Diary of Antonio de las Alas

May 7, 1945 Monday

A series of conferences began between Mr. Sanvictores on the one hand, and Col. Forbes and Lt. Severance on the other. The Colonel would allow us to run our community affairs. We could organize to enforce rules and the Army was willing to give its full backing. Most matters taken up were internal. But during the conversation, the Colonel stated that we were “modified war prisoners”. He said we would be classified and that classification would be done in Manila. Sanvictores reported that the Colonel said we could not send letters. This news made many cry. Many were not given any opportunity to see their families to bid them goodbye. Later this was modified. We will be allowed to write letters but under censorship. In replying to our letters, our families should address the letters to the American officers, and they deliver them here.

Some of the guards are very good. Others are just mean. They order us around just like regular prisoners. They roughly order us to fall in line. They do not allow us to receive anything from the outside or to send out for anything including our laundry. Some are good fellows and seem to sympathize with us deeply. They allow us to do what we want, but cautioned us not to let their superiors know. One of them called Johnny was especially good to us. He also expressed the opinion that it was a blunder to detain us. All said that Johnny would be given a grand time when we return to Manila.

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