Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Photo courtesy of inquirer.net
The news that former Sec. Angelo Reyes took his own life came as a shocking surprise to me early this morning as I was listening over the radio in my Office. I followed the developments as they unfolded as early as before 8:00 a.m.

I don’t know personally Sec. Reyes but I felt that his death will become a celebrated one and might even trigger some serious and big future events in the country. I was shocked that a former General and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines would succumb to pressure or perhaps depression amid the controversies he was facing vis-à-vis allegations that he received a huge P50M as a send-off gift when he finally retired from the military service.

I say it is unlikely for a strong-willed person like him to easily give up his life, knowing that he was a principled man. I knew him as someone who served in the military in the interest of the Filipino nation – no matter what others think of him as otherwise. For him, his honor and dignity were utmost. Not to mention his beloved family. Whatever were the accusations against him, even up to his last day, to me he was reasonable and statesman even as he was facing one of the most humiliating experiences one could ever imagine. To think that military men are known to be “officers and gentlemen”. If one is accused of something that he is innocent of, it comes as a devastating blow on one’s person. It must have been so painful to Sec. Reyes, especially, if in his heart he knew he was not guilty. But the events took the better of him. He allegedly pulled the trigger that eventually ripped his heart apart and fell on the grave of his mother – known to be very close to his heart.

This brings so many questions left unanswered, which only the Secretary could.

I condole with the family – especially to the children who could still be in a state of shock. I almost feel how the family feels. It is too difficult to lose a loved one, especially in the thickness of a battle.

No, don’t get me wrong. I am not siding anyone on the controversies surrounding the investigations going-on in the Senate. I am a person who does not easily jump to conclusions. I am just shocked that a former General allowed himself to be overcome by accusations not yet proven beyond reasonable doubt. In the guise of “in-aid-of-legislation”, the powerful Senate grills anyone even as one already begins to lose dignity in public because the media is always around to scoop and nose for the latest, juiciest, and sizzling twists and turns of the dramas of real lives. These resource persons become public properties waiting to be devoured by the best predators that can mince the most brutal, harshest, most pungent words that the ear maniacs love to applaud. And there is hardly a way that the victim-resource persons could subject the “honorable” members of the Senate or Congress to grill them also like what they did to them. And everything is done “in aid of legislation.”

Many investigations had been conducted by the Congress and the Senate. I was not able to follow up all of them – as I also have other interests. But may I ask: How many among those hot and high profile investigations really produced the laws much needed by this country for it to become the nation we all dreamt to be? I only have ten fingers. And I hope each finger could represent these legislations which were offshoots of high profile investigations. I would have preferred that serious accusations be tackled in the proper courts so that when those found guilty of graft and corruptions could be convicted right there and then.

The loss of one General Angelo Reyes is a big one. No matter what may have been his alleged involvements in some irregularities, ending his life is not redemptive either because it made us wonder more of the truth.

To Sec. Reyes, Godspeed. You will be missed by so many people whose lives you’ve personally touched. Meanwhile, I pray that your self sacrifice will bear much fruit for this nation. And let history be the judge of who you have been to the Filipino people.