MANILA, Philippines – Former matinee idol Juan Miguel Rivera “Onemig” Bondoc filed a court case at the Quezon Hall of Justice against his estranged French-Filipino model wife Valerie Bariou for sole custody of their two children.
In an episode of Startalk, which aired January 10, Saturday, Onemig explained the reason behind this court case. “Ginagawa ko ‘to para sa mga anak ko.” (I'm doing this for my children.)
Onemig also expressed that his now 7-year-old daughter supports her father in this legal battle. “Do you want Papa to stop this? Sabi niya, ‘If Papa stops this, Mama will have complete control over you. No, Papa, you go. You go. You fight. You fight, Papa.”
Armelle, when asked by Onemig if she would prefer to stay with her mother, said, “Papa, Mama has no job. She has no money. She can’t take care of us.”
His children are currently living with him, and he sought the help of Atty. Cornelio Samaniego III, his legal counsel. “‘Yung client ko, gusto niya makuha 'yung sole custody, so we filed a sole custody with a prayer for temporary protection order na hindi siya pwedeng lumapit kasi para ‘yung mga bata di maimpluwensiyahan.”
(My client wants to file for sole custody, so we file for sole custody with a prayer for a temporary protection order so his wife cannot go near and influence the children.)
Onemig previously confirmed their separation in September 2014, but later added they had already been living apart as early as October 2013. Valerie recently filed for annulment from her husband.
“Siya, gusto niya, siya lang sa mundo niya, gusto niya siya lang pwedeng magkamali. Pero mga tao sa paligid niya, dapat hindi magkamali. So, ‘yun yung rason kung bakit ‘di ko kinaya at nakapaghiwalay na ako sa asawa ko," said Onemig.
("She wants that in her world, she's the only one who can make mistakes. But the people around should not. So that's the reason why I couldn't take it, and I separated from my wife.")
“Actually, pinalayas na ako sa condo ko, sa condo namin, na ako mismo ang nagbabayad,” he added. “Siya ang nagpalayas sa akin, tapos hinintay ko siyang magpakumbaba pero nagfile sa ng annulment case.”
("Actually, she threw me out of my condominium, our condo, which I actually pay for. She's the one who threw me out, and I was waiting for her to humble herself, but instead she filed an annulment case.")
For Valerie, he had this to say:
“I don’t know, Val. I’ve already talked to you a lot of times but you don’t want to meet halfway. I don’t really want to do this, but it seems that you really want this, and you’re forcing me to do it. So I guess I’ll just see you in court, and as a father I will do everything and anything to protect my children.”
Valerie gave birth to her daughter in 2007, and the couple tied the knot December 20, 2009 in a civil rights ceremony. Their son was born in 2014.