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UK court grants joint custody of Iggy Arroyo remains to partner, daughter 

February 21, 2012 9:28am
(Updated 2:50 p.m.) The Royal Courts of Justice in London has granted joint custody of the remains of Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo to his partner, Grace Ibuna, and his daughter, Bernardina Arroyo-Tantoco, GMA News learned Tuesday.
The report aired on GMA News' “Unang Balita” said Ibuna personally appeared at the hearing.
Last week, Justice Peter Smith of the Chancery Division of the United Kingdom High Court of Justice set a hearing on February 20 at 10:30 a.m. (UK time) to enable Ibuna to “provide concrete evidence that she has the authority to handle Iggy Arroyo’s body.”

Ibuna is claiming rights over Arroyo’s body, and perhaps properties, with a will the late congressman drew up and signed in San Francisco, California.

The decision was immediately disputed by Arroyo's legal wife, Aleli Arroyo, through her lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, who told GMA News on Tuesday morning that Philippine law must prevail. Iggy Arroyo had sought an annulment from Aleli, who reportedly refused.

Ang sinasabi namin dito, ine-expect natin na ang court ng UK, ganyan ang ilalabas na decision and that is precisely what we wanted to avoid,” Kapunan said in an interview over GMA News TV’s “News To Go.”
She added that her client has already filed a petition for the custody of Iggy’s remains before a Quezon City court, and that these proceedings by a local court should be respected.
“As far as the Philippine court is concerned, ang pinag-aawayan pa lang ngayon o ang issue sa korte is: Who is entitled to the remains? Malinaw ang batas. Ang number 1 preference for funeral arrangement is the legal wife. Pangalawa lang ang children… Wala po doon ang mistress,” she said.
Kapunan likewise said that the will presented by Ibuna to the UK court was rendered inadmissible by the Philippine court, since the document was not authenticated.
The lawyer added that their camp has no plans to ask the foreign court to reconsider its decision, since her client does not recognize its jurisdiction over the case.  Rose-An Jessica Dioquino and Andreo Calonzo/RSJ/HS, GMA News

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