Retired General Angelo Reyes: a high price to pay for a "committee report"

The Philippine Congress mirrors not only its constituents. It mirrors its constituents' favourite form of entertainment -- low-brow noon time variety shows like Wowowee. Not much comes out of Congressional "inquiries" and "hearings" other than an opportunity for our honourable politicians to rack up media exposure mileage. But while shows like Wowowee turn the desperation of its impoverished contestants into mass-audience entertainment, the entertainment value of Congress is more akin to a bullfight -- where a bloodthirsty audience cheers on a flamboyant matador's graceful ritual killing of a maddened beast.

I cited in a previous article "Willie Revillame can be President or a Senator someday, but not an SC Justice" a simple fact often overlooked when we rely on popularly-elected officials to hunt our witches for us. Initiatives of Congressmen and Presidents pitched as "investigations", "inquiries", and "fact finding" missions do not have an end inherent to them. These initiatives are ends in themselves -- vehicles to enable their instigators to be seen to be doing "good".

Compare these Executive and Legislative "inquiries" to the clear purpose inherent to the process of subjecting persons-of-interest to the criminal justice system as only the Judicial branch of government could. We can then begin to understand perhaps even a miniscule bit of what could have possibly driven former Secretary and retired General Angelo Reyes to an act of desperation (or honourable exit, as some prefer to see it).

To have your dignity stripped and reputation tarred in a pointless spectacle before a vacuous public probably proved to be too much to bear for Angelo Reyes.

Who knows, for that matter?

Fact is, Congressmen and Senators hold their positions only by virtue of the popular vote and not by any other qualification of any consequence applicable to the task of systematically uncovering the truth. These are basically men and women who, with no formal training in cross examination, investigation, and the scientific method are let loose to feast upon "persons of interest".

The instigator of the witch hunt himself, Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, admitted that the only tangible outcome of the Senate inquiry into AFP corruption is a "committee report" and a bahala na ("hope-for-the-best") prayer that the Department of Justice would run with their "findings"...
“Ako gusto ko na ring matapos lahat it [I also want everything to be finished]. Come out with a committee report, enact bills to reform budget system of the armed forces. Tapos bahala na yung [Afterwards, it’s up to the] Ombudsman, bahala na ang [It’s up to the] DoJ [Department of Justice] to prosecute,” he said.

And for that end, Angelo Reyes was turned into a maddened and bewildered bull.


  1. I think Congress should just stop its so-called inquiries and just concentrate on their job as LEGISLATORS and not investigators and leave that job to the NBI or DOJ.

  2. That's spot on. Legislators are paid to write and debate laws. Perhaps if they are able to demonstrate how the "findings" they gain from this exercise will be used as bases for groundbreaking legislation, then maybe the point of all this could be made. As yet, all we can see is just a lot of grandstanding.

  3. Theatrical it is, the General should have read the scripts of the 'Last Samurai or the Gladiator' then the death of him will have much more meaning for his country; the pages says suicide instead, him ordinary.


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