MANILA, Philippines – Actor Raymart Santiago on Tuesday denied committing any abuse against his estranged wife, actress Claudine Barretto, who has accused him of causing her “all kinds of stress” since 2005.
Barretto, 34, on Monday filed a petition before the Marikina Regional Trial Court for temporary protection order (TPO) against Santiago that would prevent the actor from getting within 300 meters of her and their children Sabina, 9, and Santino, 6.
“I never spoke of what’s really happening within our family to anyone, but I’ve decided to break my silence now because of the derogatory remarks I’ve received [from Barretto]. I’m doing this for the sake of our children,” Santiago said in Filipino via a statement sent to the Inquirer.
“It is not true that I’ve abused the mother of my kids in any way. As a father, I will never do anything that would harm my kids. I’ve never lifted a hand against any of them.”
The 40-year-old actor added that people who know him well could prove what kind of a father he is.
“These people could also prove that [Barretto] is capable of making up stories,” he pointed out. “Again, I strongly deny her accusations. The truth will come out eventually. I will answer all accusations in court at the proper time.”
Santiago and Barretto tied the knot on March 27, 2006. The rumor that the couple has broken up began circulating in 2011, after Barretto was seen on a TV report breaking down in tears in a bank after being told that the money she was about to withdraw had been withdrawn earlier by another party—presumably her husband with whom she shared the account. The couple denied the split.
Santiago and Barretto got involved in another controversy in May 2012, when the couple, along with some companions, allegedly ganged up on veteran journalist Ramon Tulfo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. They filed a physical injury complaint against the Inquirer columnist.
Santiago was last seen in the recently concluded afternoon drama series “Home Sweet Home” on GMA 7. Barretto’s last project with the Kapuso network was the primetime series “Iglot” that aired in 2011.