‘Abused’ wife sues husband; rocks Madrigal, Ortigas clansBy Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer A scion of the landed Madrigal clan has sued her husband—himself heir to the vast Ortigas property development fortune—for concubinage after the latter allegedly took his wife’s best friend as his mistress and cohabited with her in a Pasig City townhouse jointly owned by the spouses.
More importantly, 63-year-old Susana Madrigal Bayot-Ortigas accused her husband, 65-year-old former ambassador to Mexico Francisco M. Ortigas III of having a string of affairs over their four-decade-long marriage, including having sex with one of their household helpers in their own marital bed.
“The painful truth is that I married an abuser, a scrooge, an incorrigible philanderer and worse, a pervert,” Bayot-Ortigas said in a 75-page complaint affidavit filed last month with the Pasig prosecutor’s office.
“Our marriage, contrary to how it is perceived in high society, has been marked by years of intimidation, harassment, repeated psychological and verbal abuse, all courtesy of my husband, respondent Paqui.”
The accusation of concubinage was leveled against Ortigas (nicknamed “Paqui”) and his “alleged mistress,” Ma. Antonia Legarda (or “Marian,” reportedly aged 64) for “cohabiting and having sexual intercourse under scandalous circumstances during our marriage,” Bayot-Ortigas said.
She said that before she decided to file the complaint, she had been warned that doing so would ‘’only add to my embarrassment and humiliation.’’
‘’I have been discouraged to file this case because I was told that we live in a society which is forgiving of philandering husbands,’’ she said. ‘’I have no wish to air dirty laundry in public.’’
But the respondents’ alleged acts ‘’were not only immoral and by law a violation of the marital vows that Paqui and I took. They are also unlawful, horrendous and demeaning, and for which there must be adequate recompense under the law,’’ Bayot-Ortigas stressed.
The best friend
In the complaint, she narrated how she invited Legarda—her best friend, prior to her discovery of the affair—to live in their conjugal home in North Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, after the latter suffered some financial difficulties.
When Ortigas was appointed ambassador to Mexico in August 2008, Bayot-Ortigas even decided to bring Legarda along to act as her husband’s assistant because of her command of the Spanish language.
“Aside from speaking fluent Spanish, respondent Marian needed employment, and that is the reason why I thought she was perfect for the job,” Bayot-Ortigas said.
“More importantly, since she was my best friend and a recipient of my generosity, I thought I could trust her,” she said.
However, one of their household staffers in Mexico later testified in a sworn statement that she had caught Ortigas and Legarda having sexual intercourse in June 2009 when she entered the latter’s bedroom (Legarda also lived in the same house in Mexico) to clean it.
“According to Angie (Gamboa, the helper), my husband was lying on respondent Marian’s bed while Marian was straddling him,” Bayot-Ortigas said.
“Unknown to me, respondent Paqui’s unlawful affair with respondent Marian was already known to other people. I did not know that the members of my own household staff were already talking about [the] respondents and how shameless they were about their affair. [The] respondents would even hold hands and kiss each other while they were in the house,” she said.
In the affidavit, Bayot-Ortigas also described how the marriage started to unravel from its earliest days, describing her husband as being “obsessed with dominance and control” to the point of berating her frequently—even in public—as tanga or bobo (dumb, stupid), and showing no qualms about telling her to “shut up” in the presence of other people.
“The years of demeaning treatment I suffered made me see myself as inferior and overly dependent on respondent Paqui,” she said. “On hindsight, the reason why I could not leave Paqui is because (though it may be hard to accept) I am a battered wife.”
She also described how she discovered her husband’s first affair which he allegedly had with their helper of 20 years, Wilma Balingasa, whom she described as an “old maid.”
“Respondent Paqui made Wilma his ‘sex slave’ and engaged in perverted and depraved acts right in our conjugal home, in our den, in the master bedroom and worst of all, in the marital bed,” Bayot-Ortigas said.
“In fact, respondent Paqui was caught by one of our maids in the middle of making Wilma give him a ‘blow job’ in our walk-in closet, and this was apparently while I was in another part of the house,” she said.
Bayot-Ortigas is a member of the prominent Madrigal clan which owns large tracts of land to the south of Metro Manila, including the Madrigal Business Park in Muntinlupa City. The posh Ayala Alabang Village was, at one point, part of the Madrigal estate.
Ortigas, on the other hand, is a scion of the Ortigas clan which owns Ortigas & Co., developer and owner of the Greenhills Shopping Center, much of the Ortigas central business district, and large tracts of land to the east of Metro Manila.
The Inquirer tried to get the side of the respondents in the case, but they had yet to respond as of press time.