Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

January 20, 1936

Asedillo, the old Tayabas bandit, has surrendered and been brought here in the presidential car, to see Quezon personally; was taken back and released in the hills on promising to return in three days with his sons and chief followers. All of this is quite picturesque — no promise of pardon has been given; he will have to stand trial. Entirely in line with the costumbre del pais. I submitted a memorandum on the Manila Railroad plans for the next few years; also Colin Hoskins’ proposed bill on the agrarian situation. Saw Justice of the Peace Abra from Pila, Laguna, and asked him a lot of questions about the Sakdalistas who are said to be disappointed that Ramos, their leader in Japan had not brought this country immediate independence by December 31. They were still sending him money, however, and continued to believe that Japan would get freedom for them. I asked him how large a percentage of his province were in favour of independence. He replied: nearly all of them, tho in 1931 he had told Governor General Davis that only 30% were in favor. He added: “if you bluff these people (i.e., advocate independence), they will believe you, but if you tell them the truth (i.e., the difficulties) they refuse to believe; they think they will get everything out of independence.”

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