Diary of Jorge B. Vargas

July 22nd, 1946

Could not sleep right away after retiring for the night last night——had been laundering a pair of socks which I plan to use tomorrow when we leave as it matches my Palm Beach suit. It has two little holes, however, but will ask Rosie to mend them today in a hurry. The night was rather cool, so much so that towards morning had to cover myself with a woolen blanket. Got up around 5:30 for my usual operation, went back to bed again, but in a few minutes decided to get up after doing my bending-up exercise on the cot the usual 25 times and started right away to sweep and mop the room in readiness for the heavy packing facing me during the day. Finished these chores sufficiently early to finally bring down my bags from on top of the toilet-—They are both very dusty and have just let them lay on the floor for a little while until after breakfast and just before bath which Would be most suitable time to clean them.

Gave Aquino “Time” of July 8th to read yesterday am. Returned Paper to me in the afternoon. Have not started to read yet myself——think will do it on the plane homeward bound to kill time.

Last bath this morning in Sugamo. Started removing contents of trunk (#32) right after and was on this task when was called for barber. Also last haircut in Sugamo——gave barber the usual 2 pkgs and one to the other. Told him was returning to Philippines in the morning-—gave me his card. Did pretty thorough job including cleaning of nose and ears. Barber bowed deeply as I got out and shake hands with him.

Went out to morning exercise in Khaki suit expectinf Capt. Gross to call as he promised last Saturday but was called out by front office people instead. They had my letter of yesterday re my things in the office. They had identified and found most ‘of those listed except the boy scout knife and the little pencil knife that goes with Faustino’s necessaire set. Nail clipper was also missing but they found a nail file which I had forgotten to mention. They also ‘said there were three big bottles that were not in my list—told _them I purposely left them out——whisky, and yumeisu——did not care for them anymore someone could use them if desired. Tincture of Iodine bottle was also gone. Told them never mind, was satisfied to recover those they had found. Forgot to mention razor, but Pete, who was present, said he would send along the one I have been using here all this time. Things seems to be most satisfactory, for even the two Art catalogues that had been autographed they were returning presumably.

While out on morning exercise Pete came to tell us to get ready to leave by six o’clock tomorrow morning! By Jove, that means we may get home for my 27th wedding anniversary, if everything goes according to schedule—We are due in Manila by evening, and if we can be immediately released we may have a wedding anniversary dinner yet in Kawilihan tomorrow night. Hurray! What excitement and feverish preparations they must be having there now!

While writing this (11:40 am) Pete came in to say we should have everything packed by this evening. Our baggage and stuff will all be waiting for us in the office in the morning and we should first separate what we will bring along on the plane, the rest will be taken care of by them for later shipment——they will be moved out of here anyway. He glanced at the clothes on my cot and spotted the three bed sheets, said he had been looking for that stuff all over but could not find any. Offered to give him one—it’s the large size stuff 90 x 108 ——told him to take it as a souvenir from me. Accepted it reluctantly said he would send it back home to his wife. Told him I would have to leave the stuff here anyhow in the trunk, as I will not be able to carry them all on the plane. Also asked him whether I could take with the (sic) me the GI towel as a souvenir, said it would be alright I guess. I (illegible) anyhow when we leave here we will still be technically in the custody of the Army.

