MANILA - A former Philippine military chief and cabinet minister who was under the spotlight after being accused of massive corruption died from a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide on Tuesday, authorities said.
Angelo Reyes, 65, died from a bullet through his chest, Health Secretary Enrique Ona told reporters.
"He was dead on arrival (at hospital). They were not able to revive him... as of now, our finding is only one gunshot wound," Ona told reporters.
The head of Manila police's eastern district, Chief Superintendent Francisco Manalo, said they believed Reyes had committed suicide.
"Our initial report is that he shot himself," Manalo told AFP.
Reyes had in recent weeks made headlines after a former military budget officer accused him of siphoning off enormous amounts of money from state coffers while armed forces chief of staff from 2000 to 2001.
Reyes was the military chief under then president Joseph Estrada, who was forced to stand down as the nation's leader mid-term after himself being accused of corruption.
Reyes also served as cabinet minister and a range of other high-profile positions during previous president Gloria Arroyo's term from 2001 to last year. He had been secretary of the defence, environment, energy and interior ministries, as well as presidential adviser on anti-smuggling.
Current President Benigno Aquino has repeatedly said Arroyo allowed corrupt officials to run rampant during her time as president. Arroyo has denied the allegations.
A caretaker at the cemetery in eastern Manila where Reyes's parents are buried said the shooting occurred on Tuesday morning at the grave site.
The caretaker, speaking on DZBB radio, said Reyes visited the grave with his children and bodyguard.
"He asked his children and bodyguard to go ahead and wait for him in the car. A few moments later they heard a gun fire, and he was on the ground holding a handgun," said the caretaker, who was not named.
Reyes' former budget officer in the military, ex-lieutenant colonel George Rabusa, last week accused his then boss of receiving 50 million pesos (S$1.46 million) in send-off money from an illegal slush fund when he retired in 2001.
Reyes also regularly received millions of pesos in unaudited monthly allowances during his term, Rabusa told a Senate inquiry into alleged military corruption.