More than a month since she and brother JJ testified against their younger sister Claudine in court, Gretchen Barretto maintains that she didn’t do it just for the sake of testifying and ruining her sister’s already marred reputation.
During a taped interview aired on Buzz ng Bayan on Sunday, Gretchen revealed that she, JJ and Marjorie were all “forced to come out” and “defend themselves” because they were summoned by the court after Claudine included their names on her affidavit against her estranged husband Raymart Santiago.
“My lawyers called me and said that you’re summoned by the court to come. Hindi ko desisyon mag-isa ‘yon. Nagusap-usap kaming magkakapatid [and] the older nephews and me, nagusap kami kung ano ang gagawin namin dito. What is the right thing to do,” started Gretchen.
She explained that the testimony, more than anything else, was a move to assure the welfare of Claudine’s children: Sabina and Santino.
“Right now we all know that Claudine is not well. We cannot save her and she refuses for us to help her. Claudine filed a criminal case against Raymart which means that if Claudine prospers Raymart will be put into jail for a crime he didn’t commit. We know that as a family. Kung may mangyari kay Claudine because she is not well and Raymart is put into jail, ano ang mangyayari kay Sabina at Santino?” she asked.
In a previous Push.com.ph report, Gretchen said that she did what she had to do not only for Claudine’s children but also out of love. She was even quoted as saying in the report that “Ang gusto ko lang maibalik ang buhay niya sa tama at mabawasan ang mga kaaaway niya, mabawasan ang galit niya sa buhay.”
According to La Greta, she feels the exact same amount of love for her sister even until this day. But although she wishes that, “Claudine wakes up and wala na ’tong lahat ng mga problema niya. Wala na ‘yung 10 kaso niya. Wala na siyang kaaaway. May career siya, okay ‘yung mga bata and she’s with Raymart” the reality is very different.
Hence the decision to testify against Claudine and “save the children.”
“‘Yun nalang. Kung mali sa tingin ng tao ang ginawa ko, I’m sorry but ‘yun talaga ang desperate move namin na magkakapatid,” said she.
While the whole nation probably perceives what she did as an act of betrayal, Gretchen insisted that, “I did not betray her I only spoke the truth as I know it and it is the right thing to do.”
Do you hate your sister?
“I don’t hate my sister. No. I hate what she’s doing. I hate the cases that she’s filed but I want that old Claudine back. Bunso namin ‘yan. She was a doll. Patatayuin mo ‘yan on top of a table or a chair and she will sing a whole song at age two. She was the most generous and loving and kind [sic] person and somewhere along somewhere I don’t know what happened but she just lost it,” she related tearfully.
Sadly, with all the controversy that their family has been embroiled in, many have considered the Barrettos as a poster family for a dysfunctional and conflicted family and Gretchen has come to accept this harsh truth.
“The overwhelming feeling is deep pain and shame because it’s true. Pag totoo masakit. It’s very difficult to acknowledge the truth but it’s all out I have no choice but to embrace it,” said she.
With the intensifying legal battle between Raymart and Claudine that’s been dragging their entire family, Gretchen confessed that she couldn’t see reconciliation happening anytime soon.
“I can only hope. I’m praying,” she enthused.