After merely denying the barrage of accusations of his estranged wife Claudine Barretto, Raymart Santiago on Tuesday took bold steps in revealing the actress’ alleged drug use which he said can be backed by evidence.
The 40-year-old actor detailed this supposed drug use in a counter-affidavit he filed before the Marikina Regional Trial Court, in relation to cases lodged against him by the 34-year-old actress.
Barretto is seeking to make permanent a temporary protection order (TPO) against Santiago, which stems from the alleged “physical, sexual, psychological and economic” abuse she had suffered from her husband.
The “Mula sa Puso” actress detailed these abuses, which she said dates back to 2002, in a case filed late August against Santiago for his alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.
Santiago and Barretto were married in March 2006. They have two children – an adopted daughter, Sabina, 9; and a biological son, Santino, 6.
In his 30-page counter-affidavit, Santiago answered Barretto’s accusations point-by-point detailing over 40 accounts in his defense. Here, Santiago also alleged he was a victim of domestic violence.
“Ayaw ko sana pag-usapan ‘yon, pero kinakailangan eh. Kinakailangan ko na sumagot. Siguro para na rin sa mga anak ko, to protect them,” Santiago said, adding his goal is to gain custody of his two children.
The affidavit includes testimonies from Barretto’s three older siblings – Gretchen, Marjorie and JJ – who had been estranged from the actress and their parents since their controversial family feud erupted early this year.
The Barretto siblings, as cited in Santiago’s account, supposedly believe that Claudine is mentally ill and that she is in need of professional help.
Santiago’s sworn statement also includes photos and videos, which he said shows his wife’s alleged drug abuse. Furthermore, the actor said this can be proven by medical records showing Barretto testing positive in a drug test, as well as her admission to a drug rehabilitation center.
In late August, the actor already hinted of Barretto’s supposed condition, when he criticized her parents, Miguel and Inday, for allegedly not attending to her mental well-being.
“Kay mommy at daddy, alam niyo ang totoo. Tayo-tayo ang nag-uusap dati, ‘yung problema ni Claudine. Alam niyo and sana panindigan nila ‘yung sinabi nila dati sa akin,” Santiago said at the time.
At the height of the Barretto family’s publicized feud in April, Gretchen and JJ brought up the actress supposed “illness,” with the latter saying Claudine was put in a hospital at one point.
Responding to Inday’s move to disown Gretchen in favor of her youngest daughter, JJ in a statement mentioned “the truth about Claudine’s condition.”
“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,” JJ said in April.
Santiago’s legal counsel, Atty. Ruth Castello, said his client was “forced” to come out with his detailed account because of the piling cases filed against him by Barretto.
“Napilitan na si Raymart eh. Napilitan na ‘yung kliyente namin na maging matapang dahil sa mga nangyayari. Syempre ayaw naman niya na pinagbibintangan siya ng kung anu-ano. Ini-impute lahat sa kanya ng mga nangyayari, pinapalabas na kasalanan niya kaya napilitan na siyang magsabi ng totoo,” she said.
Prompted to comment on the gravity of Santiago’s sworn statements, as it included her supposed drug abuse, Castello said, “We just stated facts. We just countered the allegations detailed by their camp. Those are all facts.”
“Everything that we wrote in the counter-affidavit is according to him, and these are all facts supported by evidence. Makikita naman do’n, lahat ‘yon may ebidensya,” she said.
Responding to Santiago’s accusations on Tuesday, Barretto’s legal counsel, Atty. Jun Mataro, said the question of whether the actress had been abusing drugs is not the issue, but that she was abused by the actor as detailed in their VAWC case.
Barretto’s camp is set to formally answer Santiago’s affidavit on October 8. (MNS)