Amid rumors of his involvement with the Barretto family, Atong Ang revealed his side of the story on TV Patrol yesterday. The businessman categorically denied rumors linking him to sisters Gretchen and Claudine Barretto.
Asked about his rumored relationship with their niece Nicole Barretto, Atong said, “Kung sinasabi niyang naging girlfriend, wala namang problema doon. Siyempre hindi naman tama sa lalake na ako pa ang magsasabi na girlfriend ko siya, ‘di ba? Kung ganoon ang tingin ng mga tao, sige. [Kung ganoon] ang tingin ng kamag-anak, sige, wala namang problema e.”
He added, according to ANCX, “Hindi ako puwedeng magsalita ng oo o hindi. As is na lang siya kasi hindi maganda sa side ko na ako pa ang magsasalita.”
What about that photo of him and Gretchen supposedly holding hands while sleeping on the plane? Atong said they are very close and treat each other like siblings. He said he accompanies Gretchen during their group travels because she and her partner, Tonyboy Cojuangco, can’t fly on the same plane for the sake of their daughter, Dominique Cojuangco. “Laging hiwalay kasi isa lang ang anak nila.”
Regarding allegations that Gretchen “stole” Atong from Nicole, he said, “Walang agawan dahil hindi naman kami ni Gretchen.”
Atong said, “Mahal ko [ang] pamilya ko. Family man ako. Hindi ko pagpapalit maski kaninong babae ang pamilya ko.” Gretchen recently shared a photo of Atong and his wife, Iris. “This family happens to be our family, too. We will protect our happy life, Nicole. We love each other dearly,” she said, according to PEP.ph. Atong has eight kids, according to ANCX.
Atong was involved in the controversial scuffle at the wake of the late patriarch, Miguel Barretto. Atong said Gretchen is close to President Rodrigo Duterte and was asked twice by the Presidential Management Staff to accompany the president. Atong went with Gretchen at the request of Tonyboy, who couldn’t make it. He recalled Tonyboy supposedly saying, “Pare, pakisamahan mo si Gretchen. Baka mapaaway doon.”
Nicole got wind of Gretchen and Atong’s plans to visit and supposedly called Atong’s daughter to ask them not to come. Atong denied sending a warning to Nicole and her family. He recalled asking his daughter to tell Nicole, “Pupunta lang naman kami doon para sa presidente. Sasamahan ko si Gretchen. Baka magkagulo, kailangan kong samahan, sabi ni Tony.”
Atong said, “Ang in-advise ko, ‘Pakisabi na lang kay Nicole, kung ayaw nilang makita, huwag na lang silang magpakita. Pag-alis naman ng presidente, aalis din kami e.’
He denied attempting to grab Marjorie Barretto, who gave her own tell-all interview recently, in the midst of the scuffle. He addressed Marjorie, “Kung sinabi mong hahablutin kita, matinong tao ako. Sa harap ng presidente, mananakit ako ng babae? At saka hindi ako nananakit ng babae. Wala sa ugali ko ‘yon.” He said his only intent during the scuffle was to protect the president and Gretchen, according to ABS-CBN News.
Addressing Marjorie’s public plea to not harm her for naming him in her interview, Atong said, “Sa drama niyo, sa away niyo, wala akong pakialam diyan. Kung may dapat kang katakutan, I think ang family ni Recom [Echiverri]. Idineklara mong kabit ka e. Dapat kang matakot, may mga anak ‘yon.” In her interview, Marjorie admitted that her daughter Erich’s father is Enrico “Recom” Echiverri, House representative of Caloocan’s first district.
Watch Atong’s full interview below:
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