February 8, 2011
MIRIAM STATEMENT ON REYES SUICIDE
Technically, Gen. Angelo Reyes died with the presumption of innocence on his side, because he never went to trial. During the Senate investigation, he was a "person-in-interest," or a "suspect." His death extinguished both his criminal and civil liabilities. In other words, his criminal liability was totally extinguished, both as to the personal and the pecuniary penalties.
However, the Penal Code provides that the obligation to make restoration or reparation for damages devolves upon his heirs. Thus, his wife and children are obliged to restore whatever property may be proved to have been acquired by illegal means.
In lieu of the deceased, his wife and their children may be summoned to the Senate hearing to investigate whether they have become liable under the Anti-Graft Act. This law prohibits any person and family relation, including the spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree, "to capitalize or exploit such family relation by directly or indirectly receiving any pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business with the deceased in which the deceased had to intervene."
Under the law, if proven guilty, the wife, children, and in-laws could be charged under the Anti-Graft Act and punished with up to 15 years imprisonment, and with confiscation or forfeiture in favor of the government of any unexplained wealth manifestly out of proportion to his salaries and other lawful income.
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