Saturday, October 7, 1972

I was concerned for Justice Barrera’s safety. When he saw me, he also showed much concern—for me. He asked excitedly in rapid succession, “Were you released?” Did they release you?”

“I was never taken in, Justice,” I assured him.

“No, no, no, you were taken in, but did they release you immediately afterwards?”

He showed genuine pleasure upon having been convinced that I had not really been arrested. And I said, “How about you, Justice, what’s your story? I was equally concerned about you. I thought you had gone to Hong Kong.”

“No.” He smiled. “It seemed actually I was in the list but it was Secretary Enrile himself who withheld my name saying that I am already quite an old man and there is nothing to be gained in putting me behind prison.”

“As a matter of fact,” he continued, “I had even prepared everything already, including my mosquito net, because I really thought I was going in.”

I proceeded afterwards to the meeting of the Committee on External Affairs.

“By the way, my name is not Ramon,” I said repeatedly because there was so much joking about the Con-con delegate Ramon Espiritu who, according to the papers, has been arrested.

Ramon Espiritu is one of the members of the Communist politburo in the Philippines who were arrested in 1956 and put behind bars for more than 15 years. I do not know him and I have never met him. I wonder why people like Ramon Espiritu, and even more so, Luis Taruc and Alfredo Saulo, who have already been punished so much in the past and who, apparently, are now living within the pale of the law, are to be detained again.

Nene Pimentel rode with me in the car. He told me that he was with Ernie Rondon a week ago when Rondon was taken in. They were apparently having lunch at Rondon’s house when an officer came in and showed him a xerox copy of an order from Enrile to have him arrested.

Pimentel had appeared at the Supreme Court yesterday.

“It was quite beautiful the way the thing had proceeded.” He was almost ecstatic. He had told the judges point-blank that if the Supreme Court did not do its duty now, they may find themselves in the same predicament as Chief Justice Taney in Ex Parte Merryman during the U.S. civil war. Taney had pitifully bewailed the illegality of Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and his (Taney’s) own inability to release those arrested.

He said that the conditions did not warrant the declaration of martial law. To begin with, the bombings could not be used as an excuse. For example, Pimentel warmed up, who were caught after the grenade bombing of Plaza Miranda a year ago? There were some convicts among them, but there was absolutely no proof that the NPAs have really done it.

Again, who bombed Joe’s store at Carriedo? A PC trooper, not NPAs. Who was suspected of bombing the Con-Con? Two men dressed in PC uniforms were seen running away; in fact, it was probably because he was yelling and telling everyone that he saw two soldiers coming out of the toilet (which was the epicenter of the bombing) that Pepito Nolledo was later arrested.

Nene told the Supreme Court that it was their historic duty to do something to avert disaster. He apologized for speaking that way, but he was before a court of justice and if he could not speak there, he would not be able to speak anywhere else.

Nene said that he had discerned from the interrogations that Chief Justice Concepcion and Justices Fernando and Teehankee and possibly Fred Ruiz Castro were probably sympathetic.

It’s too bad, I said, that JBL Reyes is no longer in the Supreme Court.

According to him, the responses to the interrogation of the solicitor general, Titong Mendoza by Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, showed that Titong himself was quite skeptical about the government’s actions.

The CEPO meeting I attended afterwards was held at the Army & Navy Club. When Tavi Tavanlar came in, he informed us that there was a think tank that was helping President Marcos formulate economic policies. Among the regular members that he had seen in these meetings of the group were Armand Fabella, Gerry Sicat, Ting Paterno, Bong Tanco and a few other guys. Tavanlar suggested that CEPO should formulate certain economic policies for presentation to this think tank.

What? Actively collaborate with the man primarily responsible for the loss of our freedoms—and the arbitrary arrests and even tortures? What a preposterous idea!


October 5, 1972

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12:00 PM

Oct. 5, 1972

Thursday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Devoted time to Cotabato (Blah and Esther Sinsuat and Datu Puti their son), Dr. Charles Mosebrooke, the advance party of Larry Spivak for the Meet the Press show, Com. Aquino of the Com. on Highways on the highways program and the new decrees.

But I spent most of my time on the tax measures specially the reorganization of the BIR and the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code.

Ordered the suspension of capital gains provided the gains are invested in a productive enterprise or deposits it in a bank, rules to be issued by the Com. of Internal Revenue.

Met the leaders of the Concon delegates, Bibit Duavit, Ding Quintos and Von Yaneza on the schedule of their activities and the Interim government.

The Concon through its officers and some members have requested ₱4.5 million for their expenses up to January which I granted. This means that even Pres. Macapagal recognizes the legality of my legislating by decree.

 

2

Oct. 5th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I notice some worry creeping into the voices of the children over the telephone and into their letters.

So I have sent them letters assuring them of the success of martial law and how safe it is here now, enclosing clippings from here and foreign sources.

Worked on an integrated approach to food prices with Sec. Benny Tanco who was also concerned that he may be arrested as his wife has told him she heard news from unimpeachable sources.

And worked on the organization of a Movement for a New Society.


Thursday, January 15, 1970

01 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 3401 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 35

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Malacañang

Manila

Thursday

January 15, 1970

The newspapers headlined (specially Manila Times) the resignation of Nolan from the Sugar Quota Adm. and Sugar Institute. I have asked him to stay but today I have had to designate Jose Unson the Asst. Sugar Quota Adm. to replace him.

This may precipitate a break with the Montelibanos and the Lopezes who, I am sure, are behind it.

I hope Ex Sec. Alfredo Montelibano resigns from the RCA so I can appoint Bong Tanco.

I write this on the evening of the 16th because last night after the birthday party of Hilda Ysmael, we slept at the Veterans Memorial Hospital so that Meldy may be operated on at 6:00 AM.

Manila is talking about the sugar bloc blackmailing me into supporting Laurel for Speaker with the editorials of the Chronicle, the resignation of Nolan, the expected resignation of Montelibano and other signs.

What they do not know is that Iñing Lopez when I saw him on the 13th at the Meralco Hospital insisted on the appointment of Montelibano as Secretary of Finance on the ground that there was need for a new face in the Finance Dept. I am sure this is because Danding Romualdez has refused to be their tool. Anyway I told him that if Danding Romualdez should be changed

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Malacañang

Manila

this would be an admission of the failure of the monetary policies which I am not ready to do because I approved of them. Although the state of our balance of payments was never revealed to me until June 1969 when it was impossible to do anything as any retrenchment and curtailment of imports and government expenditure would have caused a skyrocketing of process during the political campaign. This would have been a disaster.

But as soon as my reelection was assured, I ordered all the necessary steps to be taken like the curtailment of imports and the cutting of government expenditures; all public works releases have been suspended, all casuals terminated, loans and guarantees by the government financing institutions stopped. Prices went up and I had to call the retailers, dealers and importers to maintain the old level of prices. We sent a mission to the U.S. and Europe to obtain new loans and restructure our short-term loans.

Ting Roxas bungled the mission. According to Iñing Lopez, Maurice, the President of the German National Bank, Ting Roxas panicked everybody in Germany into believing that the Philippines was in chaos. And they came to the Philippines to see for themselves. To their surprise they discover us still operating as a democracy.

Curse upon these theoretical economists!