Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday and Death


While posting a birthday greeting to the Philippine President, Noynoy Aquino, in my twitter account, my home page was flooded with latest tweets from the people/Entity I followed:Karen Davila, Julius Babao, Sol Aragones and The Inquirer regarding the shooting incident in the Loyola Park just this morning, I thought the former AFP chief, Angelo Reyes was shot by an unknown assailant but updates on the shooting stated that the former Defense secretary really shot himself to death, an apparent suicide was ruled eventually.


Another tweet says that Reyes was hazy and emotionally bothered in the previous days because of the Senate investigation linking AFP comptroller, Major General Carlos Garcia on the alleged massive corruption in the AFP, the news revealed that the house hearing committee is set to summon Reyes for this controversy.


Reyes,who was with his two sons and a bodyguard at the Loyola Memorial Park to visit the grave of his mother, shoot himself on the chest after he ordered his companions to go ahead of him in the car. He was rushed to the Quirino hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 8:32 am. Upon reading the details on Philippine Daily Inquirer website, I was a little bit sad because how can a man with a remarkable achievement and a good education to boost do such horrible crime inflicting himself?


Angelo Reyes excelled both in school and in the military. He graduated class valedictorian in highschool and named one of the top ten graduates in the Philippine Military Academy in 1966, he had two master's degrees: Masters in Business Administration from the Asian Management Institute in 1973 and Masters in Public Administration from John f. Kennedy's School of Government at Harvard in 1991, he trained and took up International Defense Management course in California, USA and on top of his class at the Ateneo Business School in Trust Operations Management Course where he earned a scholarship to the Northeastern University of Illinois, Chicago.


He started his military career as a Team Leader then as a field commander, batallion commander and brigade commander for troops fighting against insurgencies in Mindanao, he then rose to rank of a commanding officer of the Philippine Army which paved the way for his appointment as AFP chief, according to a report: "Reyes then worked towards the Vision of A 21st Century Armed Forces that is fully mission-effective, progressively-efficient, technology-driven, versatile, responsive to change and composed of soldiers who are visible role models to the Filipino People". Partly, he was the instrument of removing Estrada in the presidency during the 2001 Edsa revolution when he withdraw his support and sided with the Filipino people. He became secretary of Defense, Interior and Local Government and Energy during the term of President Arroyo.


But amidst these decorated distinctions and positions, the former Secretary was heavily battered by controversies of massive corruption in the AFP. He was allegedly given P50 million as send-off in 2001 as part of his retirement. The House Hearing committee recently released a statement that he will be summoned to testify before the allegation on corruption charges against former AFP comptroller, Carlos Garcia. 


The reason of his apparent suicide maybe has something to do with this issue. Instead of standing high and adhere to the principles and values of a five-star general, Angelo Reyes unfortunately yielded to the pressure, the psychological trauma maybe is hard for him to bear. The only lasting memory I have for him was in 2001 January, when he proudly and bravely stood in front of millions at the Edsa Shrine announcing his withdrawal of support for President Estrada. Julius Babao's tweet says "It is not for us to judge Secretary Angelo" and truly it is, just leave it everything to God. May he rest in Peace.


On the lighter side, today marks the 51st birthday of Philippine president, Noynoy Aquino, the bachelor Chief Executive already declared earlier he won't take a birthday leave but spend the rest of the day in work. 


Though he asked the public to respect his privacy, news on his love life and passion for luxury cars continue to dominate headlines, his ever outspoken sister, Kris Aquino, hinted the media that her brother is exclusively dating someone, this time Kris tried hard to prevent her tongue from slipping about the identity of the girl.

Philippines has two events unfolded today, though strikingly different, in reality it pointed to the same meaning: LIFE....one life has ended, one life has added.

Happy Birthday to President Noy and Condolence to the Reyes family.

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