Atong Ang addresses viral photos-with-Gretchen issue

Following the different versions of the Baretto sisters on what happened at the wake of their father last week, comes businessman Atong Ang’s interview about it.

Atong Ang addresses the viral 'holding hands while sleeping' photo with Gretchen Barretto

Atong Ang addresses the viral ‘holding hands while sleeping’ photo with Gretchen Barretto

But first, recall that Bulletin Entertainment reported last Oct. 18 that Claudine was hospitalized after an alleged scuffle with Marjorie.


Even the names of some of the younger Barrettos were dragged into the controversy.


A few days later Marjorie, claimed on national TV that it was Gretchen and Claudine who started the commotion. Few hours later, Gretchen refuted it.


Then Claudine revealed her version of the story.


The man who seems to be the common denominator among three Barretto women – Atong Ang, because of his “closeness” with the showbiz personalities— also clarified his relationship with some of the family members.


In Atong’s interview with news anchor Noli de Castro aired on “TV Patrol” last night, the businessman said his connection with the Barettos started with Nicole, daughter of JJ, a decade ago. He shared there came a point when she would invite him to different gatherings of her family, and they even travelled together at times.

Was Nicole his girlfriend?

“Basta sinabi niyang naging boyfriend niya ako, eh, sinasabi ko nga, hindi ako puwedeng magsalita ng oo tsaka hindi,” he said. “As is na lang siya, kasi hindi maganda sa side ko na ako pa ang magsasalita.”

“May anak na siya tsaka boyfriend. May asawa na ‘yan. Ayokong magsalita nang ganyan. Ang alam ko, maayos ‘yung boyfriend niya, so nirerespeto ko ‘yung relationship niya ngayon. Kasi five years actually na hindi ko nakikita si Nicole. Nakita ko nga siya sa (lamay ng) patay na lang,” he added.

On being “romantically” linked to Claudine and Gretchen, he said: “Hindi talaga.”

Atong pointed out that Gretchen’s long-time partner, and his good friend, Tony Boy Cojuangco didn’t even react to this controversy.

“Alam naman niya lahat ng nangyayari. Alam niya lahat, eh… Nagkikita kami, nagpupunta ako sa bahay niya. Kumakain kami lagi sa labas,” Atong said.

Atong claimed it was Tony who asked him to go with Gretchen to the funeral wake of her father. He shared that it was around 1 in the morning when Gretchen received a call from Presidential Management Staff (PMS), who relayed the message that President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting the wake and that he wants Gretchen to go as well and end their family feud.

“Sagot ni Gretchen, kwento niya sa akin, ‘Pasabi kay Sir na ‘wag na po baka magkagulo lang lalo na ‘di ako invited d’yan,'” he said.

Atong continued that less than an hour later, however, PMS called anew directing Gretchen that “she must go” because the President will be coming.

“Tumawag sa akin si Tony, (sabi) ‘Pare pakisamahan mo si Gretchen baka mapa-away ‘yan du’n. Pupunta sa patay hindi ako makakapunta, masakit lower back ko,'” he shared.

Atong revealed Nicole found out about their arrival, and the latter allegedly contacted one of his children.

“Sabi niya (Nicole) ‘Pakisabi sa Papa mo for respeto naman ‘wag na sila pumunta sa patay,’ (sagot ko) Pasabi kay Nicole pupunta lang kami du’n para kay Presidente, sasamahan ko si Gretchen kasi baka magkagulo sabi ni Tony. So nag-advice ako kay Nicole na kung ayaw kami makita ‘wag na lang magpakita kasi pag-alis ng Presidente, aalis na din kami,” he explained.

The businessman claimed it was Marjorie who refused to accept the handshake of Gretchen.

As for that viral photo that shows him and Gretchen together on an airplane, Atong said there’s no malice in that and that he sees her as “sister.”

“Si Gretchen is very close sa akin, parang kapatid ko talaga ‘yan. Kuwento nang kuwento, inaantok na ako. Ang daming sinasabi kasi makuwento talaga ‘yan, e. ‘Yan ‘yung time na sabi ko… G ang tawag ko sa kanya. Sabi ko, ‘G, tutulog na lang muna ako,’ kaya ginanoon ko ‘yung kamay niya. ‘Tutulog muna ako.’ Siguro stewardess ‘yung kumuha ng picture,” he said.

Atong reiterated that more than anything Gretchen is also his business partner, as well as, the latter’s partner Tony.

In the end, Atong gave a message to the Barrettos.

“Sa inyong mga Barretto, since naging parang family ko kayo, kayo na, nilalahat ko na kayo, namatay na ang tatay niyo ngayon, nag-iisa na ang nanay niyo.

“Kapareho ko, ang nanay ko, mahal ko nanay ko. Inaalagaan ko ‘yan. Magtulong-tulong lang kayo, magbigay kayo ng pera, pilitin niyo na maka-survive ang nanay niyo.

“Kaming magkakapatid, hindi kami magkakasundo, pero hindi kami naggaganyanan.

“Pabayaan niyong lumabas ang nanay niyo sa isang side. Pabayaan niyo yung kabila. Huwag kayong magsiraan.

“Pero kung ako kayo, magkabati-bati kayo.”