Close to five years ago, I had a chance to meet former Secretary Angelo T. Reyes when he was the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. It was on one of our Regional Peace and Order Council meeting held at the Diamond Hotel in Roxas Boulevard, Manila. He was the guest of honor, being the Chairman of the National Police Commission. From what I remember, he was an excellent speaker. He commands attention, that I think came from his military background. But he sounded more like a politician. That, I didn’t care for. After his short talk, he excused himself and said he had to attend to other pressing matters and pardons his early exit. Led by four aide–de–camps, most of the participants gathered to his path to the exit to say hello and shake his hand. By the time he reached our table, I stood up in respect but was not eager to shake his hand. As I stood there, he noticed that I wasn’t coming to him. He called me out and said, “Kid, come over here and shake my hand.” I obliged. Like what I said, he commands.
But his command has its limits. Just like Frank “Frankie Five Angels” Pentangeli from the Godfather Part II. Only to his family. When Tom Hagen came to him in prison they chatted:
Tom: “When a plot against the Emperor failed…the plotters were always given a chance to let their families keep their fortunes. Right?”
Frank: “Yeah, but only the rich guys, Tom. The little guys got knocked off and all their estates went to the Emperors. Unless they went home and killed themselves, then nothing happened. And the families…the families were taken care of…”
Tom: “That was a good break. A nice deal.”
Frank: “Yeah…They went home…and sat in a hot bath…opened up their veins…and bled to death…and sometimes they had a little party before they did it.”
Frank: “Those were the great old days, you know…And we was like the Roman Empire…The Corleone family was like the Roman Empire…”
Angelo T. Reyes was a soldier. A soldier to the end. RIP.
Question is…who’s Michael?
8:45pm, 8 February 2011.