Saying she has had enough of “all kinds of stress” due to “a series of events” she has been dealing with since 2005, actress Claudine Barretto asked the court, on Monday, to order her husband, actor Raymart Santiago, to stay away from her and their children.
Barretto, who according to her lawyer Ferdinand Topacio was weeping all throughout the proceeding, specifically asked the Marikina Regional Trial Court to issue a temporary protection order (TPO) that would prevent her estranged husband from getting within 300 meters of her and their household.
Barretto refused to talk to reporters as Topacio explained that the petition would allow a judge to issue a TPO immediately while scheduling hearings to determine whether a permanent protection order should be granted.
“The important component of the relief is that we are pleading [with] the court to tell Raymart to stay away from my client, their household and their kids… within a certain radius of 300 meters,” he said.
“Our petition also asks Raymart to stop communicating with the kids as they try to settle their differences,” he added.
Barretto’s case was later raffled off to the Marikina RTC Branch 192, a family court presided over by Judge Geraldine Macaraig. The court refrained from releasing further details, citing the confidentiality given to such sensitive cases.
For his part, Topacio said the actress had been thinking of filing the petition for some time although she made up her mind only last weekend.
“This was precipitated by a series of events which I am not at liberty to discuss. She has been enduring acts since 2005 even as she wanted to make their marriage work,” the lawyer added.
When asked for more details, Topacio said the actress was subjected to “all kinds of stress—physical, emotional, psychological, even economic stress.”
He also said that although the case had been filed, Barretto still had mixed feelings about the whole thing.
“She decided just over the weekend and even then, she was ambivalent [about] the matter. Even after the filing, she was still crying. We were coaxing her to eat something because she hasn’t eaten anything since last night,” he added.
Topacio said that Barretto had held back against filing the case because she knew it would be her last resort as it would not help repair their marriage.
“She felt she had no other recourse. She realizes, as she confided to me, that this is the point where there is no more turning back and that this is the beginning of the end of the marriage,” he noted.
However, he could not say if her action would lead to an annulment case. “We’re taking this one step at a time. Anyway, our allegations in the petition do not involve the validity of marriage. It’s more of the stress factor which escalates the conflict between husband and wife.”
Topacio also revealed that Barretto had sought the services of a clinical psychologist to give her counseling to help her cope with what she has been going through.
Only recently, the actress revealed in media interviews that Santiago had not been living with her and their children for at least a month.
More than a year ago, the couple presented a united front when they faced off with Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo in court following a brawl at the airport, which led to the filing of cases and countercharges between both parties.