Claudine Barretto Opens Up About The Barretto Clan And Raymart SantiagoClaudine Barretto is saddened by the fact that she lost communication with her nieces--Claudia, Julia, Danny and Dominique. She said that she treated those children as her own, and she just hopes they will remember her as the "best tita [aunt] forever."
She prays that all the love she invested on her nieces would be remembered in these trying times. Claudine maintained she is proud of her nieces, and there's nothing in the world she wouldn't do for them. As opposed to reports that said she doesn't want Julia, now a contract star of ABS-CBN (her former network), to succeed, the actress said she even wants them to succeed more than she did.
Her children Sabina and Santino last saw their cousins last year, before the feud among the Barrettos was fueled by the verbal war between Claudine and Gretchen and Marjorie. Even their parents were dragged into the issue.
Claudine said she repeatedly explains the situation to Sabina and Santino, and although they weren't able to understand the circumstances yet, the actress bought books, consulted a child psychiatrist and joined their local church to help her children with understanding what's happening.
"And I keep on telling them na it’s not their fault and maybe someday… I know someday maaayos din ito, it will pass. I always tell them that. And I tell them na I will always be here to protect them. And habang nandito ako, no one’s gonna harm them."
Having mental illness
Claudine denied rumors that she needs institutional help because of mental illness. She said she doesn't mind these issues, and just focus on her children. In fact, she's even an officer at Ateneo, where her kids currently attend.
There were a lot of her friends who stood by her through these tough times, so she was able to let go of those who do not have her best interest at heart. As a Christian, she learned about removing the bad things in her life, so God can provide what’s better.
If she really has mental illness, why are her children with her? she asked. Sabina and Santino are both straight-A students.
"Hindi ko masasabing ako lahat yun. Matatalino talaga yung mga anak ko, masisipag sila. Pero natutukan ko po sila. Yun lang naman po yun. So, kung sinasabi nila na mapaggawa ako ng kuwento at nasisiraan ako ng isip, e, guni-guni na lang ng ibang tao yun."
Now that she is in the middle of such trials, Claudine said she learned who she can trust and who she cannot. She also learned to stand up for herself and to fight only for the people worth protecting.
It is also important to protect one's dignity and worth, she added. Now, the actress is hunting for a new house since she doesn't want to return to hers and Raymart Santiago's marital home in Marikina City.
The actress may transfer to one of her condominium units that she acquired when she was still single. Asked if she will file an annulment case against her estranged husband, the actress said it is up to Santiago to spend money on that.
Claudine and Santiago have been married for 11 years. They didn't enter into a pre-nuptial agreement, which means their properties are all conjugal. The actress said Santiago doesn't want to sign their separation of assets just yet. He hasn't even signed her insurance, the actress claimed.
But for now, Claudine doesn't want to think about the separation of their assets. They also have a restaurant together--the "Red Garlic."
"I hope naman na kahit paano may kabutihan pang natitira sa taong minahal ko, sa taong nakilala ko, si Raymart na nakilala ko. Na ibigay na lang niya sa mga anak niya… tutal wala naman siyang naibigay.”
Santiago was the one who paid for the tuition fees of their children last year. This year, he also beat Claudine to paying it. The actress, however, said she was the only one who has a trust fund for their kids. Santiago has not provided anything.
What Claudine is asking is just for Santiago and his family not to interfere into the assets she already saved for their children.
Claudine said she invited Santiago and the rest of his family during Sabina's birthday party. None of them attended. She even showed a copy of the text messages she sent to Santiago, his sisters, brothers and mother.
They didn't even greet the kids or send any gifts, the actress said. She added that's very unlike Santiago because he used to be a good father--even giving flowers to Sabina every Valentine's Day.
"Hindi ko alam kung anong pumasok sa kanya o kung ano bang nangyayari. But ang pagkaalam ko, mabuti siyang ama. Kung ano ang nangyayari sa kanya ngayon, hindi ko alam."
For now, Claudine doesn't want to talk about the case because as she repeatedly told the press, she doesn't want to put down Santiago in the eyes of her children.
Message to the Santiagos
She told the Santiago family not to push her to the wall and just to accept whatever she will tell because she knows what they did to Paoie, the daughter of actress Sherilyn Reyes and Jun-Jun Santiago.
Claudine said it doesn't surprise her that Paoie is now with Reyes. When asked to give further details, the actress said she will divulge everything she knows when the Santiago family pushed her more.
Does she still love Santiago?
"How can you love somebody who says na mapaggawa ka ng istorya when all I said ayokong siraan ang asawa ko bilang respeto, in spite and despite of everything he has done to me and my children. Galit na galit na ako! Manginig na siya!”
Claudine said she's going to stop protecting Santiago's image because she doesn't want her children in the future to know that they spoke ill against their mother but she stillt tried to put their father on a pedestal.
"And they want sole custody? Ano pa kung ibibigay ko ang mga anak ko sa kanila? Ano pang paninira ang sasabihin nila? Gaya ng sinasabi nila tungkol kay Sherilyn noon? I’m not gonna allow that. Try me."
When asked about her reaction, Reyes refused to comment because everything is peaceful now. She said it's better if she just remains mum about the issues Claudine is currently in.