Met today with the Cebu MPs led by Celing Fernan, Sonny Osmeña, Tony Cuenco, Inday Nita Daluz, Junie Martinez and Rene Espina. We have solid support in Cebu. I will proceed to Ilocos region on Friday, the 30th. Pablito Sanidad is in charge. We will cover Ilocos Sur and La Union and Baguio. In keeping with an old unwritten tradition, I will skip Ilocos Norte in this campaign. Then to Zambales c/o Raul Gonzales and Pampanga c/o Tony Angeles. Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro next week. Side trip to Butuan. Bicol next.
I presented to Cardinal Sin for his viewing the videotapes and photos taken by Orly Mercado of the Marcos properties in US. We are showing these to various business groups .
Today is Ninoy’s death anniversary. Mass at 9 am and lunch with the UNIDO MPs at the Law Office. Then march from EDSA. Uncle Billy Javellana is in town. He was very kind to us Filipino students when we were in Yale. Bing Padilla and Grace will host dinner for him this evening. Tomorrow Class ’52 UP Law will hold a reunion at Club Filipino. Class ’52 will mobilize all classmates and campaign in their respective areas. Tony Centero is also mobilizing the Upsilon.
Met with JBL and Neptali Gonzales, Nani Perez, Arthur Defensor re filing of impeachment complaint vs. Marcos. Chances are very slim in the Batasan because it is dominated by Marcos. But it can add pressure to Marcos to make him call a Snap Election.
Just arrived from Tokyo-US trip. Opposition in US strong and organized. But they are skeptical about my chances of beating Marcos. They know that the people will vote for me but the votes will not be counted. But they will do what they can.
Solarz, Cranston, Kennedy, Kerry (Democrats) are very sympathetic to UNIDO.
Will meet with UNIDO MPs to map out anti-fraud strategy.
The Liberal Party leaders are not too active. Will meet with Macapagal and Salonga. Could it be because Eva Kalaw is too openly identified with me? She is claiming leadership of LP.
I will have to raise funds. Many friends are helping but not enough to support a presidential campaign. Marcos is entrenched –20 years in power. He is no longer popular and he is sick -but businessmen are still afraid of him. I will have to tap friends in Japan and U.S.
Since Marcos has not yet announced the holding of snap elections, this gives me time to raise funds and go around the country. UNIDO will have to match KBL organization. KBL has all the local officials as members. But we have the people. It’s a matter of making them know that the opposition is united under one leader and candidate. The people want change. They have had enough of Marcos.
Meanwhile, beside fund-raising, a calibrated exposure to media, especially the foreign press, which is not under control of Malacañang! I will be fighting a man with unlimited funds and who has the AFP as his private army!
Consolidating opposition forces while reaching out to disgruntled KBLs.
Leaving for Cagayan de Oro to meet Mindanao leaders. Leaving for Tokyo, New York and Washington. Will be back on Sunday, June 23.
Today was a whole day affair. More than 25,000 delegates and leaders of UNIDO attended the Nominating Convention at the Araneta Coliseum. They came at their own expense. All we gave them was a hamburger, two hard boiled eggs and a banana for lunch. All political leaders identified with the opposition were present. Even Cory came despite attempts of her “advisers” to dissuade her.* I am told by old-timers that it was the biggest and fightingest political convention on record –and I was unanimously nominated presidential standard bearer of the opposition. I expect Marcos to call a snap election soon –before Christmas.
This will be an all-out fight.
I immediately set the tone of the presidential campaign in my acceptance speech which I entitled “The Final Battle”:
The UNIDO is committed to non-violent change. Bloody revolution is not the only path to freedom: Democracy cannot take root amidst violence. All confrontation must end in reconciliation.
But those who would oppose us know that we will never give up this fight.
We will never give up the fight against repressive rule, against deception, against hypocrisy, against the twisting and shrouding of truth. We will never give up the right to live as human beings in a society where human rights are not denied at the will or whim of one man. Democracy is non-negotiable.
*I am confident we will have only one candidate in the opposition. The only other possible candidate is Cory but she has repeatedly told me she is not interested and that she will never run for the presidency. She has said this privately and publicly. She appears to be sincere. She attended today’s convention and even delivered a speech supporting my candidacy. I was told her advisers (Tañada, Diokno, Arroyo) were trying to stop her and she was in tears because she wanted to –and she did. Her advisers obviously have their own agenda. I hope Cory will not become a tool in their hands.
The blackout and curfew are lifted.
Papa, looking grave, dictated a letter addressed to General Douglas MacArthur, placing himself at MacArthur’s disposal. He also dictated an announcement formally terminating the existence of the Second Republic of the Philippines.
At 12 noon today, I heard the Japanese national anthem (Kimigayo) played several times. I thought this very unusual. We have been here for three months now but I never heard it played so often. Something serious must be happening, I wondered.
Maning suddenly came into my room with the news that Japan had just surrendered. The Emperor himself made the announcement over the radio. At last the war is over! Thank God! Now we can go home but when –how?
Today I wrote a poem entitled “Ode to Peace” I showed it to Papa and he liked it. He suggested I change the line “strife is love’s wife” to “strife is linked with life.” It sounds better. He told me to write more such poems.
This afternoon, I walked alone through the streets of Nara to find out how the Japanese are taking their defeat. There were very few people in the streets. Those I saw in the shops merely looked down and bowed a little. The city was deathly quiet. Only the guttural chanting of men in their homes broke the eerie silence. Kuya Pepe explained these were the men who were about to commit hara-kiri or seppuku. They cannot accept defeat. Japan had never been conquered in more than 2000 years. They do not want to witness the surrender of their country. Agonized chanting went on through the night. I could not sleep.