Claudine's mom: I don't want my daughter dead
Inday Barretto details spat with Raymart Santiago
MANILA -- "Raymart Santiago was a danger to my daughter's life."
This is the claim of Inday Barretto, mother of actress Claudine, in explaining the "turning point" for her daughter to finally end her marriage after years of alleged abuse.
During a press briefing held Thursday afternoon, Inday said she did not know the full extent of the abuse her daughter allegedly suffered throughout her marriage with Santiago.
"She may not tell me in so many words, but a mother's eyes will always know," said Inday, who answered for Claudine when the actress was asked what finally pushed her to sue Santiago.
The 34-year-old actress on Thursday filed before the Marikina Regional Trial Court (RTC) a complaint-affidavit detailing Santiago's "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse, with photos showing Barretto's injuries supposedly caused by actor.
The 40-year-old Santiago now faces charges of alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.
"I'm saying all this now before we get the gag order," Inday said, as she went on to relate a number of instances when she had confrontations with Santiago.
"Every time they'd have a fight, Raymart would say, 'Ayoko na.' At one point, I told him, 'Then leave!"" she said.
Inday first confirmed in April that Claudine and Santiago were no longer living under the same roof. The couple was married in March 2006. They have two children -- an adopted daughter, Sabina, 9; and a biological son, Santino, 6.
Claudine only confirmed the separation in July, when she sought a temporary protection order against Santiago.
According to Inday, her family had always been in good terms with Santiago, saying he always appeared kind, "But totoo 'yung kasabihan eh, 'Do not judge a book by its cover.'"
The Barretto matriarch recalled a confrontation with the actor, which she said was triggered when she learned of his alleged abusive ways with her daughter.
"At one time, along those mga sagutan, I told him, 'You came to ask for my daughter's hand. You said you were going to protect her with your life, you were going to take care of her. And obviously, you don't take care of her, and you're not just not protecting her life, you're becoming a danger to her life,'" she said.
This, Inday added, prompted her to finally tell Santiago to leave her daughter. She recalled the actor denying any acts of violence toward Claudine.
"At one point, I said, 'You have to go. I am not going to witness all this.' Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Raymart, sinasaktan ko 'yung anak ko?' We bowed his head down and said, 'You think pinalaki ako ng parents ko para manakit ng tao?' Ang sabi ko, 'And do you think I brought my daughter up para saktan mo?'" Inday said.
At that point, Inday said "we just cut the whole thing." She said she feared that Santiago's physical abuse would kill her daughter, recalling the couple's controversial altercation with journalist Mon Tulfo in May last year.
"I told Claudine, 'Stop it! This is the turning point. Stop it.' Because you know why? What he did to Tulfo, is very very dangerous. In a few minutes, he could have killed him! And I don't want my daughter dead because he's dangerous. If he was able to pin down Tulfo, a six-footer, big man, my daughter... she's small, and that monster is very fierce," Inday said.
Responding to Claudine's accusations on Thursday, Santiago said he is not surprised with the actress' legal move. The actor, who has repeatedly denied abusing his wife, expressed confidence that the truth will eventually come out.
"Alam ko na lalabas din ang katotohanan, meron din akong ebidensya... Kahit paano, asawa ko siya. Kahit paano, masakit sa akin na nangyayari 'to lahat, pero 'yung ang gusto niya. 'Yun ang ibibigay ko sa kanya," he said.