PEP.ph reports that Claudine Barretto has filed a case against her estranged husband, Raymart Santiago, for violating Republic Act 9262 (the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act), on August 29. This new lawsuit comes a few weeks after the actress requested a temporary protection order against Raymart, whom she claimed had subjected her and their two children to abuse.

“My life with Rozelle Raymond Martin Santiago [Raymart's real name] was a vicious cycle of violence, abuse, battery, and exploitation,” read her statement regarding the new case. “During the years that I have been with him, I have been in a constant fearful state of mind because I was cyclically abused and controlled over a period of time.”

“Notwithstanding all my horrendous experiences in the hands of my husband, today, I am breaking my silence. I have decided to stop and end the abuse and violence and make my husband criminally and civilly liable for all his actions,” she declared, encouraging all women suffering the same fate to follow in her footsteps.

Atty. Junelet Mataro, the legal counsel of the women’s rights group Gabriela, which had accompanied Claudine when she filed the case, says that the actress’s camp has enough evidence to prove that Raymond had abused her.

“We have pictures, medical certificates to prove the physical violence inflicted upon her by Raymart. We also have pictures of the wounds of Claudine,” she said, showing the said photos to the members of the media who were present. “We also have bank statements regarding the economic abuse that Raymart has inflicted upon her. We also have affidavits from the members of her family for the psychological abuse, because Claudine has said that she has been socially alienated by Raymart.”

Hindi madali ang mga pinagdadaanan ko bilang alam naman ng tao na kilala po ako sa pagiging medyo matapang at palaban,” Claudine said tearfully, claiming that she has been abused since 2005, the year she tied the knot with Raymart. “Kaya lang, nakikita ko rin na ang pagkatao ko na ang sinisira. Nawalan na ako ng self-esteem, ng self-worth. Hindi na ako napuprotektahan, hanggang sa dumating 'yung panahon na hindi lang ako 'kundi ang mga anak ko, hindi na napuprotektahan (What I went through was not easy for me because people know me as a fighter. But I eventually realized that I lost my dignity as a person. I lost my self-esteem, my self-worth. I don’t feel protected anymore, and it came to a point where I wasn't able to protect my children.).”

Raymart, however, said that he already expected the actress to file the case and that his camp is ready to counter her arguments.

Talagang ini-expect namin na magpa-file sila ng gano'n. Hinihintay lang namin kung kailan at, 'yun, nag-file nga ngayon,” he was quoted as saying in a separate article. “At mayroon kaming sagot 'dun sa mga sinasabi nila sa akin. Mayroon silang ebidensiya, mayroon din akong ebidensiya (We really expected that she will file a case. We were just waiting for when she would do it, and she filed it today. We can answer the claims they made about me. They may have their evidence, but I can also present my own.).”

(Photos courtesy of PEP.ph)

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