Wednesday, February 09, 2011

DZIQ: Reyes not greedy; he merely inherited a system—Robles

MANILA, Philippines—“Former Secretary Angelo Reyes just inherited a [rotten] system and he wasn’t greedy,” said retired commodore Rex Robles in an interview on Tuesday with anchor Ramon Tulfo on his top-rating public service show “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo” on DZIQ 990 AM Radyo Inquirer.

Robles, in a light-hearted mood, said, “I’m telling you Mon (Tulfo), don’t laugh. But if all military generals who had [traces of graft and corruption] will commit suicide at once, only two or three will be left alive.”

Being a veteran tri-media journalist who has been covering the police and the military for decades, Tulfo said, “My God, that’s true.”

Robles revealed how some generals would ask, upfront, for P350 million.

My pulis take:

Robles hit the nail in the head. The only sin of Reyes is the sin of omission. He inherited a corrupt system and did not change it. But the bigger question is: "Was he in the position to do so?" Yes, he was the Chief of Staff. But was he in the position to tell the DBM to program more budget for the purchase of combat boots of his men instead of money for personal services? If he tried, (or anyone for that matter) how would he have countered the oft-repeated justification of people doing the conversion, “I would rather have 70 pesos in cash than a hundred in paper.”

For his part, I believe that Reyes actually believe that he was being truthful when he said that he had not been greedy. But greedy is a relative term. What is greed for one maybe great moderation and discipline to another. However, for me, Reyes is indeed not greedy. 50 million is peanuts compared to the hundreds of millions that the others received (and demanded). But still, he still sinned.

Thus General Angelo Reyes led the way for others who had sinned like him in taking the last honorable exit. Like in the movie “The Last Samurai,” he did what real warriors do in time of dishonor, no matter how fleeting that moment is. He did a Samurai, that warrior spirit that made Japan what it is today. He chose to be Lord Moritsugu Katsumoto. Now, will Jinggoy and Trillanes do the same?

Or they will choose to be Omura as played by actor Masato Harada?

Can they sing the last line of the Lupang Hinirang “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa yo!” with the same conviction as the true warrior Angelo Reyes did?

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