MANILA, Philippines - Grace Ibuna said it was not love at first sight when she first met her future live-in partner, the late Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo.
Ibuna said Arroyo first approached her after he won as congressman of Negros Occidental 5th district in 2004. She said Arroyo wanted to help his election rival find a job.
"What made me stop and think was what a good heart he has. He is indeed a good soul," she told ANC's Pipol.
She said she saw how Arroyo was with his friends and realized as she got to know him that "he was more shy than suplado."
She said Arroyo made his intentions clear even as his own marriage with Aleli Arroyo was crumbling.
Ibuna denied that their relationship led Arroyo to drink heavily. She said that she was the one who told Arroyo to stop drinking because of his liver ailment.
"It was a beautiful relationship," she said.