Monday, May 7, 2012

Press Conference: Raymart said, "I'm telling the truth"

Contrary to what his opponent, Mon Tulfo said, Raymart Santiago insists it was the broadcaster-newspaper columnist who threw the first punch that led to the brawl at the NAIA 3 (Ninoy Aquno International Airport) carousel area last Sunday, May 6.

“Nagsasabi ako ng totoo,” Raymart told the media at a press conference held on Monday, May 7 at the Red Garlic Restaurant in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

“Siya ang unang nanuntok sa akin. Tinanong ko lang kung ano ang ginagawa niya. Ngumisi siya sa akin. Sinuntok at sinipa niya ako. Nakialam siya sa nangyaring insidente na nagreklamo lang kami sa Cebu Pacific dahil sa bagahe na nawala. Hindi niya muna inalam kung bakit kami nagalit.”

Raymart explained that he and his wife Claudine Barretto got angry because the missing luggage contained medicine their asthmatic child badly needed at that time.

“Kung nagtanong lang siya, wala sigurong ganitong klaseng pangyayari,” Raymart adds.

He relates that the situation worsened after Tulfo took their photos.

“Lumaki lang ito dahil pinagkukunan kami ni Mon Tulfo na hindi ko naman siya nakilala nung time na yon. Tinanong ko siya ng mabuti, 'Sir, ano po ang ginagawa ninyo?' Sinuntok niya ako at sinipa,” Raymart recalls.  

But how can he and Claudine prove their innocence when NAIA-3 has no CCTV recording that could show the events that could have led to the fight?  The only video available is a highly-viewed one on YouTube and Facebook which showed Tulfo, not Raymart, getting a beating. 

Lawyer’s appeal

The Santiagos’ legal counsel, Alex Avisado Jr., flies to his clients’ defense: “The YouTube video doesn’t do justice to what really happened because bandang huli na ng kaguluhan ang nakita. May nauna pang incidents dito.”

Avisado says he already asked NAIA 3 management for a copy of the CCTV “that will show the truth about what really happened.”

Assuming no CCTV is available, the lawyer is appealing to witnesses who could have videos or photos of what happened.

“Kung nakita niyo ang nangyari, maglakas loob kayong lumabas kung meron kayong cellphone videos para makita ng buong bayan kung sino talaga ang inapi dahil dito kawawa si Claudine. Alam naming malaking risk 'yon sa sarili at pamilya ninyo. Lahat natatakot kay Mr. Mon Tulfo. Pero kung magpapdaig tayo sa takot, hindi lalabas ang katotohanan.”

Avisado further said that their search for a CCTV of what happened is proof that the Santiagos are blameless.

“Saan ka nakakakita na kung sino ang pinapalabas na aggressor ay sila pa ang humihingi ng kopya ng CCTV? Doon pa lang alam ninyo na agad kung sino ang may confidence at lakas ng loob na panindigan kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo.Kung sila ang may kasalanan dito,  hindi sila hihingi ng CCTV.” 

Raymart is confident the truth and he did the right thing as  protective husband and father.

“Siguro, mapapatawad ko pa siya sa ginawa niyang panununtok at paninipa. Pero sa ginawa niya sa asawa ko at trauma a anak ko, yon ang nagpapainit ng ulo ko.”

Physical and emotional trauma

A visibly shaken Claudine, who sat beside Raymart at the presscon, reports that she suffered from abrasion and hematoma.  Her lawyers advised her not to issue a statement for now since it may aggravate the trauma she is going through.

Even Raymart’s children are strongly affected. The youngest, Santino, four, says Raymart, was very angry.

“Where’s that man? Is he in jail?” Raymart quoted the boy as saying.

Raymart adds that his children are set to see a doctor because of the trauma they are going through.

Avisado relates that he will file a case of child abuse and physical injuries against Tulfo on May 8 or 9.

“Na-experience ng mga bata na sinasaktan ang ina nila,” the lawyer explained. 

Tulfo has already filed physical injuries and grave coercion cases against Raymart and Claudine.

Both are claiming the other camp struck the first blow.
Actor Raymart Santiago and columnist Ramon Tulfo swapped charges of physical injuries and grave coercion before the Pasay City police and the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday over the brawl that occurred on Sunday at the arrival area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.


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