Statements latest chapter to Raymart-Claudine
Actor denies oppressing his estranged wife, accuses her in turn of making up stories
UPS AND DOWNS. The couple during happier times. Photo from the actress's Twitter (@itsmeclaudineb)

MANILA, Philippines – Actor Raymart Santiago denied accusations by his estranged wife, actress Claudine Barretto, that he is an “abusive” husband and father to their two children, 9-year-old Sabina and 6-year-old Santino.

On Monday, July 29,  Claudine petitioned the Marikina Regional Trial Court for a Temporary Protection Order to prevent Raymart from entering within 300 meters of Claudine and their children.

The 34-year-old actress said Raymart has caused her much stress that has also affected her work.

In an interview with the news program “24 Oras,” Claudine said she didn’t want to destroy Raymart’s reputation. “Wala akong intensyon na sirain ang pagkatao ng asawa ko. I just want to protect my children and myself.”

Claudine’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, has also spoken on his client’s behalf, and affirmed that the actress was reluctant to go to court but could no longer bear her suffering. 

Topacio said he hopes the court would grant Claudine’s request so that “no actual physical threat would be posed to my client.”

‘Making up stories’ 

Raymart, who had been quiet about this issue, finally came out with a statement sent to Redgie Acuna-Magno, GMA’s vice president for Entertainment Television-Drama.

“Matagal akong nanahimik pero dahil sa mga mapanirang akusasyon na ibinabato sa akin, napilitan akong sumagot para na rin sa kapakanan ng mga anak namin,” went Raymart’s statement. (I’ve been quiet about this for some time but because of the damaging accusations against me, I’m constrained to respond also in behalf of my children’s wellfare.)

Raymart denied ever raising a hand at anyone in the family, particularly Claudine. “Hindi ko siya pinagbuhatan ng kamay.” Many who know him will attest to this, he said, adding that his estranged wife was capable of making up stories: “Marami rin ang makakapagpatunay na may kakayahan siyang gumawa ng kuwento.”

“Again, I strongly deny her accusations. Lalabas din ang katotohanan.”

Or, in Shakespeare’s words, “The truth will out.”

Sasagutin namin ang lahat sa korte sa tamang panahon,” Raymart’s statement said. (We’ll answer everything in court at the proper time.) 

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Topacio branded the statement as “funny” and warned that the “deceptions by Santiago may even constitute criminal offenses.”

Same birthday

Raymart and Claudine were married in March 27, 2006, in a widely publicized and celebrated ceremony attended by many among the showbiz community.

There was already talk about their marital tension sometime 2011, when Claudine was at one time seen on national television losing her temper at a bank, after being informed that her joint account with Raymart had been withdrawn and left with a maintaining balance of “zero.” Claudine was accompanied then by a lawyer and a TV crew.

In May last year, the couple was again in the headlines after an altercation with Ramon Tulfo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that led to the couple ganging up on the broadcaster-journalist as caught on-cam. The disputing parties sued each other in the ensuing media frenzy.

Raymart himself said in June that his marriage with Claudine was not working and that he had moved out of their home.

The couple did not greet each other on July 20, Claudine’s and Raymart’s birthday.  

Another sidelight of this controversy is a recently posted photograph on Claudine’s Instagram showing her smiling but with a bruised cheek. The photo was deleted soon after. –

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