Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

December 26, 1941

Tokyo broadcast the news of the surrender of Hong Kong and London confirmed the news. Yesterday the musicians of the sky respected the day, but today they doubled their performance. They laughed off the declaration of an open city as a fable.

However, the newspapers published in bold letters the declaration of General MacArthur, President Quezon and Commissioner Sayre that Manila and the adjacent towns are an open city. They announced that they and all the military forces will leave the city. We saw that all military quarters had indeed been deserted. Only the local police force was left to maintain order.

Though some people rejoice at the thought Manila would be spared from destruction many are skeptical. Will the Japanese ignore the declaration? Have they been officially notified through a neutral power which would guarantee its observance? Would they accept its validity?

The Japanese pilots know that today they were not fired at. The radio supports the theory that the invaders are under obligation to respect the city. Manila will yield without any resistance if the advancing forces reach its borders.

Before abandoning Malacañan, Quezon created the Greater Manila Area, annexing Quezon City, Pasay, Parañaque, Mandaluyong, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan and other areas in the vicinity of Manila. He appointed Jorge Vargas his secretary, its Mayor. Then, President Quezon, Vice President Osmeña, General Valdes and Manuel Roxas moved to an undisclosed place.

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