Beyond Fashion: Admission of guilt? (On Angelo Reyes' suicide)

12:56 PM

I believe that fashion can be a tool for social, cultural and political commentary. Thus, my blog segment, "Beyond Fashion" uses fashion to attract and words to impact.

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE 4) 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.

He was 65. Source:


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Admission of guilt?
a Style and Soul "Beyond Fashion" special

Over the past weeks, the former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief was linked to the alleged controversial corruption cases in AFP (involving millions of pesos from public funds) during his term under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's nine-year administration.

In a separate hearing in the Senate, George Rabusa, a former military budget officer claimed he handed Reyes P50 million as a pabaon money when he retired in 2001. Rabusa also said Reyes received monthly allowance using AFP funds.

Also a former defense secretary, Reyes was also accused of participating in the plea bargain agreement, the deal between state prosecutors and former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who is currently facing plunder charges involving AFP funds as well.

These allegations have prompted the Senate to invite Reyes for inquiry. This event is said to have subjected him to a "trial by publicity," which has caused him too much pressure and at the same time impacted his honor, name and family.

According to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Reyes died "with the presumption of innocence on his side, because he never went to trial."

However, by committing suicide, he has placed the verdict on himself - GUILTY. If he isn't in the first place, why in the world would he kill himself? In Japanese hara-kiri philosophy, "an honorable death is more desirable than a life of shame."

True enough,
based on the law, as a "suspect," Reyes' death extinguished both his criminal and civil liabilities, including all the pecuniary penalties. That would be unfair to those who were convicted but innocent, who were guilty and paid the price.

Of course, it would be disrespectful and heartless to rejoice his death but it would also be misleading and inappropriate to put his remains at The Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Cemetery of the Heroes). It may be fair enough to say the late defense secretary has partly served the country with loyalty especially during the first few years of his career. But he's only as good as his last performance. He has betrayed the country and the Filipinos not only by pocketing public funds but also by protecting Arroyo and her previous administration filled with graft and corruption cases, not to mention, extra-judicial killings.

And speaking of former president turned Pampanga representative Arroyo, she was the ONLY person who hailed Reyes for his "courage and patriotic service." What courage is she talking about? Isn't a wonder if Arroyo partly feels guilty for his demise? After all, he died protecting not only his name but also hers.

If he is truly innocent, then that should be enough reason for him to brave all accusations and fight for his life.


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  1. Wow, I just posted about this case, too...although I'm just really weirded out by how people are behaving. There's someone at Twitter pa nga who's pretending to be Angelo Reyes' voice from the grave.

  2. OMG. yun lng. dito ko lng nalaman this news. thanks for sharing melai. so sad that it had to resort to killing himself. Ang gulo gulog ng gobyerno!

  3. wooottt!!! eric to melai wahehehehe!!! dapat c "you know who" ang nagpapadedz at ung asawa nya wahehehehehe!!!

  4. Sana lang si Arroyo na ang sumunod. Nakakalungkot sobra ang mga nangyayari sa bansa natin. Mas maraming perang naibubulsa kesa sa dapat na naibabalik sa mga tao. Hay.

  5. I love this segment of yours. Thank you, makes me understand the issue better. Keep 'em coming. Minsan 'di na ako nakakanood ng news.

  6. It's really a difficult decision deciding where he should be buried given the 'libingan ng mga bayani" choice. But I totally agree with you when you say that he is only as good as his last performance and I also definitely don't think that committing suicide and leaving your family to deal with your problems is a very heroic choice. only one thing i'm sure of, i would never want to be in the place of his wife!

  7. how strange, one of the last calls Angelo Reyes received before he shot himself was from GMA! Hmmm! We'll never know why he committed suicide but one thing's for sure, everyone is confused right now on whether he is guilty or not. :| It was so selfish of him to kill himself and not clean up this mess.

  8. @ hazel: there were rumors that angelo reyes indeed took a lot of money but it went to Gloria Arroyo. Dunno. Those were rumors. :( Oh well. She's getting away with everything!

  9. baka both! Anyway this new segment is a great idea Melai! Keep us current! =)

  10. @ Aie: Hi! It's not a new segment dear. It is one of my very-first segments when I started this blog (see my segments on upper half of the sidebar). I just didn't have the time to really update it. That's why my blog is style and soul :) hehehe. this segment is supposed to be the soul part. hahaha

  11. Well said. It's really ridiculous and absurd to consider someone who is involve in such scandal and anomalies to be considered "Bayani". This is one of the many decisions of our leaders that makes the country really hopeless. To honor such misdeeds is truly a stupid thing to consider.

  12. hi your collection is so nice i really enjoy your all post so beautiful and lovely post thanks for sharing


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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