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Friday, February 11, 2011

The End of a Former Chief of Staff

General Angelo Reyes
March 17, 1945– February 8, 2011

He has served the Armed Forces for 39 long and arduous but meritorious years. Graduating top 7 from the Philippine Military Academy Class 66, he has started his military career as a Team leader for the Philippine Army Special Forces. His achievements has adorned his chest with medals, ribbons and recognition, which placed him at top positions in the service, as a battalion commander, area commander, service commander and in 2001, Chief of Staff of the AFP.

His participation in the EDSA II People Power Revolution, which unseated former President Estrada, has placed him in the roster of military heroes. However, the same has inducted him into politics. It is not necessarily wrong but for him the outcome is cruel.

My Dad could not forgive him for withdrawing support to President Estrada not because he was a die-hard supporter but because he felt that it was a political intrusion from the influence of political figures. He believed that the military must be free from any political taint. Ironically, they were name sakes.

On February 8, 2011, before his mother’s grave, he decided to end his life with a gunshot toward his heart. It was deplorable and unfortunate; unexpectedly from a general and a hero in war.

His devotion to his parents, especially to his mother is worthy of noting even of laud but for a reason, it seems that their memories are not enough to secure his mind from the gloom that threatened his reputation. In a Senate inquiry on January 27, 2011, retired Lt. Col George Rabusa has accused the late General Angelo Reyes of receiving P50 million worth of unauthorized military fund upon his retirement. The money as alleged is from the military funds that retired Major General Carlos Garcia, who is facing charges of graft and plunder before the Sandiganbayan, has manipulated.

Someone says that General Reyes has made a supreme sacrifice to preserve the military institution from further injury. It is a tragic end for a general who has chosen death to save his honor but inflicting a wound to his family that no amount of comfort can soothe.

It seems unfair. The people does not want him dead. They only need an explanation. Perhaps, a just retribution if true and a clear exoneration if untrue but now the truth will go with him in his grave. However, the decision is his own, as a man and as a general. No one else should take the blame.

May this tragic incident stir up the conscience of all those involved in corrupting the military institution most especially the political figures around General Angelo Reyes. May they find sleep at night.

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