MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday said he has learned a lesson from the suicide of former Armed Forces chief of staff Angelo Reyes but stopped short of expressing regret for humiliating Reyes during a Senate inquiry.
Asked if he regrets berating Reyes during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Trillanes told ANC's "Headstart": "I'm the kind of person who doesn't regret anything in life becausethat's the only key where I can move on, but I do learn lessons in life. Negative experiences can bring out lessons and I learn from that. Looking back, that's how destiny played for us. That encounter, no matter how unfortunate it looks now in hindsight, there's no going around it anymore. We just have to live with that."
Retired Maj. Gen. Leopoldo Maligalig, a former Philippine Military Academy (PMA) superintendent, earlier said Reyes might have been pushed to commit suicide last week after being humiliated by Trillanes during the Senate hearing.
During the inquiry, Trillanes said Reyes "had no reputation to protect" after he was accused of pocketing P50 million in goodwill money upon his retirement from the military in 2001.
Trillanes, meanwhile, clarified that he did not name former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the protector of former Armed Forces comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.
He said he told reporters that it was not far-fetched that the corruption investigation would lead to Arroyo since she was commander-in-chief during Garcia's time as military comptroller.
"I did not name anybody. I just quoted what the emissary of the late general (Angelo Reyes) said, that there were transactions coming from upstairs. He didn't partake of any commission but General (Jacinto) Ligot, whether he partook of something... Everything was detailed by Rabusa, so there was no absolution to anybody. I did not clear anybody. I did not name anybody," he said.
Trillanes confirmed that he merely identified Reyes as a beneficiary of military corruption through former military comptrollers Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot.
The senator said the challenge now is for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to continue its investigation to find out the root cause of military corruption.