Mike Barretto, the father of Claudine, Gretchen and Marjorie, had said some very puzzling comments about his children in front of the media. I believe that any parent would be the last person who would want to see any of his children quarreling, so we wonder why is he doing this? Doesn't Mr. Barretto realize that the consequences of his statements can be very damaging and may aggravate the rift between his children? Anyways, although it is very hard to understand why the patriarch has sided with Claudine while his other children are hurting, we still could not judge whatever is really happening with this family.
Last October 1, during Claudine's press conference at the Hotel Rembrandt, Mr. Barretto was there and answered questions from the media. Here are some of his statements:
- “It’s either we are bad parents, kami ng mommy, or we had bad children. Isa sa dalawa ‘yan. Only God will know the answer to that."
- “Sila, they feel righteous on the outside... Pero, inside, they’re hypocrites, and evildoings ang ginagawa nila—'yang mga kapatid na ‘yan.”
- “Alam mo, si Claudine, malaking ano, e... pinakamabait sa lahat sa kanila ... At saka, binu-bully nila, e. Palagay ko, part of that is sibling rivalry ... Because ang na-attain ni Claudine sa pagkabata, hindi na-attain nung mas matanda niyang kapatid ... I’ve been praying always, to make a good decision, to ask God to give me the right decision. But as of now, I just want them to back off...
|Photo credit: GMA News (screen grab)|
As a parent, I know there is a better way to handle sibling rivalry or any conflict that may exist among our children. But however we handle it, it shouldn't be done publicly and our main purpose should be to fix it and not to add more to the conflict. Our mission should always be to love all our children and lead them to the right path.
Because of this, the other Barretto children are offended. Gretchen Barretto has sent her official full statement to pep.ph, which we are posting below:
"I have suffered long and hard in silence all through the verbal, physical, financial and, most painful of all, emotional abuse from my very own parents.
In April 2013, in spite of the attacks on my character from my mother (who publicly disowned me) and Gia Barretto-Reyes (who fabricated stories), I chose to deal with my pain privately.
Today, after the false statements made by my father, I feel I've earned the right to say my piece. As to whether they are bad parents or they raised bad children—we all know that all children are born good and pure. How they turn out, whether good or bad, will reflect on the parents.
I recall from a very young age my mother saying when asked how many children they have, would say "I have 7 monsters" and maybe in her eyes, we were and still are.
It pains me to be depicted by our parents as the ‘bad children’ who are only out to ‘bully’ Claudine. Everyone knows NO ONE can bully Claudine! No one will dare. We supposedly envy her success, which our father says, is ‘sibling rivalry.’ Why would we seek the destruction of our sister? What possible benefit does that give us?
We are happy with the lives we have and we are content and happy. But it certainly does not add to our happiness to see this family drama played out in public. He also said that we should back off. "Tumahimik na kami." But I realized that "puede akong manahimik pero hindi ako matatahimik".
What JJ, Marjorie and I are prepared to do is to defend ourselves from repeated lies, from undeserved attacks, and from the idea that each of us can be sacrificed and that our lives can be ripped apart to promote the illusion that all is well with Claudine.
My father said that Raymart is promoting a lie in exposing Claudine's history of drug abuse. We are not willing participants in Claudine’s war against Raymart. But she forced us to speak out when she named us in her complaint-affidavit, weaving her tale of ‘abusive sisters.’ We submitted our affidavits, guided by one simple, unbending rule: to tell the truth. We swore to tell the truth and we told the truth.
And Raymart is telling the truth.
I would like to remind my father that in January 2011, he pretended to have suffered a heart attack and confined himself in Medical City and got my sister-in-law, Connie, to call Claudine at 2 a.m. so she could go to the hospital. However, that was just a ploy to get Claudine confined at the basement for her severe drug abuse and mental condition. My brother, Mito, and his wife Connie, their son John, Marjorie and my parents planned and witnessed the confinement.
The following month, Claudine's treatment for drug abuse was continued in a private clinic in Chana, Thailand. After arriving back in the country, she had counseling with Mr. Dondi Ayuyao.
Again, I would like to remind my father of a family meeting that he called Connie, JJ, Marjorie, John and myself to attend at 3 p.m. on December 21, 2012 at Da-Ude Tea Place at the Fort. He said that he had just come from a meeting that morning with Ms. Eos Capistrano, a counsellor from White Plains who said Claudine needed to be confined at the basement 12-18 months minimum. And that it was a choice of confining her at the basement or seeing her in the morgue at the rate she's going.
I remind him again that I am just repeating exactly what he said then. My father told us that his choice was to see Claudine in the basement and, of course, we all wanted the same thing.
Our family has, for the longest time, struggled with the problem of how to deal with Claudine's problem.
Sadly, we now recognize that any effort to help her was doomed to fail because my parents are not capable of dealing with the truth. Another example of this is the drug test result they recently showed to the press.
We did not reject our parents. They rejected us.
Sadly, they mistake our concern as envy, and our refusal to support their lies as betrayal. Whether they believe it or not, we care for Claudine. However, the Claudine that we see and experience now is not the Claudine we used to know. In my quiet moments, I am in desperate search of that Claudine. The sweet Claudine, the loving Claudine, the caring Claudine. Our hardworking and successful baby sister who brought so much pride and joy to the family.
In a perfect world when I dream everything and anything is possible, I'd like to believe that I can see the vibrant, loving, caring, generous and beautiful Claudine, come back. I believe that it is up to my parents to own up to the truth to make this possible. It is not important now to point fingers as to who, what, why. We do not need to cover up anyone's stories or put up a front to avoid shame. We are beyond that.
We hear Claudine's cry for help. Why can't you?"
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