It’s really sad how Angelo Reyes met his fate. When I read his bio in Wikipedia and saw pictures from his past in TV Patrol last night, I found myself lamenting the loss of such a great fellow – such skills and talents wasted by a bullet through the heart.
It was such an unforeseen tragedy that the whole household was a buzz as to the reasons behind his final act. Perhaps Angelo Reyes didn’t want to accept the bribes but was forced to do so because that was part of the trade he was in. Perhaps if he didn’t accept the bribes his family would be in jeopardy. It is undeniable that there was corruption involved. For us, that is a fact not just mere superstition. There really was bribery at the top ranks of the AFP, and not just there, but in many other echelons of the government. It is a sad story but it is true. Philippine government, and even society at large, is I daresay full of corruption.
So suppose here is Reyes, a decent man, not highly spiritual as Lozada, but nonetheless decent. He ascends to the highest rank of the Armed Forces and finds himself on a tight spot where he needs to choose between morality (and his integrity) and some other thing – perhaps his moral army code (obey first before you complain and the officer is always right) or the safety of his family. It’s clear which Reyes choose.
But then, there is his conscience to deal with. Seeing the interior of his house, I doubt he was able to enjoy much of the money he received. If he lived in a mansion or if he had luxury cars, then I would reconsider my stand but I saw in his interviews that his house is just modest for the type of man that he is. He had no excessive travels abroad. He doesn’t have cars to boast of. He lived a pretty decent and simple lifestyle.
So where did all the money he supposedly took went? In a savings account to be used after his retirement? In investments that would ensure a well-provided life for his kids? Or in unknown charities?
During the proceedings in senate he was very adamant that he was not “GANID”; was not “SWAPANG”. And he said those statements in a very angry and agitated voice. Apparently he was fighting that yes he might have took the money but he did not want it. And who are we to really question his motives?
It can be recalled that he resigned at the height of the Oakwood mutiny. Apparently, his demeanor of handling conflicts such as scandals are very low. Perhaps, being an honest man, a breach into his conscience would trigger a barrage of admissions. And a barrage of admissions from such a powerful man as he would start the prosecution of the high class criminals of this country.
And so he decided to kill the truth with himself. Faced with the pressure of starting that chain of prosecutions and the stress of his own family’s safety, he chose to end his life. The money he supposedly received either stacked somewhere safe being spent wisely (in charities, in investments, in whatever) and the other high end officials safe in their secrets once more.
But if there is anything to be learned from all this, it is that the old-age saying Walang baho ang hindi umaalisngaw is true. No secrets are forever safe unless you take it to the grave. And so all our corrupt officials – whether ex-presidents, ex-Army chiefs, or even the ex-mayor – are no longer safe in Aquino’s campaign of ending the reign of corruption in this country. We may see more of this scenario in the future – guilty ones ending their lives or turning against their friends and spilling their guts. It is a harsh reality but if it would purge this country of the evil that has wrought it for so many years, then it is a necessary sacrifice.