Tulfo's raps vs Claudine dismissed; Raymart indicted
But Raymart, companion indicted for physical injuries
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City has dismissed charges of attempted homicide, grave coercion and oral defamation filed by journalist Mon Tulfo against actress Claudine Barretto.
In a resolution penned by Teresita B. Punzuelo, the prosecutors’ office said the complaints were dismissed for lack of probable cause.
The resolution said Barretto could not be charged for grave coercion since she “did not participate in any way in hitting or inflicting injury against Tulfo” during their much-publicized brawl at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last May.
The resolution noted that “it was only after she was physically hurt that she reacted, in a way to defend her person.”
The attempted homicide complaint was also dropped since the court was not convinced that there was an attempt to kill Tulfo.
For the case of oral defamation, the court noted that “it is important that the alleged utterances should be heard by third person to make the remarks defamatory.”
The decision said Tulfo “failed to submit evidence to prove that remarks were made and heard.”
The prosecutor’s office recommended that only Barretto's husband, actor Raymart Santiago, be indicted for physical injuries and grave coercion, and their companion Eduardo Atilano be charged for inflicting injuries against Tulfo.
Meanwhile, Santiago and Barretto welcomed the court decision.
In an statement, the couple’s legal counsel said Barretto and Santiago are “humbled and thankful for this decision for it shows that indeed the court in dispensing justice is insulated from public opinion and considers not quantity but the quality of evidence submitted by the parties.”