The remains of Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo Jr. (Neg. Occ., 5th District) did not arrive in the Philippines yesterday as announced.
No specific date for the arrival of his body, the return of which has been delayed by a dispute between his second wife, Alicia “Aleli” Arroyo, and partner Grace Ibuna on who has the right to it.
When Arroyo died in London on January 26 after a long battle with cirrhosis of the liver it was Ibuna who was by his bedside.
On Thursday both parties had agreed on a schedule for his wake in the Philippines, but no explanation was given for the delay.
Meanwhile, the Pasay Regional Trial Court granted former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s petition to be allowed to visit the wake of the congressman from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 25, but her lawyers have asked that it be rescheduled to March 1 to 3.
The Commission on Elections is opposing Arroyo’s three-day request.
Lorna Kapunan, lawyer of Aleli, told ABS-CBN they still do not have an explanation from Ibuna, or Iggy’s daughter Bianca Arroyo, why the scheduled repatriation did not push through.
Based on their compromise agreement, the congressman’s remains would stay at Aleli’s residence Sunday to Tuesday morning, she said.
However, because of the delay, the schedule will have to be adjusted, Kapunan said, adding that if the camp of Ibuna does not honor the agreement, Aleli's camp will push through with their petition for custody of Iggy's remains, and their request for a temporary restraining order.
Ibuna's lawyer, Leonard de Vera, told ABS-CBN the delay may have been caused by some requirements or paperwork that need to be signed in the United Kingdom.*CPG