A direct result of yesterday’s NUJP-organized media forum on Proclamation 1017: The Inquirer ran a front-page editorial today, condemning President Arroyo for her "declaration of war on the Bill of Rights." The Star has taken an anti-1017 stance too. I wish ABS-CBN, GMA, and ABC would also run on-air editorials in their evening newscasts today.
The Inquirer editorial was originally entitled "A declaration of war." But when news of the Marine standoff in Fort Bonifacio circulated, the title became suddenly inappropriate, a tad too incendiary. It was changed to "Defend our freedom," before the editor-in-chief finally decided to use the more resonant "Declaration of freedom."
A key passage draws the context in which it was written:
The truth is: It is Proclamation 1017 itself which has recklessly magnified the threat to the Republic. If restiveness in the ranks of the military continues, it is partly because our soldiers too can sense the fatal discrepancy between means and ends.
In contrast to Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor’s increasingly lame explanations, this one seems plausible. The Marine standoff did not spoil the chances that 1017 would be lifted as early as today; on the contrary, it is more likely that 1017 made the disruptive standoff possible. It pushed edgy soldiers over the edge.