Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

October 7, 1943

Events are developing at a very fast pace. The President-elect announced to all and sundry that within one week—that would be on the 14th of this month—the Republic would be proclaimed, and the new era of the Free Philippines, sovereign and independent, would be inaugurated.

When Premier Tojo, a year ago, promised Philippine independence, he gave as a condition the sincere cooperation of all Filipinos with the military administration. Tokyo complied with its promise, but has forgone the condition. Filipino cooperation of today is less, and is no more sincere than it was a year ago. In the Visayas, except Cebu, where the pacified area is gradually increasing, the same state of open rebellion or the refusal to recognize the new regime persists. In Luzon, a certain passive acquiescence prevails, due to fear in the majority of cases, but sporadic upheavals occured at the slightest provocations. Subversive elements entrenched in the mountains continue to pillage the plains. More than five thousand Japanese troops have been engaged in mopping up operations in the Zambales mountains. But the rebels know their movements very well, and before the Japanese could attack one mountain, the rebels had already moved to another. I was told that the Japanese hounded the armed Negritos with a special fury, and hundreds had been killed.

So, in this atmosphere of affected reverence, passive indifference and open hostility, independence is to be born. No wonder no one looks at it with fondness nor acclaims it with enthusiasm. In Manila where the opposition is less pronounced or less violent, independence is awaited with a mixed feeling of enthusiasm and apathy. A small minority considers it a prelude to the gradual disentanglement from the yoke imposed by the conquerors.

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