MANILA, Philippines - An anti-crime advocate said on Wednesday that she was a witness to former military chief Angelo Reyes's dedication to his job and honesty in the fight against kidnapping syndicates.
"Wala kaming naramdaman na may nag-complain na tauhan na may nawawalang pondo o dina-divert na pondo. Lahat talaga ng kailangan nila ipinagkakaloob ni Sir Angie. (No one complained that there were missing funds or that the funds were diverted. Sir Angie provided what his men needed)," Teresita Ang-See, head of the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order, told ABS-CBN's morning show, "Umagang Kay Ganda."
Ang-See was referring to Reyes's work when he was chief of the multi-agency National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force (NAKTF), where she also served.
She said the NAKTF had an annual allocation of P600 million. When Reyes headed the group, she said every single centavo of the fund was properly used for the task force's operations.
She said Reyes could have easily diverted the fund because it was not subject to government audit.
During the times when the task force lacked funds for operations, Ang-See said Reyes would shell out money from his own pocket.
"Napipilitan siya dahil mahal niya ang mga tao. Siya pa ang nag-aabot ng dispatch money (He was forced to provide for the dispatch money because he cared for his men)," she said.
Convinced but then...
When former military budget officer George Rabusa gave his surprise testimony at the Senate, Ang-See said she was initially convinced about his allegations.
Rabusa had accused Reyes and other former military chiefs -- Roy Cimatu and Diomedio Villanueva -- of pocketing military funds.
However, she said she became doubtful of the whistleblower's testimony when he implicated Reyes's wife, Teresita.
In one of his testimonies, Rabusa said he also gave up to $10,000 shopping money to Mrs. Reyes for her foreign trips, depending on which country she visited and the number of people who travelled with her.
Ang-See said she believes Mrs. Reyes did not get involved in her husband's work nor in the allegations of military corruption.
She added that Reyes was very firm about his policy not to involve his wife in his job.
"She is so protective of her husband. Between her and Reyes, Tess Reyes is richer because she's engaged in a business," Ang-See said.
If Rabusa's allegations are true, Reyes's family should be living very luxurious lifestyles.
"Compare his [Reyes] sons to the sons of Carlos Garcia. They [Reyes's sons] were only wearing T-shirts at the wake," Ang-See said.