Will Claudine, Raymart reconcile?
MANILA -- With accusations of drug abuse and domestic abuse spewed by both camps, is there any chance of reconciliation between former couple Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago?
A common friend isn't holding hopes.
"Palagay ko hindi na. Masyado nang lumalim 'yung sugat," actor-comedian Dennis Padilla told ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual in a recent interview.
Padilla is the former husband of Barretto's sister, actress Marjorie. The comedian had close ties with Barretto and Santiago even before they were married in a civil wedding in 2004.
"Syempre nalungkot ako dahil parang kapatid ko pareho 'yan eh, you know," Padilla said. "Naalala ko pa noong araw, na pag mag-se-celebrate ng birthday, pupunta muna ako kay Claudine tapos pupunta ako kay Raymart dahil sabay birthday nila, tapos noong naging mag-asawa sila, natuwa ako dahil hindi ko na kailangan lumagare."
The 34-year-old Barretto was born on July 20, 1979. Santiago, who is 40, was born on the same date in 1973.
The couple married in church rites in March 2006. They have two children -- an adopted daughter, Sabina, 9; and a biological son, Santino, 6.
Barretto's mother, Inday, confirmed in July that the couple separated. In August, the actress sought a protection order against Santiago, citing "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse.
She detailed these abuses in September, when she formalized a legal complaint against her husband for his alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.
Santiago has since responded by accusing Barretto of having a history of drug abuse and mental illness. The actor's account is backed by three of his wife's siblings -- Marjorie, Gretchen and JJ.
Both Barretto and Santiago have repeatedly mentioned the welfare of their children in explaining why they took the spat to court, and why they are seeking sole custody of the kids.
"Nakakalungkot nang makita ko na mag-away sila at nagkahiwalay," Padilla said. "Talagang malungkot 'yon, kasi parang parehas ko 'yong kapatid eh. Kaya nga pag pinag-ko-comment ako sa kabilang side, hindi ako makapag-comment, dahil pantay lang ang tingin ko sa kanila eh, kapatid ko pareho 'yan eh."
Padilla said he isn't holding hopes of a reconciliation between both camps. He only wishes that their children are spared from the bitter feud, which has made headlines time and again.
"Ang akin lang, ang wish ko lang, kung anuman ang magiging desisyon ng korte, irespeto ng both parties. Huwag isama sa usapin 'yung mga bata. At kung ako lang ang masusunod, i-share niyo nalang 'yung anak niyo," the comedian said.
Citing his own situation with Marjorie and their three children, Padilla continued, "Parang ako, 'diba, nahihiram ko 'yung mga anak ko. Huwag na natin ilayo sa isa't-isa. Kung magkakasundo, mas maganda. Siguro pag-usapan niyo nalang kung anong araw pwede mahiram ni Raymart 'yung mga bata, 'yung mga gano'n."
"Kasi mas mahirap sa mga bata na the more mo sila ihihiwalay sa nanay o sa tatay, dadalhin nila 'yan sa kanilang paglaki. At pag nagbinata at nagdala 'yan, 'di mo na mapipigil 'yan, pupunta parin sa magulang 'yan," he said.