Iggy Arroyo's life support pulled out, brother says

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


MANILA (6th update, 7:36 p.m.) -- Life support systems of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo were pulled out Thursday evening (Philippine time), several hours after he was declared by his doctors in London as “clinically dead” after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Reports quoted Iggy's brother, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike”, saying that support systems have been pulled out and that the congressman has passed away.

Iggy, already on his last term in Congress, has missed plenary sessions in the House of Representatives since last year after he left for London to undergo treatment for a liver ailment.

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Earlier in the day, the former First Gentleman announced the death of his brother but retracted the statement after confirmation from Iggy’s staff that he is still on life support.

Edgar Ruado, Iggy’s chief of staff, said: “Maybe there was confusion because when you say one is clinically dead, it would seem that the person is already dead.” Ruado made the clarification after speaking with Iggy’s partner, Grace Ibuna.

Ruado said the three-term congressman suffered cardiac arrest at 10:30 a.m. of Thursday (Philippine time).

Upon receiving reports that Iggy died in London, the flag of the House of Representatives located in front of the session hall was flown at half-mast. After clarifications were made, the flag was raised again to top mast.

Attendance records of the House of Representatives showed Iggy only attended 26 plenary sessions out of 59 last year.

Iggy, one of the four Arroyos in Congress, was not able to receive a single centavo from his P70-million priority development assistance fund (PDAF), more commonly known as pork barrel. The other three Arroyos are former President Arroyo, Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, and Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo.

The Negros Occidental lawmaker supposedly shielded his brother from several controversies, including when the former First Gentleman was implicated in the sale of second-hand helicopters to the Philippine National Police as brand new.

In a press statement sent from London, Iggy said his brother was not connected to the Arroyo-owned company when the said purchase was made.

Iggy also took the cudgels from his brother back in 2003 when the latter was accused by Senator Panfilo Lacson to own the controversial multimillion-peso “Jose Pidal” account. Mike Arroyo was accused of money laundering for allegedly keeping the said bank account.

In a separate report, a Department of Justice official said Arroyo will no longer be indicted for the alleged fraudulent sale of pre-owned choppers in 2009.

“Under present rules, criminal cases die with the man. Civil cases for damages or money claims can be filed against the estate and the heirs,” Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan told Sun.Star.

Rule 111, Section 4 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that an independent civil action "may be continued against the estate or legal representative of the accused after proper substitution or against said estate, as the case may be."

Arroyo, younger brother of Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, earlier admitted in a Senate probe last year that as president of the family-owned LTA Inc., he leased five choppers from LionAir for use by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

These choppers were supposedly used by the former leader in the 2004 presidential campaign, which she narrowly won against the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr.

Mrs. Arroyo’s political nemesis Senator Panfilo Lacson vouched for the ex-First Gentleman’s past ownership over the helicopters as flight records had shown these were used for two years before they were bought by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

However, Arroyo was excluded from the plunder charges filed by the PNP with the Office of the Ombudsman but Senator Franklin Drilon said the lawmaker can still be tagged as an accessory to the crime. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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