Reyes’ death very tragic, sad — Celso PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 16:37

Mayor Celso Lobregat has expressed sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family of former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, whose untimely demise yesterday morning left the whole country in shock.

“It is very tragic and sad”, Mayor Lobregat said when sought for reaction after doctors at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center declared Reyes as dead 8:30 am yesterday.

Reyes, declared an adopted son of Zamboanga during the term of the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat was the former Southern Command (now Western Mindanao Command) chief before he was named Armed Forces Chief of Staff during the incumbency of former President Joseph Estrada and later Defense Chief during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo. Reyes also occupied other Cabinet positions as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Energy.

Mayor Lobregat said it was during the time of Reyes as Southcom chief that the relationship of the military and the city government of Zamboanga became very close. “It was during his time that the Area Coordinating Center (ACC) was established”. The ACC, a security nerve center, was established at the City Hall compound.

Aside from the promotion of good working relationship, Reyes’ stint in the then Southcom also improved the contribution of the military in the peace and order situation not only in Zamboanga but entire Region 9 and Mindanao, according to the mayor. “That is the reason why my mother then puhed for Reyes’ conferment as the adopted son of Zamboanga”.

When the Cabatangan siege happened, Reyes, then the AFP Chief of Staff named Lobregat, then the congressman of the city’s lone district, as the crisis manager.

Reports indicate that Reyes shot himself while at the grave of his mother at theLoyola Memorial Park in Marikina at around 7:45 am yesterday. He was rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center where he was declared dead after 45 minutes due to a fatal shot wound in his heart.

“His demise is very sad not only for the City but also on a personal note because I knew him personally. I was a little bit ahead of him in the Asian Institute of Management (AIM),” the mayor said.

When asked to comment on Reyes’ alleged involvement in the AFP funds controversy, the mayor said “this is the time that we should extend our condolences and sympathies for the eternal repose of his soul.  We should now pay our last respects to him and not talk about the issue”.

Mayor Lobregat added that he could not believe that Reyes would shoot himself. “Honestly he was a fine officer and gentleman and I never expected that he would kill himself”. — Sheila Covarrubias