|Claudine Barretto and Randy Santiago. File photos
Actress threatens to expose Randy, Jun-Jun
MANILA -- Claudine Barretto threatened to expose the supposed "secrets" of her husband Raymart Santiago's brothers, as the actress accused the siblings of "ganging up" on her amid her legal battle with the actor.
The 34-year-old actress, during a press conference held late Thursday, said she is surprised by the recent statements of Raymart's older brother, singer-host Randy, who expressed disappointment in Barretto's move to take her marital woes to court.
"Ako rin nagugulat sa mga pahayag nila, dahil mga lalaki sila, babae ako, at ang pakiramdam ko, pinagtutulung-tulungan nila ako. They're bullies," Barretto said.
"Ang dami nilang sinasabi. Is that really the environment I want my children to grow up in? They're really doing a very good job of destroying themselves, sa mga anak ko," she added.
The "Mula sa Puso" star has two children with Raymart -- an adopted daughter, Sabina, 9; and a biological son, Santino, 6. The former couple were married in March 2006.
Barretto made headlines in late July, when she filed a temporary protection order (TPO) against her husband, for her and on behalf of their children, citing "physical, verbal, psychological, and even economical" abuse.
While Raymart repeatedly denied the allegations, the TPO was granted in early August, with Barretto filing a petition to make it permanent.
Both parties are now seeking the sole custody of their two children, with the actress filing a case against Raymart for his alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.
Under a gag order issued by the Marikina Regional Trial Court (RTC), neither camps are allowed to divulge information as to the court proceedings, but according to Barretto's legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio on Thursday, "Umaandar ang mga kaso."
Message to Randy
Amid Barretto's legal dispute with Raymart, who was allowed to reunite with his kids after being granted his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Randy expressed confidence that the "truth will prevail."
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.
Responding to Randy's statements, Barretto on Thursday said, "Unang-una, hindi naman sila nakatira sa bahay ko. Pangalawa, alam nila. May mga alam sila. At pangatlo, huwag silang maghugas-kamay, dahil mismo sa loob ng pamamahay nila, may nangyayari."
Referring to Randy's supposed regret that Barretto has cut her close ties with the Santiagos, the actress added, "Kung disappointed siya, wala akong pakialam. I'm not out to please him."
She went on to dare the singer to reveal her alleged "secrets," on the condition that he, along with his brothers, will come clean with their own.
"So kay Kuya Randy, stop bullying me kung ayaw mo rin... Kung anumang pinapanakot niyo sa akin, na sasabihin niyo sa akin, tungkol sa akin, go ahead! I dare you, dahil wala naman akong hindi aaminin doon. Pero aminin niyo rin kung ano 'yung mga pinaggagawa ninyo," she said.
Asked how far she is willing to go in ensuring the "protection" of her children, Barretto brought up the name of actress Sherilyn Reyes, the former wife of another Santiago brother, film producer Pablo or Jun-Jun.
"Hanggang sa maprotektahan ko 'yung mga anak ko, hanggang sa mawala 'yung takot nila. Hanggang sa makita ko na safe ang evironment nila, at hindi mangyari sa mga anak ko 'yung mga nangyari sa anak ni Sherilyn Reyes," Barretto said.
Reyes and Jun-Jun separated in 2001 after a four-year marriage, which was annulled in 2008. They have a 14-year-old son, Paolo.
As for her own children, Barretto said Sabina and Santino are "coping" by undergoing counseling with a child psychiatrist. "Na-trauma sila sa mga pangyayari, kaya kinailangan ko nang harapin ito, 'yung matagal ko nang dapat hinarap," she said.
Barretto added she has sought guidance from her lawyers, as well as from women's rights group Gabriela in helping her and her children adjust to their situation.
"[I'm] getting stronger and braver every day. Nagpapasalamat dahil maraming sumusuporta, 'yung mga Claudinians at kahit na 'yung mga ordinaryong tao lang na nagti-tweet at nagbibigay ng pagmamahal nila at pagsu-suporta, nakaka-encourage talaga sa akin," the actress said.
Asked for a message to her supporters, Barretto added, "Hindi ho madali ang pinagdadaanan ko, lalo na ng mga anak ko, and I don't wish this to happen to anybody, kahit sa taong pinakahindi ko gusto sa mundo, hindi ko wini-wish na mapagdaanan 'yung pinagdadaanan ko."
"Sana lang huwag nang makisali pa 'yung mga ibang tao dahil bugbog na bugbog na ako," she said.