Criminal charges filed by helpers vs Claudine Barretto dismissed
MANILA, Philippines– The Marikina City prosecutors office dismissed Friday all criminal charges filed against actress Claudine Baretto by her former house helpers.
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio in a statement said the robbery and theft charges against Baretto were dismissed due to “lack of sufficient and probable charges.”
“In two separate resolutions dated July 1, 2014 but officially released only (Friday), the Marikina prosecutor found “lack of sufficient probable cause” in the cases of “Robbery and Grave Coercion” filed by one Maria Luisa Becher, and “Perjury” filed by Dessa Patilan,” Topacio said.
Both Becher and Patilan were charged with qualified theft by Baretto in July 2013.
The actress claimed the two tried to steal pieces of jewelry from her residence in Loyola Grand Villas in Quezon City.
After the qualified theft was filed, her former employees, however, countered with a case, alleging that Barretto forcibly took from them assorted personal belongings such as mobile phones and a tablet.
“In an eight-page resolution in the robbery case signed by assistant city prosecutor Ernesto Ablay, Jr., the prosecution said that the complainant failed to prove the element of force or intimidation against Baretto, thus negating the charge of robbery,” Topacio said.
He added that the perjury case was dismissed by assistant city prosecutor Ricardo Paet, Jr. in a six-page resolution saying that “there is no deliberate and willful assertion of falsehood” on the part of Barretto, noting that the qualified theft case was in fact, filed in court.
Topacio said the actress, who is locked in a legal battle against her estranged husband, actor Raymart Santiago, for custody of their children, said in her defense that the charges of her former house help were “merely intended to provide leverage against her for the filing of the qualified theft case and accused her husband of funding the lawsuit against her.”
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