HINIGARAN, Negros Occidental – Alicia “Aleli” Morales Arroyo, the wife of the late Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr., yesterday said she has been able to survive the loss of her husband by remembering the good memories they had together.
Aleli, who joined the wake of her husband at the St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church with their daughter, Alelu, said “We came to the fifth district to thank the people for their trust and love for the congressman.”
She said they were booked to fly in together with the remains of the congressman to Negros Occidental Monday evening but decided against it to avoid the fanfare and trouble. It was the congressman’s long-time partner, Grace Ibuna, and his daughters Dina and Bianca who arrived with the body.
“We are not used to making scenes, all we want to do is to pray for my husband and thank the people of the fifth district,” Aleli said
Aleli said she and her daughter will return to Manila tonight ahead of the congressman’s remains that will be flown back tomorrow morning.
“What is important to me is my daughter, I do not want her to be hurt,” Aleli said.
“Having the body of the congressman is not what is important, his soul has already separated from his body, what is important is for us to pray for his soul,” she said.
Aleli, who was wearing a “Project Iggy” T-shirt, recalled the work she did in the fifth district when she and the congressman were together. Project Iggy, which she implemented, included supplemental feeding projects for severely malnourished children, values education for parents, and a vegetable production program, she said.
She said that, after the wake in Negros, the congressman’s body will be brought back to the Arroyo ancestral home built by her mother-in-law, Lourdes Tuason Arroyo, in La Vista, Quezon City. It is where Mike and Gloria Arroyo live, and where she and Iggy lived for more than ten years, and where Alelu was born, Aleli said.
Former President Gloria Arroyo has been granted permission by the court to attend the funeral mass of the congressman on Friday morning, she said.
Aleli said she has a very good and peaceful relationship with the Arroyos. On the day the congressman died, when she and daughter were very sad, Aleli said received a letter from former president Gloria Arroyo.
“It was a beautiful letter, that was the day we needed some comfort. It was the first letter we got. She said let’s just remember the good memories, that’s the only way we can continue. And that is really how I was able to survive because we just remembered the good memories,” she said.
And among those best memories was her coming to Negros with Alelu and with Iggy, she said.*CPG