The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has advised Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto to file charges of grave threat against brothers Ben, Raffy, and Erwin Tulfo following the controversial altercation that happened on May 6 between Raymart, Claudine, and Mon Tulfo in Terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Ben, Raffy, and Erwin had allegedly threatened the couple in an episode of their public service program T3: Kapatid, Sagot Kita that aired on May 7.
“Raymart, pakinggan mo ang sasabihin ko sa iyo: Binabangga ko ang mga kriminal, mamatay-tao, matinong tao. Pero kung ang gusto mo—malaking warehouse, sarado, naghihintay ang ambulansiya. Last man standing…magsasara tayo ng pinto. Titingnan ko ang galing mo. Tandaan mo ‘to (Raymart, you better listen to what I’ll say to you: I cross paths with criminals, murderers, and decent people. But if that’s what you want—a big closed warehouse, with an ambulance waiting. Last man standing…We’ll close the doors. I’ll see how good you really are. Remember that),” Ben was quoted as saying on-air to Raymart in an earlier article on PEP.ph.
An article from ABS-CBNNews.com reports that Assistant City Prosecutor Rowena Balagtas found sufficient evidence in the Tulfos’ actions to merit the filing of a case. "The respondents' (Tulfo brothers) demeanor, tone, and facial expression indicated that the threats were made with deliberate purpose of creating in the minds of the persons to whom [they were] addressed the belief that the threats would be carried into effect,” read the resolution. "The threats uttered by the respondents alluded to the infliction of physical harm upon the complainants (Santiago and Barretto)... The threats were consummated as soon as complainant spouse heard the statements of the respondents on TV on May 7, 2012."
This recommendation was happily accepted by Raymart and Claudine’s camp. “We are fortunate and thankful that the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City found probable cause for the crime of Grave Threats against the Tulfo Brothers,” said their legal counsel Atty. Alex Avisado in a text message to PEP.ph. “Now that the case is in court, we expect both parties to face each other during trial where mediation is an available option. This is a step in the right direction in the quest for justice by our clients Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago.”
In response, the Tulfos filed an omnibus motion at the Quezon City Prosecutors Office to open a reinvestigation of the charges and to stop the court from issuing a warrant of arrest. Freidrick Lu, Ben’s lawyer, claimed that his client had only challenged Raymart to a fist fight. Chief Prosecutor Donald Lee advises the brothers to file a motion for reinvestigation if they are questioning the resolution.
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)