Tuesday, February 08, 2011

To those who presume to judge former Secretary and retired General Angelo Reyes

We, mere observers, who do not know former defense secretary and chief of staff retired General Angelo Reyes at a personal level only have the Law to frame our regard for him. Granted, Reyes was a primary suspect in the on-going probe of massive corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). But in the eyes of the Law, he remains innocent for now as the Law presumes a person innocent until proven guilty.

Who are we to judge Angelo Reyes? Who are we to presume to judge the circumstances of his death -- an apparent suicide as the Media reports say? And if indeed, Reyes killed himself do we really believe that the state of his mind moments before his death could ever be knowable?

It looks, though, like the Roman Catholic Church begs to except itself from the limitations of human comprehension -- preferring to invoke their historically-guaranteed entitlement to the dispensation of a wrathful God's judgment over his faithful...
If a person committed suicide, he is not allowed a Christian burial.

This was what Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said in a Radyo Inquirer interview Tuesday regarding the alleged suicide of former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes who was recently tagged in massive corruption in the military.

Iñiguez, however, said that Reyes could still be granted a Christian burial “if there is any doubt that it was a deliberate suicide or there were signs of repentance before he died.”

Coming across more as a sad bid to prop up some semblance of relevance in, as far as the bigger picture goes, a not-so-trivial setback to the state's efforts at uncovering the truth about the full extent of AFP corruption, the Church's manner in its weighing in on what should otherwise be an occasion of sober respect for the privacy of Reyes and his family highlights even more questions around the lofty place in Philippine society that it desperately clings to.
"But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests." - Luke 14:10

Perhaps the good Bishop of Caloocan should read his Bible a bit more so he does not end up making an ass of himself again in the future. Honourable winners of wars treat their enemy's dead with respect. For those who want to honour an "infinitely" just God, perhaps defer to his monopoly over any authority to judge the dead. And for us who aspire to be ruled by the laws we craft, let us then defer to its basic principle of presuming one to be innocent until proven guilty.

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