Former chief of Philippines Armed Forces commits suicide

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MANILA - The former chief of Philippines’ Armed Forces Angelo Reyes shot himself Tuesday in front of his mother’s grave at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.

Reyes was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City due to a gunshot wound in the chest, reported Xinhua.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said Reyes was rushed to the hospital around 7.45 a.m. local time without any vital signs.

Ona said attending physicians tried to revive Reyes for about 45 minutes but to no avail. Reyes was pronounced dead at 8.32 a.m.

Reports showed that Reyes visited the tomb of his parents at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City with two of his sons and security escorts at around 7 a.m. where he reportedly shot himself in the chest.

Reyes has been battling allegations of corruption in the last few weeks. Retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa, former budget officer in the Armed Forces, alleged in a recent Senate hearing that Reyes received 50 million pesos ($1.14 million) as send-off money upon his retirement as armed forces chief in March 2001.

Armed forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. Mabanta said Reyes’ demise could bring another “dimension” in the ongoing probe of alleged massive corruption in the military.

“This is another dimension to the ongoing investigation, and all the members of the Armed Forces and the Filipino people’s quest for the truth. In the light of this incident, we hope the Congress and Senate can expedite this proceeding, to ensure immediate enactment of laws in furtherance of good governance measure for the whole Armed Forces,” he said.

Reyes, 65, was a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1966. He led a military uprising in March 2001 against then President Joseph Estrada, who was convicted with plunder by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

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