Gabriela reiterates support for Claudine

Posted at 05/15/2012 6:32 PM | Updated as of 05/15/2012 9:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Women’s rights organization Gabriela reiterated its support for actress Claudine Barretto in her legal battle against columnist Mon Tulfo.

Claudine Barretto. File photo

Gabriela stressed its support for Barretto during the birthday of actress Jennylyn Mercado, who is the newest member of the group.

“Nakita naman natin ang trauma at hirap na dinaranas ni Claudine ngayon kaya nandito kami para sa kanya,” Lana Linaban, secretary general of Gabriela, said. “Hindi tama na maging biktima siya ng karahasan … Nandito kami para bigyan ng tapang ng loob ang mga kababaihan.”

Barretto sought support from the group after she and husband Raymart Santiago became involved in a brawl with Tulfo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on May 6.

The following day, Tulfo’s brothers threatened the celebrity couple on their show on TV5.

According to an earlier statement by Gabriela, released on May 9, Barretto visited the group’s office on May 8 for counselling.

“Ms. Barretto has endured not only physical pain but mental anguish as a result of the incident and the eventual threatening statements made by the brothers of Mr. Ramon Tulfo in their TV show. She fears for her family’s safety and security, knowing the extent of influence wielded by the Tulfo brothers,” the group said in its statement.

“While we respect the right of Mr. Tulfo as a journalist, we disagree with his journalistic manner and demeanor which is not only degrading and exploitative but smacks of bigotry and machismo,” it added.

“While we do not condone Ms. Barretto’s manner of confronting the Cebu Pacific staff for the inconvenience that her family encountered, and how she might have reacted to Mr. Tulfo, she and her family do not deserve, as no human being deserves, the violence they experienced,” the group said. -- Report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News