Rep. Iggy Arroyo remains arrive in Manila Wednesday night
MANILA, Philippines—After several postponements, the remains of the late Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo finally arrived in Manila from London Wednesday night.
Iggy’s remains arrived at the Ninoy Aquino Intermational Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 via Dubai on board Emirates Airlines flight EK 334 around 9:45 p.m. They were accompanied on the same flight by his long-time partner Grace Ibuna, her daughter Gabrielle and one of his daughters, Bianca Arroyo.
Ibuna broke down in tears as she, along with her and Iggy’s daughters, met her family at the airport.
In an interview, Ibuna said she only wanted a dignified burial for her partner and vowed to fulfill what she claimed was Iggy’s last wish, to come home to Negros Occidental.
“We will come home to Negros. That’s his last wish,” Ibuna told reporters.
The repatriation of Iggy’s remains, which was originally set last week, had been delayed apparently because of numerous documentations needed in London.
From the NAIA Terminal 1, Ibuna and Iggy’s family, including the late congressman’s other daughter, Bernardina Arroyo-Tantoco, proceeded to Pair Cargo warehouse, located adjacent to the airport terminal, to receive the remains.
It took a while before Iggy’s remains were released from the cargo warehouse because it had to undergo several processes, including customs, immigration and quarantine procedures.
Iggy’s remains were picked up by Arlington Funeral Homes at the cargo warehouse.
Apart from Arroyo-Tantoco, the other relatives of Iggy and Ibuna who were issued access passes by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), upon the request of Edith Cardenas, executive director of the House of Representatives’ Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Special Affairs Bureau, included Paolo Tantoco, Linda Ibuna and Rodolfo Ibuna.
Connie Bungag, chief of the MIAA media affairs division, said that former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo was among those who were supposed to receive the remains of his brother at the cargo warehouse but that changes were made Tuesday night, with his name stricken out from the list.
The remains will be transferred to the Arroyo ancestral home on 14 Badjao Street in La Vista Subdivision on March 1, where it will remain until March 3, Saturday.
After a 10 a.m. Mass, the body will be taken to Iggy and his legal wife, Aleli’s, conjugal home, a few doors down, on 17 Badjao Street where a wake will be held until Monday, March 5.
From the Arroyo conjugal home, the body will be moved to the House of Representatives on March 5 for a necrological service.
At 4 p.m. that day, the body will be flown to Bacolod to allow the late congressman’s constituents to pay their last respects until March 7.
It will be returned to Manila on the morning of March 8 and t to the Arroyo ancestral home. The interment is scheduled on the morning of March 9, Friday, at the Manila North Cemetery near the grave of his mother.
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