|Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr.'s second wife, Alicia Arroyo, and common-law wife Grace Ibuna. Composite/File Photo
Mike Arroyo denies telling Grace to pull the plug
MANILA, Philippines - Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Tuason Arroyo Jr.'s common-law wife, Grace Ibuna, may be sued by the late lawmaker's legal wife for allegedly giving the go-signal to pull the plug on their clinically-dead husband.
Alicia Arroyo's lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said they are planning to file charges against Ibuna for declaring that she is the legal wife of Iggy.
"To misrepresent that you are the spouse, when in fact you are not, to misrepresent or to actually go ahead and pull the plug, these are all multiple criminal offenses," Kapunan said.
Alicia said she would never have pulled the plug on Iggy.
Although their marriage was in the process of being annulled, she said it was never approved. She added the late lawmaker stopped going to their family home in La Vista, Quezon City in 2005.
"At the end of the day, he needs peace and healing. If we're all peaceful here, maybe it's easier for him to have everlasting happiness. It's all I do, I just pray. I lift everything up to the Lord," she said.
Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel 'Mike' Arroyo told ABS-CBN News on Thursday that his brother was clinically dead and was only relying on life-support systems after he suffered a cardiac arrest in London, England on Wednesday.
He later announced that his brother died after life-support systems were removed from his body.
No one was with Iggy in London, except for Ibuna, whom he has lived with for years, according to ABS-CBN London correspondent Gene Alcantara.
Ibuna has declined to comment publicly about the threat of a lawsuit, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau chief Danny Buenafe said on TV Patrol on Friday.
Buenafe said he was able to talk to Ibuna, who said off-camera that the decision to pull the plug on Iggy Arroyo did not come from her.
Ibuna reportedly talked to Mike before doctors removed the life-support system from Iggy.
|Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel 'Mike' Arroyo and his brother Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Tuason Arroyo Jr. File Photo
Mike, meanwhile, said on Friday that he did not order that his brother be removed from life support. "I did not order that," he said.
He said Ibuna asked him what to do. He reportedly told her, "I told her it's up to you. You're the one there."
"I never said that [ordered to pull the plug]. Sinabi niya sa akin kanina. I never told her to pull the plug," he said.
"She was asking me what to do. Better you discuss it with the daughter. She's telling us the hospital, prinessure siya ng hospital."
Ibuna said Bianca, the late lawmaker's daughter with his first wife, Marilen Jacinto, is expected to issue a statement regarding the issue after she arrives in London from Las Vegas to retrieve her father's remains.
Ibuna is a former girlfriend of actor Gabby Concepcion. They have a daughter, Gabrielle.
The younger Arroyo went to London last year to seek treatment for a liver ailment. He was listed as one of the lawmakers with the most number of absences in the House of Representatives for 2011.
He earlier told ABS-CBN News last December that he had to stay longer in London because of his ongoing treatment.
He had also urged President Benigno Aquino III to show compassion to his sister-in-law, former President Gloria Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center for electoral sabotage.
The younger Arroyo figured in the news in 2003 after he claimed ownership of the multi-million-peso "Jose Pidal" account, allegedly owned by his brother.
He again allegedly covered up for his brother after he claimed that he leased 5 helicopters from Lionair Inc. since 2004. Two of the second-hand choppers were allegedly sold to the Philippine National Police for $700,000 in 2009.
Arroyo's claim ran contrary to claims made by Lionair President Archibald Po that Mike Arroyo purchased and used the choppers before they were sold to the PNP.