Remember last week, I wrote an article about a scandal in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)? Col. Rabusa, a person who handled money matters for the AFP recently came out and told of massive corruption among many of the upper Generals in the AFP. One of the people who was implicated in Col. Rabusa’s expose was former AFP Chief of Staff, General Angelo Reyes.
Reyes was Chief of Staff from 2000 through 2001, and had a military career since 1966, serving in many key positions in the AFP. After retiring from the military in 2001, Reyes served as Cabinet Secretary for several different posts until about a year ago.
To be honest, I was kind of surprised when the charges of corruption came up against Angelo Reyes, because I always kind of looked up to him and thought him to be an honorable man. However, the charges that have been made against the General have come from several sources, and with the testimony that has been coming out recently, it is very hard to deny that there is a good chance that General Reyes was involved in some pretty deep corruption. He has not been tried, let alone found guilty, but the evidence has been stacking up, no doubt.
Now, General Reyes will never stand up in court and face justice. Why? Because yesterday, General Reyes apparently committed suicide. For sure, Reyes is dead, and everything points to a suicide. The PNP (Philippine National Police) has ruled it suicide, although other agencies will investigate to assure that.
I was pretty shocked yesterday morning around 9am when I was in my office working and Feyma mentioned to me that Angelo Reyes was dead. I quickly checked some online news sources, and it seemed that Reyes has apparently committed suicide, and was pronounced dead about about 8:30am. The story goes that Reyes went to the cemetery with a couple of his grown children to visit his mother’s grave. At the end of the visit, the General asked his kids to give him some time alone, and when they left he shot himself in the chest, quickly killing himself. He was brought to the hospital and they tried to revive him, but failed.
There are two different camps on this. Some feel that Reyes’ suicide can be viewed as an admission of guilt in the corruption case. Others feel that it could be innocence and that he simply could not bear the intense scrutiny. For me, I feel that Angelo Reyes could no longer face what he had done in stealing millions from the Filipino people, and ended his life due to his guilt. Of course, right now, that is only speculation, but that is how I see the event. Reyes was a military man most of his life. If he were falsely accused, I believe that he would stand up and fight false charges.
I am sad to see Reyes go. Why? Because I wish he had the fortitude to stand up and tell the truth of what happened, be it good or bad. Without him still alive, it will be very hard to know for sure what happened with all of those hundreds of millions of Pesos that are missing from the AFP accounts.
Farewell, General Reyes. I only wish you had testified to the full truth, or at least left an account for the Philippine people to know the truth.
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.