Former couple James Yap and Kris Aquino. File photo
Actress' camp: We are compliant to court order
MANILA -- James Yap's legal counsel, Atty. Lorna Kapunan, made a televised appeal to the basketball player's ex-wife, host-actress Kris Aquino, to abide by a court order concerning the visitation rights to their only child.
Kapunan addressed Aquino on Monday during an interview on "Good Morning Club," an early morning talk show that airs on TV5.
"It's very sad, but it's very true," Kapunan said, when asked by host Erwin Tulfo about allegations that Aquino is not following her agreement with Yap's camp.
The lawyer cited a gag order in opting not to detail the alleged non-compliance of Aquino but Kapunan went on to appeal to the 42-year-old Kapamilya star to do as she is told by the court.
"I make this an appeal on air na sana sundin naman niya (Aquino) 'yung visitation orders, because from... Napag-agreehan na 'yan eh," she said.
"Ginawa ngang easy for the son, ano, for both parties and the son to see the father. Eh hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin sinusunod," Kapunan said.
Aquino and Yap were married in civil rites in July 2005. Their marriage was declared null in February last year, following allegations of infidelity on Yap's part.
Their only child, James Jr. or Bimby, turned 6 in April.
Yap no longer has custody of Bimby, who lives with Aquino and his half-brother, Joshua.
Last July, the couple was able to settle on a "compromise" concerning the visitation rights to Bimby, following a controversial court battle that started with Aquino's petition to permanently bar Yap from seeing her and their son.
This permanent protection order, which stems from Yap's alleged "amorous advances" in December 2012, was denied by the Makati City Regional Trial Court.
Aquino, in July, said she was happy with her arrangement with Yap concerning Bimby as it "would really benefit my son very much."
'Above the law'?
On Monday, Kapunan once again declined to divulge details of the couple's compromise, citing "security purposes."
"Ang pwede ko lang sabihin -- ito ay with the court order. Ito ay with the studies of the psychologist. This is also with the recommendation of the social worker. And with the agreement of both parties and the little boy himself," she said.
Emphasizing Aquino's supposed non-compliance to the arrangement, Kapunan continued, "Kapag sinasabi nating rule of law, eh sana naman nobody is above the law."
Asked for her message to the "Sisterakas" star, Kapunan quoted the court order concerning her client's case.
"Ang sabi ng court is, 'It is good for a child to have the mother and father, but they may be not husband and wife anymore. But the child always needs a mother and father growing up.' Yun ang order ng court," she said.
"We're praying that both parties will see it -- what is to the best interest of the child and set aside their personal differences," Kapunan added.
Responding to Kapunan's accusations, Aquino's camp on Tuesday issued a statement published on the entertainment news site Philippine Entertainment Portal.
"The court order on visitation requires James to fetch Bimby in his residence," Aquino's legal counsel, Atty. Sigrid Fortun, told TV5 reporter MJ Marfori in a text message.
Fortun explained that Yap has yet to approach Aquino regarding his planned visits to their son.
"Kris has been waiting for James to tell her what time he is fetching their son. She has received no messages from James to this effect," Fortun said.
He added: "Kris is compliant with all court orders relating to visitation and she has no intention of violating those or depriving James of his right to be with his son."