The Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto versus Mon Tulfo war has been brought to the media front, and soon, to the courtroom.
It has also turned into a blame game.
With the conflicting statements of the couple and the columnist, one question remains unanswered to date.
The varying accounts of the three witnesses have also left the public even more perplexed: “Sino ba talaga ang nauna?”
HE SAID, HE SAID... In an exclusive phone interview of Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) with Mon Tulfo on May 7, he vehemently denied being the first to hit the actor.
He even got agitated when PEP reporter Joyce Jimenez asked, “Kayo po ba yung nauna?”
His angry response: “Ano ba ‘yang sinasabi mo… Hindi nga ako nauna. Ayoko na magpa-interview.”
But before the conversation ended, he was able to underline, “Walang katotohanan!”
And in his live interview with Mike Enriquez of 24 Oras, he stated that hurting the couple was the farthest thing from his mind:
“Alam mo, Mike, wala akong dahilan na sipain o sumipa dahil, unang-una, hindi ko sila kakilala.
“Pangalawa, hindi naman nila ako kalaban.
“Pangatlo, nagmamadali akong lumabas ng terminal building dahil yung aking sasakyan ay nakaabang na sa akin sa labas.
“At, gutom na gutom na ako.”
For his part, Raymart had remained firm about his earlier statements.
He said during his press conference, which was held on the same day, “At kung kinausap po ako ni Mon na ‘yon, siguro baka kumampi siya sa akin, e.
“Kaso pinagkukunan po kami ‘tapos tinanong ko sa kanya kung, ‘Sir, ano po ba ang ginagawa ninyo?’
“Bigla na lang po niya akong sinuntok at sinipa!”
Emphatically he declared: “Yun po ang katotohanan.”
GMA-7’s WITNESS: Pro-Raymart. The only available proof at this point is the video posted by Glamchiq00 last May 6— the date of the brawl that happened in Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
And the only thing certain, based on the stories of the witnesses, is: that video is incomplete.
Anna (not her real name) was the first witness to go on national TV.
She approached GMA-7 News last May 7, and confirmed that the video circulating on the net is “the second part.”
She said she was a few meters away from Claudine when the incident happened, and she saw the actress’ attempt to grab Mon’s cell phone.
“Nandun na yung mga security, e, so she was really insisting because we were also cheering na, ‘It’s in his pocket. Take the camera from his pocket,’ kasi we were all witnessing the whole situation.”
Anna claimed that Mon kicked Claudine.
“I think, from that point, he pushed Claudine, and tinadyakan like a martial… the effect to me, it was like a martial arts... kind na parang kinarate.
“So that’s when we all screamed, ‘Hoy, babaeng tao ‘yan. That’s a lady. You don’t do that to a lady. You don’t do that to a woman.’”
When asked if she saw the youngest of the Barretto sisters hurting Mon, Anna replied, “No, Claudine was just trying to say, ‘Produce me the phone.’”
Anna added, “From our point of view, that’s why we reacted because parang sinapok niya yung babae rather than just hold her, at least just hold her arms, ‘Huwag, Ma’am. Huwag.’ Iba yun, e. That’s why we reacted.”
In her interview with TV5’s Aksyon yesterday, March 8, she narrated that Mon supposedly maltreated Raymart—“sinuntok, sinampal at inupakan.”
She also described the radio host’s attack as “parang jab-jab [a kind of punch used in martial arts],” then, “the girl in pink said, ‘Can I see it? Can I see it?’”
The next thing she saw, “Inupakan siya [Claudine]…”
The witness continued, “Sumugod si Raymart.”
TV5’s WITNESS: Pro-Tulfo. The witness presented by TV5 had an entirely different story about the incident.
She introduced herself as Rose.
“Ang una kong nakita, sinugod ni naka-gray si naka-pink pero hindi tinamaan,” she told Aksyon, before exclaiming, “Pinagtulungan siya [Mon] talaga.”
PEP’s WITNESS: Pro-Tulfo. Now comes the detailed account of PEP’s eyewitness who requested anonymity.
In a phone interview held yesterday afternoon, she revealed that the existing video was the “last wave” because there were “three” rounds of the fight.
First, she saw Mon Tulfo positioning himself across Claudine, who was then complaining loudly about her offloaded baggage at the passenger assistance counter.
The witness continued, “’Tapos kinukunan niya [Tulfo], ‘tapos sabi ko, “Hala, ang lakas ng loob nung ano, e, nakapaligid yung grupo ni Claudine.’
“Ang lakas naman ng loob nung mama!”
On her way out of the airport, this witness saw Raymart asking for Mon Tulfo’s cell phone.
The former, she said, was turning livid and he supposedly said, “Sino ka ba? Ba’t mo kinukunan ng picture yung asawa ko?”
Mon Tulfo’s reaction, she said, was “parang ngumiti lang” before putting the camera inside his vest pocket.
Raymart persisted, “Sandali, sino ka ba? Akin na yung cell phone mo.”
Then, the first round of the bout took place.
The witness resumed, “’Tapos nung ayaw ibigay, parang pinush niya si Mon ‘tapos sinapak niya.
“Pagsapak niya, nakailag si Mon.”
When asked, “Si Raymart ba talaga ang nauna?”
She quickly replied, “Oo, oo, siya.”
Moving on with her story, “Pagkailag ni Mon, yung reaction niya, tumawa, yung parang devil laugh [imitating Tulfo’s laugh], gumaganun siya. Kasi nakailag siya, e.”
Still according to this witness:
“Nung nakailag siya, meron nang humahamon from his back na naka-pink na guy, which is kagrupo nila Raymart…
“Sinapak na si Mon. Yung guy na naka-pink, natamaan si Mon. Ano na… tumakbo na si Mon, naghanap na siya ng area na makakatakbo siya.
Three guys—Raymart, “naka-pink,” and “naka-light blue”—allegedly ran after Mon “kasi, gusto talaga nila, kunin yung cell phone.”
This witness explained, “Kaya nga makikita mo sa video, inaangat ni Claudine yung vest, e, tinatanggal. Nandun kasi yung cell phone, e, ayaw ni Mon ipakuha yun.”
Lastly, did she see that incident when Mon Tulfo reportedly kicked Claudine?
“Wala akong nakita na sinipa siya dun sa counter. Wala akong nakitang ganun,” the witness said.
ABS-CBN’s report. Also crucial to this investigation are the guards and the ground crew of Cebu Pacific.
In an article posted on ABS-CBN.com, lady guard Eden Modejas wrote in her sworn affidavit that she saw Raymart allegedly attacking a male passenger.
Likewise, Cebu Pacific’s ground staff Cid Charisse Bocboc and Kristine Anne Ilagan made the same observation in their handwritten statements.
All three made no mention of Mon Tulfo supposedly kicking or shoving Claudine.
Now, who’s telling the truth?
UP NEXT: Updates about the airport’s investigation