Bishop backs honors for suicide soldier
Military prelate says officer's service should be taken into account
ucanews.com reporters, Manila
February 9, 2011
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of the Archdiocese of Batangas said Reyes should be accorded the honors for his service to the country.
"I don’t have any objections... since he served the country well," the archbishop said.
Reyes was recently dragged into a congressional probe of alleged fund anomalies in the military establishment.
Police investigators said Reyes committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself to the heart in front of the tomb of his mother.
Archbishop Arguelles, however, said: “A person is innocent until he is found guilty. We should not condemn him right away because he did not stand trial,” the archbishop said.
He appealed to those who might have caused the death of Reyes to respect the wish of the family not to attend the wake “because if they go, they’ll just add to the pain of the family.”
A statement from the presidential palace said Reyes will be given military honors despite allegations linking him to corruption in the military.
Military Ordinary Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak said the death of Reyes left more questions than answers.
"I hope this does not stop the [corruption] investigation because I believe everybody should be given a chance to explain their side or to testify freely and truthfully," the military prelate said.
Bishop Tumulak, who is currently in Rome, said unless the investigation continues, “it may be impossible to find the truth.”
He said he is saddened by Reyes’ death.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cotabato said the death of the former military chief was “very sad news.”
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