'Claudine was put in a hospital,' says brother
MANILA, Philippines -- The brother of Gretchen Barretto expressed shock over a statement made by their mother, Inday, which was published Wednesday, announcing that she is disowning the socialite-actress.
Celebrity sisters Claudine and Gretchen Barretto Composite image
In a statement given to ABS-CBN News on Wednesday, Joaquin, one of seven Barretto siblings, said he is hurt by the allegations made by his mother against Gretchen in defense of their youngest sister Claudine.
"The letter of our mother which was published earlier today was shocking and hurtful. But what bothers me most is that while she attacks my sister, Gretchen, and pictures her as evil personified, she seems to have forgotten the truth," Joaquin said.
"Mom, as you have gone out of [your] way to answer the issues that Claudine ought to answer for herself, maybe it is high time to reflect on things and address these concerns as well," he said.
Joaquin, for instance, noted that Gretchen took on the role of parent to her siblings and even gave up her schooling to enter showbiz.
"You have lifted Claudine on a pedestal as the teleserye queen and labelled Gretchen nothing but an ST queen. But who took over the role of her parents, worked at the age of 12 and gave up her education to put her siblings to school?
"Who put food on the table, paid for the rent, electricity and hospital bills when dad suffered from his heart condition at least two times? Did you ever once stop her from doing all that because you loved her and wanted to protect her just like what you are now doing for Claudine?" Joaquin said.
The Barretto brother also addressed his mother's denial that "Claudine has no mental illness," saying their family had made a decision to "put [the actress] in a hospital."
"We all know the truth about Claudine's condition," said Joaquin. "Gretchen never threatened about having her 'padampot.' Whatever for? May I remind you that it was you and dad who had her put in a hospital because you wanted to save her from destroying herself. Yes, Claudine is going through rough times. Again. And if you truly love her, then you should take concrete steps to save her rather than hitting Gretchen simply because she is standing up to Claudine," Joaquin said.
He, likewise, suggested that it is unlikely for Gretchen to insult Claudine's children, saying the two sisters are now practically estranged.
"You claimed that Gretchen has been calling Claudine's children names to her face. But how is that ever possible when Gretchen had long stopped taking Claudine's calls? Hasn't Claudine changed her mobile number many times while still owning many prepaid sim cards as well?" he said.
Joaquin also countered his mother's statement regarding Claudine's and Gretchen's supposed show of support for their niece, Julia, the 16-year-old daughter of former actress Marjorie, another Barretto sister.
Inday, in her statement, claimed that "no one can love those (Marjorie’s) children more than Claudine." This was in response to allegations, supposedly made by Gretchen on Instagram, that Claudine is not happy that Julia is making a name for herself in showbiz.
Julia was recently formally 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.
"On the contrary," Joaquin said, "it was Claudine who repeatedly said she was going to make an expose. On what? We were clueless until bashing began on Instagram, which was why Gretchen came to the rescue of Julia. If there is anyone who cared more for her niece, we all know it is Gretchen, as she has proven when she chose to protect me and my siblings for a long, long time. This explains exactly why, as you said, we never complained about our childhood."
In closing his statement, Joaquin appealed to his mother to "put a stop to this before our family totally falls apart while there is still something to save."
Gretchen's daughter with businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco, meanwhile, took to micro-blogging site Twitter on Wednesday to express support for her mother, saying, "I know my mum more than anyone."