“Wala na ito, pare. There is a program to eat me.”MANILA, Philippines – The late Angelo Reyes would utter these words again and again to his longtime friend and Academy upperclassman, retired Navy Commodore Rex Robles, in the days following the first Senate testimony of Reyes’s former budget officer, retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa. Reyes felt the die was cast, and that the ongoing inquiry would not just drag the military but his entire family down. “He was depressed,” Robles told Newsbreak. The Senate hearing yesterday particularly singled out Reyes’s wife, Teresita, who was a close friend of another military wife, Erlinda Ligot. They were known ballroom dancing and traveling partners. As someone who has his own intelligence network, Reyes knew that in due time, the investigation will bring out even “personal details” about his family, according to Robles. After lunch also yesterday, Robles said Reyes got a call from former President Arroyo, apparently asking him about what he was planning to do in the wake of the investigation. In particular, Robles said Mrs. Arroyo asked Reyes about a supposed letter he had sent to Sen. Antonio Trillanes last year, challenging the senator to name names and identify already the “man” behind former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. That letter was hand-delivered to Trillanes by a Trillanes classmate at the Philippine Military Academy, according to Robles. It’s Robles’s theory that there is another “powerful Arroyo man” behind Garcia. But Trillanes has already said repeatedly it was Reyes. Following Rabusa’s first appearance at the Senate, Reyes was “just gloomy” and refused to leave his home, according to Robles. “Hawak nila ang lahat. Wala na ito (They control everything. I have reached a dead-end),” Reyes would constantly tell Robles. Reyes and Robles go a long way. Robles, who graduated in 1965 at the Philippine Military Academy, was Reyes’s “yearling,” a PMA lingo for an upper class cadet assigned to take care of a cadet one batch younger. Robles said he tried to put things in perspective for the retired chief of staff, reminding him of the book that Reyes himself had given to him titled “Gamesmanship.” One option they discussed was for Reyes to call for an executive session, a closed-door hearing with the senators and congresspersons. But even that did not seem palatable to Reyes. Robles said he told Reyes it would help if he considered this episode as a “game” and that “he should play along with it.” “But I saw darkness, that he felt it was a dead-end for him,” Robles said. “He would always say, wala na ito, tapos na ito.” – Glenda M. Gloria
Since Newsbreak's website is down due to high traffic, I'm posting it here for those who wants to read this very interesting piece following the suicide of General Angelo Reyes.