MANILA, August 12, 2003 (MALAYA) Editorial  - IT'S pathetic, Secretary Angelo Reyes soliciting manifestos of support for his continued stay in the Cabinet.

The latest expression of support came from local officials in Central Mindanao led by Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Pax Pangudadatu. This was complemented by another manifesto from the alumni of the Army, Air Force and Navy officer candidates school.

Earlier, Reyes also managed to exact a "pledge of allegiance" from the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood. The Guardians, however, were lukewarm in accommodating Reyes, vowing only that they would not resort to violence, which is pro forma as pro forma can get for any legal organization.

The Guardian leaders, more tellingly, resisted pressures to disown Sen. Gregorio Honasan, saying they continue to recognize the senator as their national chairman.

More embarrasing yet were efforts to secure similar manifestos of support from Philippine Military Academy graduates. Two or three classes humored Reyes by passing the solicited manifestos; there was deafening silence from the rest. Even in Reyes' PMA Class 1966, there were some holdouts in signing a manifesto of support for their "mistah."

If this is all Reyes can come up with despite his all-powerful post, his support from the military, which is his natural constituency, must range from insignificant to nothing.

This is the guy who said he would not mind being drafted as administration presidential candidate or, at the very least, a senatorial candidate? He is somewhere in the 30s in the latest survey of voters preference. After the accusations of corruption and incompetence raised by the young officers of Magdalo, he would be lucky if he could win as chairman in Barangay Cembo in Fort Bonifacio.

Well, in a way, we could not blame Reyes. His boss, Gloria Arroyo, continues to delude herself she still enjoys popular support despite clear evidence to the contrary.

There are signs she intends to turn her back on her declaration last Rizal Day she will not be running. To give a semblance of grassroots support for a presidential run, streamers have been sprouting all over the metropolis avowing eternal love for her.

Again, how pathetic.

She and Angie deserve each other.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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