MANILA – Gretchen Barretto feels it was her obligation to help the former personal assistant of estranged sister, Claudine.
Nineteen-year-old Dessa Patilan was jailed at the Marikina City Jail for 10 months because of the qualified theft charge filed by the younger Barretto.
She was released from jail last March 17 after Gretchen posted the P60,000 bail.
In an interview with entertainment reporters on Saturday, Gretchen said the only reason she helped Patilan was because she thought it was the right thing to do.
“I feel like obligasyon kong gawin 'yun. Hindi ko 'yun ginawa for any other reason but I feel that it’s an obligation. You give back. Lahat ng blessings ibabalik mo,” she said.
Gretchen said she actually does not like publicizing the matter. “Ayaw ko nga pag-usapan. Kasi when you do something, ayaw ko pag-uspan. Parang wala 'yon,” she said.
Asked if she plans to assist Patilan further, Gretchen said: “Kung ano man 'yun, hindi ko ipapa-televise 'yun. Hindi ko sasabihin sa inyo. Let’s stop at that.”
Upon her release from jail, an emotional Patilan faced the media and publicly thanked Barretto for helping her.
"Salamat po sa kanya, dahil kahit ganito lang po ako, tumulong pa rin po siya sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pag-bail niya sa akin," she said.
Patilan’s counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga, said Gretchen offered to post bail for Patilan "because she thinks that doing the right thing is a good thing to do. 'Di ba, lahat sa atin, kung meron tayong paniniwala na meron tayong isang kabutihan na puwedeng gawin, gawin natin?"
Referring to Patilan's ties with Gretchen, whose publicized with feud Claudine made headlines last year, Mallonga said their camp has always been forthcoming about the "Magkaribal" star's endorsement of the case to her.
"As I said, hindi ko naman inililihim na ang nagdala ng kaso sa akin at ang nakiusap kung puwedeng tingnan mo at kung puwedeng tulungan -- and we handled this pro bono -- was Gretchen," she said.
The lawyer added: "But I told Gretchen, noong umpisa pa lang, na, 'Alam mo, Gretchen, kahit mapawala namin iyan, kailangan niya ng tulong kung sino ang mag-aano ng piyansa sa kanya, for example.' And she said, 'Yes.'"