Marjorie Barretto had a very interesting interview with Karen Davila, which, veteran showbiz writer Lolit Solis described as “very explosive, and revelatory.” What made Solis think this way?
Well, it answered many questions. First, what prompted Marjorie to reject the conciliation offer from the most powerful man in the land? Everyone knows that it was before the presence of President Duterte that Marjorie and Gretchen went against each other, with a niece, Nicole, entering into the fray.
When Duterte arrived at the wake, he gave his respects and when he learned of the feud between Marjorie and Gretchen, the President asked them to reconcile “for the sake of their father.” Gretchen gamely extended her hand to Marjorie who reportedly politely refused the handshake. That scene prompted Claudine to remark loudly, and that started the reported catfight which eventually led to the youngest Barretto sister being wheeled in a hospital.
Claudine claimed that it was her niece, Nicole, who tried to slap Gretchen, but she stopped her from trying, only to find Marjorie’s daughter Julia Barretto taking part in the fray. Prior to the catfight, Julia was reportedly taunting Claudine already for her reported “mental health.” It was at this point that Claudine and Julia went against each other. Julia had since denied this in a post.
Again, why did Marjorie deny the reconciliation move from her sister Gretchen? In her Davila interview, Marjorie said that she thought that Gretchen was at her ‘element” during those times. She did not want to take part in a “ruse” being peddled by Gretchen whom she accused of “faking it”, even that highly publicized incident when Gretchen reportedly made amends with her grieving mother, whom she had not seen for decades.
Marjorie says the whole thing started when she, Nicole, and her mother Inday got a text from a relative of Charlie “Atong” Ang. Ang, it seems, is close to the Barretto clan. I am not entirely convinced that Atong and Gretchen Barretto, Marjorie’s sister, are romantically involved, although this thing has been the talk of the town since 2016.
This relative was not identified, but it could probably be Iris Ang, wife of Atong Ang and reputedly, very close to Gretchen. The texter asked Marjorie and Nicole to just leave the Heritage Memorial Park since their presence could lead to a possible altercation with Gretchen. The request was made politely but was interpreted as something terribly unacceptable by Marjorie and Nicole.
Unknown to many, Marjorie and Nicole were harboring serious issues with Gretchen, whom the two blamed for their failed relationships. Marjorie hates Gretchen for not agreeing on her romantic decisions, first when she lived in with Dennis Padilla a married man, and eventually with former Caloocan mayor Enrico “Recom” Echieverri, another married man, of whom she sired a 7 year-old daughter, Erich.
Nicole, meanwhile, accuses Gretchen of “stealing her boyfriend” who happens to be Atong Ang.
Unknown to many showbiz kibitzers, Nicole is a 26 year old registered optometrist and daughter of JJ Barretto, Grethen’s brother who once worked for Atong Ang. Nicole claims that she and Ang had been an item for five years until her aunt, Gretchen, came into the picture. Ang is reportedly Gretchen’s “boyfriend” whom Marjorie described as “powerful in a bad way.”
Ang had since denied any relationship with Gretchen except to say that they are business partners in the casino and cockfighting business. There is simply no way for Ang to get hitched with Gretchen since everyone knows that Gretchen is very close to Ang’s wife Iris, and is still in a live-in relationship with Ang’s business partner Tonyboy Cojuangco. Tonyboy and Gretchen had been living together for several decades now despite Tony-boy being a married man, and are both parents to Dominique Cojuangco who now lives a quiet life in San Francisco California.
Tonyboy Cojuangco is a partner of Ang in running the Okada Resorts and Casino, after the Cojuangcos and their partners maneuvered to oust Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada from the casino board. Persistent rumors however describe Ang as very close to Gretchen since August 2016.
How about Nicole? If Atong Ang and Gretchen are not romantic partners, then, how about the allegation of Nicole on having a relationship with the former jueteng lord and now “gaming consultant”?
Photos now surfacing online shows that Nicole’s beef with Gretchen may actually have a basis. Claudine Barretto, Nicole’s aunt, posted a photo showing her with Atong Ang and even described Nicole as “the love of his life.” Based on reports, Claudine became close with Atong Ang, when she had a trouble with a mayor in Bulacan. Her troubles started when she was rumored on having a relationship with the son of the mayor (or the mayor himself, reports say) who happens to be very close to her estranged husband, Raymart Santiago and friends, Derek Ramsey.
Former Balagtas bulacan mayor Reynaldo Castro is father to Martin Castro, who was being linked to Claudine. Claudine accused Star Magic colleague actress Angelica Panganiban as the one who reportedly spread the nasty rumor between her and Martin. Panganiban’s law firm had since warned Claudine of charging the actress of being the one behind the rumor.
Being close to the Castros, Claudine went to Atong Ang and it was the unofficial presidential consultant on gaming who reportedly convinced the former mayor not to file charges against Claudine.
Curiously though, Gretchen was quoted as saying that it was not she who snatched Atong Ang from the clutches of Nicole, but it was the other way around. It was Nicole who did the boyfriend snatching first when she reportedly got Atong Ang away from Claudine.
Is this true? Is this the reason why Raymart separated from Claudine, when rumors of her alleged illicit relationships surfaced? Claudine described her relationship with Raymart as some sort of a period when she was still on a “rebound” after she lost her boyfriend Rico Yan who reportedly died of cardiac arrest due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis while on vacation. Yan died in 2002 while Claudine married Raymart in 2006, or four years later.
It is more plausible to assume that Claudine met Atong at the time when she was recovering from her fall-out with Raymart. How about Gretchen’s claim that Nicole stole Atong from Claudine? Does it have any basis at all?
In a statement, Atong said his relationship with Claudine is innocent. On Nicole, Atong says that he did not enter into a relationship with Nicole, and considered her as an employee.
Gretchen’s posts on the matter suggest that the young Nicole may have desired a relationship with Ang, who is seriously older than her for decades. Reports say Nicole’s relationship with Ang began in 2014, while Atong’s alleged romance with Gretchen started on August 2016.
“He never courted you,” says Gretchen referring to Atong on Nicole. The statement however, seemed short. What was the context of this statement? Was this a scathing remark against Nicole from Gretchen, even suggesting that it was a taunt? That she, Gretchen, was courted, while Nicole, was not? I dare not to suggest or proffer anything. Nicole has some more explaining to do.
Nicole is reportedly a single parent, mother to a son with a certain Martin Paolo Magno. It is unclear if they are married, yet Nicole’s FB posts show that Nicole’s son with Magno was born only last February of this year.
So, if this is the case, then, why is it that Nicole still harbors ill will against Gretchen? Gretchen has an answer— Nicole seems obsessed with Atong, whom Gretchen describes as Nicole’s “client.” What this term means, we will never know.