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• Gretchen’s brod appeals: Let’s stop before our family falls apart • Sister to Gretchen: Enough is enough; leave our family alone!

Embattled Barretto sisters Claudine and Gretchen: Their siblings have been dragged into the word war
   

For the sake of the uninformed (the non-showbiz savvy), here’s a little background of the circumstances that led to the word war raging between Gretchen Barretto (with sister Marjorie) on one side and their mom Inday Barretto (and daughter Claudine) on the other side:

Like most celebrities, Gretchen loves to post on Instagram updates on what’s going on with her life, including photos of her branded personal items. Aside from commenting on Gretchen’s messages, an unidentified netizen put in an uncalled-for comment about Julia Barretto being “maarte.” Julia is the daughter of Marjorie and Dennis Padilla being built up by ABS-CBN as a possible heiress of Claudine’s “title” as a Kapamilya Teleserye Princess.

Gretchen must have suspected that the comment came from Claudine. What appeared next on Gretchen’s Instagram were questions about somebody (unnamed) being very violent, who had ruined her husband’s Porsche and laptop (that’s why he left her), adding that that somebody was better off in her favorite place, the Medical City.

That exchange of “unnamed” messages revived the war between the sisters who went into some kind of an uneasy “truce” a few years ago after a prolonged word war on national television. Dragged into the current mess were Marjorie (the photo of her child allegedly by a politician was posted, again by an unidentified person, on Instagram) and, naturally, the sisters’ mom Inday who is “fed up” with all the bickering and made public what side she’s on — yes, Claudine’s (very clearly shown in an open letter to Gretchen that came out in Funfare last Wednesday).

Dominique, Gretchen’s daughter by Tonyboy Cojuangco, said in a social-media statement aired by TV Patrol the other night: “I know my mum more than anybody.”

Here now is Joaquin Barretto in a signed statement (obviously addressed to their mom) sent to Funfare (by Gretchen’s Girl Friday Bettina Aspillaga) in defense of his sister, unedited:

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The letter of our mother which was published earlier today (Funfare, April 24) was shocking and hurtful. But what bothers me most is that while she attacks my sister, Gretchen, and pictures her as evil personified, she seems to have forgotten the truth.

Mom, as you have gone out of her way to answer the issues that Claudine ought to answer for herself, maybe it is high time to reflect on things and address these concerns as well.

You have lifted Claudine on a pedestal as the teleserye queen and labeled Gretchen nothing but an ST (Sex Trip) queen. But who took over the role of her parents, worked at the age of 12 and gave up her education to put her siblings to school? Who put food on the table, paid for the rent, electricity and hospital bills when dad suffered from his heart condition at least two times? Did you ever once stop her from doing all that because you loved her and wanted to protect her just like what you are doing now for Claudine?

We all know the truth about Claudine’s condition. Gretchen never threatened about having her “Padampot.” Whatever for? May I remind you that it was you and dad who had her put in a hospital because you wanted to save her from destroying herself. Yes, Claudine is going through rough times. Again. And if you truly love her, then you should take concrete steps to save her rather than hitting Gretchen simply because she is standing up to Claudine.

You claimed that Gretchen has been calling Claudine’s children names to her face. But how is that ever possible when Gretchen had long stopped taking Claudine’s calls? Hasn’t Claudine changed her mobile number many times while still owning many prepaid SIM cards as well?

On the contrary, it was Claudine who repeatedly said she was going to make an expose. On what? We were clueless until bashing began on Instagram which is why Gretchen came to the rescue of Julia. If there is anyone who cared more for her niece, we all know it is Gretchen as she has proven when she chose to protect me and my siblings for a long, long time. This explains exactly why, as you said, we never complained about our childhood.

Please mom, let us put a stop to this before our family totally falls apart while there is still something to save.

Signed,

Joaquin Barretto

Seiko Films producer Robbie Tan called Funfare Wednesday night to confirm that Gretchen was 18 when she signed her up as an ST actress. “Although she didn’t say it,” said Robbie, “I felt that she was doing it for her family as a breadwinner.”

And here’s a letter from Gia Barretto-Reyes (obviously addressed to sister Gretchen), sent to her mom Inday from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Inday furnished Funfare a copy of the letter. Here it is, also unedited:

When enough is enough
 

I respect that you do not want to be part of our family. At this point, we welcome it. 

Not at any point do I ever recall us forcing you to be part of us but we have never also alienated you during the times when you wanted to be with us. Even during the times when you battled with one of us. 

I say us because you have time and time again made extreme efforts to push us — mom, dad and all of us — away. You have hurt us in ways that put the word decency to shame, you have had no rules when you attacked us. If the attack were physical then it would be bearable. Bruises heal. But the attack has always been vicious, below the belt and so evil that the wound borne from it cannot heal. It is done repeatedly and unsparingly with permanent damage in mind. You have tried to put mom and dad to shame with empty allegations without thinking that you, whether you like it or not came from them. You ridicule them in front of friend, strangers and us. And, you expect us to just take it. 

Your claims of financial support for this family have no basis, because dad always managed to provide. For the record, we may not have been so rich but we were never poor. 1. We live in big beautiful houses 2. Slept in carpeted, air-conditioned rooms, 3. Food galore. 4. Put in an exclusive school. 5. Members of exclusive country clubs. 6. We each have our own yayas, yours even a midwife. 7. Driven by chauffeurs.

Long before you were born and even after you were in show business. At 12 years old, could you have duplicated or taken over this kind of a style, with your meager earnings? We did not have an excess of things but we had what we needed. You were never forced to get into show business. I remember very clearly how you ran to the middle of the road when dad said “no” to you entering show business. He believed that school was important. How sad that you cannot distinguish the lies that you make up and reality.

No Gretchen, it was not you who helped us during rough spots. It was Claudine. You could not in the life of you convince her that our parents were abusive ones. It was difficult for you to accept that there was somebody who actually had pure intentions of helping where help was needed. You once told me and I quote, “I just disappear when things get tough.” You have become great at these disappearing acts. Claudine made an effort to be there always. Just a few corrections: Claudine paid for my med at UBC just as she paid for a lot of our nieces and nephews education. She gave them (our nieces and nephews), iPads, iPhones, concert tickets, clothes and so much more. She spoiled all of us not because she needed to but she wanted to. She unlike you, has never equated her value with money or material possessions.

JJ comments on TV are only credible in as far as he is caught between a rock and a hard place, because he is in your employ. It honestly pains me to see that you could put him in this situation. To pick between that and his parents. 

I echo mom’s words, “Stop it.” We get it. We know you don’t want us so please hear us now...”We do not want you, too.” Please stop hounding us like an attack dog. We will admit defeat if you just leave us in peace. Just totally disappear from our lives without leaving a trail of vile and misery. Please.

Enough is enough! Leave us alone. Leave my family alone. 

From GIA BARRETTO-REYES

Boston, Mass., USA

Sent from my iPhone

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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