiago is to get the children. Ang daming sidelines pero we'll deal with them one by one, okay lang. We're still focused on the children," Castello said.