Whistleblower saddened over Reyes’ death

THE whistleblower who testified on alleged “pabaon” (sendoff gift) the late former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes got upon his retirement from the military expressed sorrow over his death Tuesday.
An emotional retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa said he was saddened to learn of Reyes’ death, saying Reyes had treated him well.
“Ako po ay nalulungkot. Hindi ko talaga maisip bakit niya ginawa yan. Nalulungkot ako (I am very sad. I cannot understand why he did this. I am just very sad),” Rabusa said in an interview on DZBB radio.

He declined to comment on whether his testimony against Reyes earlier this month may have been a reason for Reyes’ death.

Reyes was rushed to a Quezon City hospital early Tuesday after sustaining a gunshot wound in the chest. He was declared dead after doctors failed to revive him.

“Pwede huwag muna ako tumugon diyan, napakahirap ng kalagayan (I hope you understand if I don’t answer your question. I am in a tight spot),” Rabusa said when asked if Reyes may have shot himself because he testified Reyes received P50 million in “pabaon” after retiring from the military service.

He said he had come to know Reyes’ children, who he said treated him like a “pangalawang tatay (second father).”

Meanwhile, former colleague and Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez expressed his condolences to Reyes’ family.

Golez and Reyes had served under the Arroyo administration initially as Armed Forces chief of staff and national security adviser respectively.

“I’d like to express my condolences to the family, we go back a long way. I’m so sorry this turned out like this,” Golez said.

Reyes was born March 17, 1945 in Manila. He left behind wife Teresita and five sons. Julian Labores/ Linda Bohol

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