Mayor: Death of Zambo's adopted son tragic, sad-A A +A
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
MAYOR Celso Lobregat expressed Tuesday his sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family of former defense secretary Angelo Reyes, whose untimely demise left the whole country in shock.
"It is very tragic and sad," Lobregat said when sought for reaction after doctors at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center declared Reyes dead at 8:32 a.m. Tuesday.
Reyes, who was declared an adopted son of Zamboanga City 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. He became Defense chief during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Reyes also occupied other Cabinet positions, particularly as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Energy.
Lobregat said it was during the time of Reyes as Southcom chief that the military and the City Government of Zamboanga became very close.
He said it was also during Reyes's time that the Area Coordinating Center, a security nerve center, was established at City Hall compound.
Aside from the promotion of good working relationship, Reyes's stint in the Southcom also improved the contribution of the military in the peace and order situation not only in Zamboanga City but in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula and Mindanao, said Lobregat.
"That is the reason why my mother then pushed for Reyes's conferment as the adopted son of Zamboanga," he said.
When the November 27, 2011,Cabatangan siege happened, Reyes, who was then the Armed Forces chief-of-staff, named Lobregat as the crisis manager. Lobregat was then the congressman of the city's lone district.
Reports from Manila indicated that Reyes shot himself while at the grave of his mother at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Reyes was rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center where he was declared dead after 45 minutes due to a fatal gunshot wound in his chest.
"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," Lobregat said.
When asked to comment on Reyes's alleged involvement in the military funds controversy, Lobregat 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."
Lobregat said he could not believe that Reyes would shoot himself, citing "he was a fine officer and gentleman and I never expected that he would kill himself." (Bong Garcia)