If a person is accused of large-scale robbery and plunder over many years as a top government official, the expected action from him is to defend himself from all the accusations and investigations. Committing a suicide can never be considered a "gentleman act."
Former AFP Chief of Staff, former DND Secretary, former DILG Secretary, former DENR Secretary, former DOE Secretary, and aspired but was disqualified nominee as party-list Congressman to represent bus drivers and workers, Angelo Reyes, killed himself this morning.
The on-going robbery scandals in the AFP that dragged not only him but also other former military generals, must have been too much for him to bear. Which is highly unexpected considering how he amassed so many government positions, from military to civilian posts. Meaning He has been in politics and political controversies for so many years now, that he was not expected to be too sensitive with all these investigations and accusations against him.
I will argue, along with other friends whose opinions were expressed in our facebook status, that to commit suicide with these investigations on-going, is never a "gentleman act."
A real gentlemen will admit mistakes and wrong-doing, if he indeed is guilty, then asks for forgiveness, before he will go to prison, or before he will kill himself. If he is not guilty, then he should face ALL those accusations and investigations.
Commiting a suicide is a lousy way out. But then again, the man has also rested. He requested peace from all these political noise and accusations. May he find peace.
But all the accused who are still alive should face the music. The rule of law must prevail. Those who stole and robbed should be penalized. Those who protect and coddle thieves, if exposed, should face the same penalty.
Endless corruption scandals make a mockery of the rule of law in this country and other societies. The law must prevail, people should be afraid of the law -- law against stealing, law against killing, law against many other crimes -- because the penalties are certain.
Some of my friends in facebook posted their own opinions on the suicide of Mr. Angelo Reyes. Without naming names, here are some of those comments:
* Your greatest adversary is your own conscience, if you have one!
* He should have left a suicide note nalang. Video to be more credible, telling all the dirty deals para naman nasabi nya na he did something right before he died.
* Kung lahat ng nasa gobyerno gagayahin si Reyes eh di wala na ang gobyerno. Sarado na ang executive, legislative, at judicial departments! Babaha ng luha... Ng kasiyahan imbes na kalungkutan! Tears of joy ika nga.
(If all those in government will imitate Reyes, government is gone. The Executive, Legislative and Judiciary departments will be close. Tears will flood... tears of joy, not sadness.)
* Bakit di na lang gayahin ang mga samurai? (Why not imitate the samurai?) Public admission of transgression then the leader and all of his followers (equal guilt) kill themselves.
But there are also suicide sympathizers. These 2 guys are not my friends, but I find their comments worth responding.
1. Dead men tell no tales. Now everyone can blame him and he won't defend himself.
2. It is NOT suicide. It is a redemption of honor tarnished. He paid it with his life like the Japanese Harakiri. Appropriately he chose the site to pay the shame with his life. Redemption and forgiveness is his. We NO longer speak ill of the man. He paid for it with the supreme cost a man/woman can ever do.
On #1, if he was assassinated, then it is right to say that he can no longer defend himself from all those allegatins and accusations. But he killed himself, purposely, when he has all the chance to defend himself if indeed he was not guilty.
On #2, It is too preposterous to deny that it was suicide, that it was an escape from the responsibility of defending oneself from unfair accusations if indeed he did not steal big time from Filipino taxpayers' money. There is no honor whatsoever in running away from such responsibility. He owes it to himself, he owes it to the Filipino people to explain that he was not a theft and a corrupt official as he held so many high positions in government.
Nonetheless, whether it was cowardice or deep guilt feelings and conscience, it caught up with him.
May he rest in peace. It is a prayer that we the living can give him.
But the corruption cases against him, against his wife, against some of his subordinates and peers in the military, will not rest.
The rule of law must prevail. Those who violated the law against stealing, law against plunder, should face the consequences of their actions and crimes.
If we forget those crimes simply because the accused killed himself or themselves, then we will have a government of thieves who steal say P100 million. If he is not caught and prosecuted, he will steal another P100 million. If he is caught and investigated, he will commit suicide and hope that all his crimes and stolen money will be forgotten by the public.
* See also::
Corruption in the military, part 2, January 31, 2011,
Corruption in the military (part 1), January 28, 2011.