Another pro-Claudine sibling joins the fray
MANILA -- Claudine Barretto has tapped another sister, Mitzie, to support her in her legal battle with estranged husband Raymart Santiago, whose claims of drug abuse and mental illness against the actress are backed by three of her six siblings.
The 34-year-old actress submitted on Tuesday her counter-affidavit to the Marikina prosecutor's office. This is in response to Santiago's sworn statement, which accused Claudine of domestic violence and drug use, filed last September 24.
The exchange of allegations is in relation to a case filed by Claudine in late August, which accused Santiago of violating Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
According to Claudine, she suffered "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse from Santiago, with whom she has two children, starting 2002.
Answering his wife's accusations, Santiago, in his counter-affidavit, said Claudine has a history of drug abuse and is mentally ill, with her siblings JJ, Gretchen and Marjorie filing their testimonies.
According to Claudine's legal counsel, Atty. Junelet Mataro, the actress' affidavit submitted on Tuesday includes the testimonies of her parents, Inday and Miguel, and sister Mitzie.
Mataro said the evidence included in the affidavit will suffice to disprove Santiago's claims of drug abuse against Claudine.
The actress, as well as her mother, declined interviews on Tuesday.
Claudine also kept mum when asked for her reaction to Gretchen's recent statement, which detailed her supposed history of drug use and mental illness, and how their family allegedly conspired to have her hospitalized for treatment.
Santiago's camp, meanwhile, refuted the assertion of Claudine's other lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, that the only drug ever used by his client was gerovital, which is supposedly for her anti-aging treatment.
According to Atty. Ruth Castello, Santiago's lawyer, they have further evidence to prove that Claudine used other illegal drugs, and not gerovital. -- with a report from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News