Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

January 28, 1944

President Laurel, with the sanction of the High Command, declared amnesty to all guerillas who would surrender, within a given period, to military or civil authorities, and pledge allegiance to them. An intensive campaign is being launched to invite the misinformed elements to return to the peaceful life in their homes, and collaborate in the reconstruction of a new Philippines.

The grace period has expired three days ago, and optimistic reports allegedly gathered from the reports of provincial governors to the central government assure that their respective provinces are already peaceful.

However, underground but reliable sources attest to the contrary. The mass surrender is a theatrical farce. Some guerrillas have turned themselves in for the sake of obtaining information and supplies. They then returned to the mountains. Others are peaceful citizens who have joined to increase the figures of the supposed surrenderees.

Meanwhile, disorder continues to reign in the provinces. Nobody knows who is in command. Sporadic encounters have broken out between the Japanese forces reinforced by the Constabulary, and the rebel groups.

And the governors continue to report that there is octavian peace! Actually, confusion bordering on anarchy is prevailing.

The President warned that he would proceed with absolute firmness against the recalcitrants, threatening to annihilate them after the period of grace, calling upon the Japanese forces to override them, if necessary.

The grace period has expired and the threat was not implemented. On the contrary, a new decree was issued, announcing that the government would continue receiving surrenderees with open arms. It seems that the government is fearing a possible civil war if it adopted drastic measures.