The late Angelo T. Reyes was a very controversial Chief of the Armed Forces. He conveniently withdrew support from President Erap in 2001, so he can place GMA at the helm of government and the Supreme Court anointed his “treasonous” act with “constructive resignation jargon”. It was known then as “military-judicial coup d’etat” of a popularly elected President.
After his retirement as AFP Chief, he was richly rewarded by his patron, GMA by appointing him Secretary of National Defense and plus being extended other lucrative assignments during GMA’s reign.
Lately, he was being summoned by Congress to explain the P50 Million, traditional gift to retiring chief of staff, which come as an unexpected thriller for the blockbuster episode of another general being grilled by the Senate for the plunder of some P300 Million from the same military funds. He fight off the summons and shrugged off the invitation as a congressional harassment fueled by partisan militias out to malign his good name. As a true military strategist, he plans ahead, and effectively voids the right of Congress to summon him in its august halls, which some would pejoratively call, the “circus halls”, by putting a lead directly to his heart that exited through his back this morning in front of his mother’s tomb.
His Wikipedia entry is laden with glowing achievement: learned, brilliant and a decorated military officer. Just like Mr. Marcos, whose uniform was filled with medals of gallantry and recognition of a very appreciative nation, Mr. Reyes has also amassed the same number of awards, if not more medals of distinctions than Mr. Marcos. But these symbols of courage, valor and honor had failed the true test of the crucible.
It is said that no one should be irreverent about the dead. So I will say that A. T. Reyes was not a bad guy. In fact, he gave meaning to a cliché that life without honor is not worth living. His last act redeems himself. His death paints essense in our souls and invites others similarly situated to duplicate his end-game repertoire – live dishonorably for a while and die embracing a “bushido code of honor”. Nothing could be sweeter than that!
Mr. Reyes, despite the charges hurled rightly or wrongly against him had shown us that he has his balls right between his legs, while we have only our limped penises and our loud-mouth to vouch for our honor.
The late Mr. Reyes tries to imbue in us an ironic sense of statesmanship – that where one’s honor is suspect, one should perform a “sepukku“, and spare the nation from the ghastly and grueling political process that can only tie down the business of government. But if we follow his example, there would be a paralysis of the entire government – because no one would be left to steer the perilous course of the nation – and this is another irony; but maybe the country would be better off without these vultures that glutonously feed on the nation’s cauldron.