After lunch Col. Hardy came in while I was packing my trunk—_After nosing around several times, asked with that dirty look in_his eyes and nasty leer in his face, “What are You taking with you in the way of souvenir or message from the people here?” I said, “Nothing, except an independence message which they all signed and gave us on July 4th.” Trying to remember further, “Oh” I said, “I have a copy with me of Streeter’s sermon on a Sunday when there was no Chaplain, gave me a copy.” Let me see it, he requested. II opened up my portfolio and after sorting some of its contents I remebered it wasn’t there—had put it in my trunk—— but he saw Kindermann’s name at bottom of a typewritten page, He asked about that “Oh, that” I said, “Kindermann wants to write a history of the Philippines and he showed his outline of it to me. That’s a copy.” What papers or documents are, you taking with you? “Nothing but the letters‘ I rec’d here through your office, and I have retained copies of all letters I have sent out officially and some privately.” “=You rec’d quite a bunch of letters the other day.” “Yes,” I said, they were brought by Romulo. Then he inquired how soon I would be thru with my packing, I said “In about an hour.” I shall ‘try to put everything I leave behind here which I want shipped home in that trunk. Whatever is not there may be left here.” “Alright,” he said “I will send someone in an hour” and departed, I felt like telling him in his face I would file charges for misconduct in office against him, but hold my tongue, remembering it might be more effective and more expeditious to do it after I am free from his jurisdiction. Left It at that, but am determined to do it yet. Before I could finish packing they called me out again, this time to see Capt. Gross when I got there Hardy was talking with Gross, not know what about, but I have an idea in connection with our departure tomorrow and the things ‘we are taking along. The Capt. invited me to come in while Hardy was still inside

the room, so the colonel (illegible) went away mumbling something to the Capt. which the latter did not even bother listening to. The Capt. told me as soon as Hardy was gone —— “You hold this under your hat, but whatever you are bringing tomorrow will not be inspected much—but you had better hold it down to not more than 65 to 70 lbs. We are leaving by private plane at six in the morning. I shall Pick you up from here at about 5:45 We will leave from Atsugi around 7 to 7:30, will go direct to Manila and will be at Nielson field about 5:30 or six in the afternoon. “Without refuelling Capt?” I asked. “Without refuelling,” he affirmed Gen. MacArthur has already sent a private message about our departure, and I am sure Pres. Roxas will notify your family and they will be there to greet you when we arrive. There will be no publicity about the trip, not from here although there will be a release by the Army after you have been delivered to Pres. Roxas. That’s why I want to know certain things from you! Then he noted down my full name the positions I held during the Japanese occupation which I ‘gave as Mayor——Jan 5-23, ’42, Chairman, Jan. 23 ’42—Oct. 14, ’43 and Ambassador, Oct. 26, ’43——Aug.7, ’44. He asked when I name to Japan, date of presentation of my credentials to Emperor. When I gave it as Feb. 29th, was 1944 a leap year? He was surprised—— told it being it was and I purposely picked up that date so that there would be no anniversary of it. He smiled. As final question he asked whether I had ever held an elective post told him no, purely administrative and executive! Then We spoke on collaboration cases, He likened matter to case he says he has been working on for sometime now, mostly on his own time. Said he will go back to Manila to prosecute that case himself and will stay there for about 3 mos. This time he is only staying around 10 days with Col. Carpenter who he said was also coming with us tomorrow. I invited them both to dinner at Kawilihan if and when convenient. Said he will be glad to go but will wait until we got to Manila to decide. Said case he referred to was that of those responsible for killing of Jose Abad Santos. When I told him I had seen a report Kawakami had committed suicide, he said yes, I arrested Kawakami myself, turned him over to the Japanese police and told them to have this man come to my office at ten o’clock the next morning. That evening they came to tell me so sorry, Kawakami killed himself. But that would make no difference in the case, I am after bigger game. And Santos’ case has a direct bearing on your own. He was asked by the Japanese to cooperate and when he refused or stalled for time he was executed. They would have done the same with you. If you had not surrendered to their service, you rendered only lip service at any rate, you would not be alive today, iust like Abad Santos. Perhaps if, I had been in your place under the same circumstances I would have done the same things you did. Asked me afterwards to have my trunk ready for shipment if not tomorrow at some subsequent time.

Went back to room to finish packing and then out for afternoon exercise. Then I asked Aquino if he had any space in his bag for my bath robe which I had forgotten to put in the trunk and the darn thing is already too full for anything. When we came back he came over to get the bathrobe and also the wire for tying up his suit case.

While writing this Steinmetz came in to give me 5 pieces of Hikais cigarettes. From now on he said we will get only 5 Jap cigarettes a day. Told him, thank goodness we don’t have to take them—we are already going home!

5:45 pm. Will not write any more from now on—no more time. It’s Home! Home! Home!