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Ex-AFP chief Angelo Reyes kills self before ma’s grave

Updated 5:40 p.m. - Former Armed Forces chief and defense secretary Angelo Reyes, who was embroiled in a scandal over alleged military corruption, killed himself Tuesday morning in front of his mother’s grave. Reyes died of a “self-inflicted wound" from a single gunshot apparently from a caliber .45 pistol, based on the findings of a special investigation task group of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). According to eyewitnesses cited by the police, Reyes, his bodyguard, a driver, and two sons arrived at around 7:00 a.m. at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. Sometime before 7:30, Reyes reportedly told his sons and bodyguard to go ahead to where their car was parked. Then, standing alone in front of the grave of his mother, a single shot rang out and he fell to the ground.
Ex-AFP chief Angelo Reyes (right) files charges against Sen. Jose Estrada and ret. Col. George Rabusa before the Ombudsman. Reyes died from a gunshot wound Tuesday in Marikina at the height of a probe on the AFP fund scam. M. Adrian/File
"Nauna ang anak niya, pinauna sa sasakyan, naghintay siya doon, pati bodyguard pinalayo. Mamaya may narinig silang putok. Nakita nila si Secretary unti-unti bumagsak sa damo," an unidentified kagawad (local village council member) said in an interview by dzBB’s Glen Juego. (He asked his sons to go ahead to where their car was. He also asked his bodyguard to leave him alone for a while. Then they heard a gunshot and saw the secretary slowly crumple to the grass.) Reyes is one of several former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chiefs of staff who allegedly received millions of pesos in "pabaon" (send-off money) when they retired, former AFP fund manager Lt. Col. George Rabusa claimed in an ongoing Senate probe. Feliciano Recorba, a maintenance supervisor at the memorial park, later executed a two-page sworn statement detailing how Reyes shot himself, according to a GMA News Flash Report by John Consulta. In his account, Recorba said he saw Reyes at the cemetery with members of his family, a driver, and a bodyguard. Soon after, everyone went back to their vehicle except for Reyes, who kept moving back and forth near his parents' grave. He then saw the retired general draw a gun and shoot himself on the left side of his body. "Kitang-kita kong nagbaril siya sa kanyang sarili dahil mga 20 hakbang lang ang layo ko sa kanya," he said. (I saw clearly how he shot himself because I was just 20 paces away from him.)
ANGELO TOMAS REYES March 17, 1945 – February 8, 2011
Angelo Tomas Reyes was born in San Miguel, Manila on March 17, 1945 to Pablo and Purificacion Reyes, both public school teachers. Reyes considered Binangonan, Rizal as his ancestral town. Reyes graduated valedictorian from the Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School (then named Cubao High School) in Quezon City. From there, he entered the Philippine Military Academy and graduated seventh place in PMA Class 1966. Reyes held the following positions in the Philippine Army (PA) and in the top brass of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), garnering various military medals and citations throughout his 39-year military career until he retired in 2001: More...
The empty shell of a .45-caliber pistol and a copy of "Trump: The Art of the Deal," a book by American business magnate Donald Trump — said to be one of Reyes' favorite authors — were recovered from the scene, a radio report said. Reyes was rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) around 7:30 a.m. by a driver, an aide, and his two sons, according to Health Sec. Enrique Ona. Doctors struggled for 45 minutes to resuscitate Reyes even though he no longer showed vital signs. “Wala nang pulso at hindi na humihinga (He had no pulse and he was not breathing)," Ona said. “At 8:32 a.m., he was pronounced dead," Ona added. "Meron siyang gunshot wound, isa lang, sa left, sa location ng puso," Ona said in an interview with GMA News' Kara David. (There was a single gunshot wound on his left side, the location of the heart.) Reyes is survived by his wife and five sons. Reyes’ remains were brought to the Arlington Memorial Chapels sa Quezon City, where a family spokesperson asked media to respect the family’s need for privacy at this time. The family has not released a statement about the incident as of posting time. Newsbreak: Reyes was depressed In a report released on Tuesday, the online news magazine Newsbreak said Reyes was depressed days before he took his own life. Reyes reportedly told his longtime friend and Philippine Military Academy (PMA) upperclassman, retired Navy Commodore Rex Robles, over and over again, "Wala na ito, pare" [This is the end, buddy].
He is reported to have expressed the sentiment in the days following the first Senate testimony of Rabusa, who accused Reyes of allegedly receiving P50 million when he retired as AFP chief in 2001. The report said Reyes felt the die was cast and that the ongoing inquiry would not just drag the military but his entire family down. Robles said Reyes expected that in due time, the investigation will bring out even “personal details" about his family. Reyes was a key figure in the EDSA 2 revolt that ousted President Joseph Estrada and installed then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power in 2001. — LBG/RSJ/VVP/JV, GMA News
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