Wife sues Iggy Arroyo over depletion of P127M in assets

By Margaux Ortiz, Kristine L. Alave
Inquirer
Last updated 05:17am (Mla time) 06/27/2007iggy.jpg00.jpg

MANILA, Philippines — The estranged wife of Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo has filed a petition for support and the dissolution of their conjugal property, accusing him of depleting their assets of close to P127 million “in a span of only one year” as shown in his latest statement of assets and liabilities (SAL).

 

Alicia “Aleli” Arroyo, accompanied by her lawyer Lorna Kapunan, filed the petition in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Tuesday afternoon. The case will be raffled off to the court that would hear it Thursday, according to the court staff.

 

Iggy Arroyo is the younger brother of Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband.

 

In her petition, Aleli Arroyo requested the immediate dissolution, liquidation and distribution of their property.

 

She said that during their marriage, she and Iggy Arroyo acquired real and personal property, the majority of which were supposedly managed and controlled by the latter.

 

She listed the assets they owned as of 2005: Three houses in Las Vegas, Nevada; two properties in La Vista subdivision, Quezon City (she said that the second property — an 8,000-square-meter lot — was supposedly being encroached on by the houses of the First Couple’s two sons, Mikey and Dato Arroyo); two condominium units; lots in Muntinlupa, Tagaytay and Subic, and two haciendas in Negros Occidental province.

 

Asked to comment by Inquirer Visayas, Congressman Arroyo said it was Aleli, not he, who had “raided” their conjugal assets.

 

“She is the one who depleted our resources,” he said, adding that Aleli had sold their shares of stock and “raided” their joint accounts in the Philippines and the United States.

 

The congressman said he welcomed the complaint. He said he was planning to file one himself but that she had beaten him to it.

 

“I am glad she filed it,” he said, adding that he would also seek the inclusion of a petition for annulment of their marriage.

 

4 farms, etc.

 

Aleli Arroyo said that while it was not indicated in the lawmaker’s SAL, she had been informed that he had “acquired four farms for American-bred fighting cocks in Antipolo and Iloilo.”

 

She said she had also been informed that the lawmaker recently acquired other assets, including a house in San Juan City, a flat in London, two condominium units in Metro Manila, a property in Arizona and another condominium unit in Boston, Massachusetts.
“However, these properties were not declared by the respondent in his SAL filed in 2007,” she said in her petition.

 

She added that Congressman Arroyo had been buying and selling real property abroad without declaring that he was married, “clearly to keep [these] transactions hidden” from her.

 

Aleli also said she and her husband had acquired shares of stock in seven companies. She enumerated the motor vehicles, jewelry, paintings and antiques they supposedly owned, including several bank accounts of which she said she was a signatory to only two.

 

In one year

 

In his 2006 SAL, Congressman Arroyo declared under oath that the absolute community of property had a total net worth of P287,092,973.53, Aleli said. However, the following year, his SAL showed that he had only P160,226,763.18 worth of property.

 

“This means that in a span of only one year, respondent managed to remove from his SAL such assets belonging to the absolute community of property amounting to P126,866,209.35,” she said.

 

Quoting Article 135 of the Family Code, which considers as sufficient causes for judicial separation of property the abandonment of the petitioner by his or her spouse and the separation of the spouses for at least one year, Aleli asked the court to dissolve the properties.

 

“Necessarily, such assets of the absolute community of property that were surreptitiously disposed of by respondent without the consent of petitioner should be charged to respondent’s share upon the dissolution,” she said.

 

Aleli likewise asked for an accounting and inventory of the total property before its dissolution.

 

She said the accounting was “crucial” because she had been informed that the lawmaker “purchased various houses, vehicles and jewelry for his mistresses.”

 

The accounting to be rendered by the lawmaker would “hopefully” help the court “determine the exact value of the absolute community of property, the respective shares of the petitioner and respondent in the same, and the amount to be charged to the share of respondent,” she said.

 

Lastly, Aleli asked the court to require Congressman Arroyo to provide support in the amount of P400,000 monthly while the suit was in progress.

 

“Petitioner, who was constrained by respondent to become a full-time housewife, was suddenly left to shoulder at least P400,000 in monthly expenses to cover household bills, utilities, food, salaries of household staff, their daughter’s expenses, school fees and credit card charges,” she said.

 

Aleli also asked the court to appoint a receiver during the course of the litigation, or appoint her as the sole administrator of the absolute community of property while it had not yet been dissolved.

 

She said the move would prevent the further dissipation of the property.

 

To Aleli’s claim that he was acquiring property for his “mistresses,” Congressman Arroyo said she should show proof.

 

Bittersweet

 

In a press conference at her lawyer’s office in Pasig City, Aleli Arroyo said the past three days had been bittersweet — on Sunday, she marked the first anniversary of their separation; on Monday, she celebrated her 45th birthday while preparing the complaint; and Tuesday, she filed it in court.

 

The former broker and chair of the Philippine Stock Exchange related the details of their estrangement, which is now the subject of a case in a family court.

 

She said she had “never consented to any disposition of assets.”

 

“Therefore,” she said, “any dispositions made by Congressman Iggy involving the assets of absolute community property were in clear violation of the law.”

 

Aleli said she was shocked at how quickly the money had gone: “It was actually a surprise. It was shocking.”

 

She said she and her husband had not spoken since their separation last year.

 

“I suppose he’s got people to support, like his mistresses,” she said.

 

Aleli also said the complaint was the first step in the separation process. With reports from Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas; Alcuin Papa in Manila

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