News broke this morning that former AFP Chief of Staff and former Energy and Environment Secretary, Angelo Reyes, has died in an apparent suicide. This comes at the heels of the Senate and congressional hearings involving the plunder case and plea bargain of former AFP comptroller, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, and the ensuing issues of the “pabaon” and “pasalubong” system in the military that were exposed by whistle-blower George Rabusa.
The Inquirer published this story on Reyes’ death:
Angelo Reyes commits suicide
MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Former Armed Forces Chief and Defense Secretary Angelo Tomas Reyes on Tuesday morning committed suicide by shooting himself in front of the grave of his mother at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. A close friend of Reyes called the Philippine Daily Inquirer to break the news, while Colonel Boogie De Leon, a former administrative officer of Reyes when he was AFP chief, said Reyes was rushed to the Quirino Hospital at about 7:45 a.m. to revive him. Members of his family could not be reached for comment.
De Leon said that Reyes’s son Jett called him up to inform him of the incident.
Reyes, who earlier suffered a mild stroke before the congressional investigations on the alleged AFP financial irregularities, said he could not take anymore the smear campaign against his name and his family.
“Not my family,” he said.
Reyes, who loved his mother very much when she was still alive, earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview that he would never do anything that would besmirch the name of “my good mother.” Reyes, a graduate of Philippine Military Academy Class ’66, was AFP chief under President Joseph Estrada, and secretary of defense, interior and local government, and energy during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2001 to 2003. He graduated as the class valedictorian in high school and was among the top ten graduates of the PMA.
He went on to obtain two masteral degrees, namely: Masters in Business Administration from Asian Institute of Management in 1973 and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1991. He also took up International Defense Management Course in Monterey, California in 1983.
In 1987, he graduated No. 1 in Trust Operations Management Course conducted by the Trust Institutes Foundation of the Philippines at the Ateneo Business School which eventually earned him a scholarship to the Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.
By Cynthia Balana of Philippine Daily Inquirer
Photo by Philippine Daily Inquirer