Days before Gen. Angelo Reyes, the former Secretary of Defense of the Philippines during the administration of Pres. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo committed suicide at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, he was invited by the Senate of the Philippines during one of its investigation on the alleged “Pabaon” (Take home) system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
For the enlightenment of everyone, the alleged Pabaon system of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a system wherein, when a high-ranking official of the said office retires, he shall be taking home millions of pesos as a form of gratitude to his service and that the money is charged to the funds of the AFP. This is illegal and is not warranted by any law in the Philippine jurisdiction.
The issue about the Pabaon system heated when Ret. Major General Carlos Garcia, asked for a plea bargain regarding his plunder case which relates to the Pabaon system. If we can recall, Garcia was sued because of the irregularities of the funds of the AFP when he was still the comptroller then. The issue then had its branches and one of it has directly involved Gen. Reyes through General Rabusa.
Going back, during the January 27, 2011 investigation of the Senate, Gen. Reyes got the chance of being interviewed by soldier-turned-senator Antonio Trillanes. And in the middle of the hot discussion, there was a time when Gen. Reyes wanted to answer one of Trillanes’ question but had not because he was told by Trillanes, infront of many people, infront of the media, and infront of the Republic of the Philippines, that HE IS A PERSON THAT HAS NO REPUTATION. This reaction has left me totally flabbergasted.
Trillanes and Reyes both graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, 1995 and 1966 respectively. Reyes was the upperclass of Trillanes and it has been a tradition in the PMA and elsewhere perhaps that a lowerclass must respect the upperclass. And say we discredit that info of being a lowerclass, the fact that Reyes is his colleague in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and his former head must he have shown a little sensitivity and respect. Trillanes, for me appeared to be disrespectful and showed an attitude of “unbecoming of a public official”. Yes, I agree to the fact that he must not be soft in the investigations given that it is a critical issue, but at least he could have shown a little respect or sensitivity to Reyes. Now I’m having doubts on his motives, it appears like he has been holding a grudge and taking advantage to the situation to totally clear off his name from any negative connotations.
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULDN’T THROW STONES
Had the people forgotten that Trillanes was once the antagonist of the Republic? Yes, some people may have believed that Trillanes was doing it for country’s sake, but many other people believed the other way around. And that includes me. There was no effect of the stand-off or attempted coup de etat (which flunked) in the development of the Government but instead there are humiliations brought to the country. So I for one would want to ask Trillanes, who does not have reputation in the first place? He must think that just because he won as a Senator does not erase the fact that he was once an antagonist to the government, that he once led a stand-off that caused a lot to the government. And berating someone and telling him that he has no reputation must he think twice because he also had his reputation dragged.
During the hearing, he seemed to have a lot of claims and questions. But just this afternoon when I watched the news, it tells that Trillanes still has no proof on the allegations. Now I ask you, whose reputation should be questioned?
Now must be the time that senate must draw the line regarding the conduct of their hearings. It is sad that since they have the power, they can do whatever they want if they can’t get what they want from you. Contempt you when you don’t answer. Berate you when you’re answer is not what they have expected. Hopefully, it gets into their nerves that sometimes they must be sensitive enough and show some respect because after all we are just persons, what differs is that they have the power that we don’t have. And to Gen. Reyes, may your soul rest in peace!