Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

September 24, 1944

“Therefore I, José P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, presently proclaim that a state of war exists between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America and Great Britain effective on the 23rd day of September 1944 at 10:00 in the morning.”

With what forces would the Philippines sustain the war? With the moro vintas, the barges and the few sailboats which the Japanese have not yet confiscated? Or with the Kalayaan, the only plane owned by the Republic given as a baptismal gift by Japan to the President? (There were rumors that the plane had already been destroyed during the raids.) Is the Philippines going to engage the half-equipped Constabulary—of which half can handle only the service sticks—in the battlefield? Before the first combat, most of them would have passed over to the enemy side. Will the youth be called to active duty to constitute an improvised army which has no faith in the present and no ideals for the future? They do not believe in nor desire independence. Everybody knows that the declaration of war was a mere gesture, for the purpose of bringing to the fore the imminent possibility of an attack from the outside, and to give in to Japanese pressure pushing all independent nations of the Sphere to make it appear to the world that they are at war with the Anti-Axis. We are just waiting for developments.