May 7, 1944 (Sunday)

Mass and communion at St. Sofia’s.

Visited the Nagasakis this morning with Quiambao, and took pictures.

Anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor; We Meet General Homma in Personal Interview. Today, anniversary of the fall of Corregidor, General Masaharu Hommma, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces during the Bataan campaign, invited us Constabulary officers (ex-USAFFE officers( for an intimate interview at the Mainichi Shimbun Building at 2:00 p.m.

Present during the interview were two stenographers and a gentleman who was with the Press Section attached to Imperial Army Headquarters and who was with General Homma throughout the Bataan campaign. Maps of the Philippines, especially of Bataan and Corregidor (including copies of military grid maps of the U.S. Army) were spread wide on the table to facilitate our talks. The General made us feel quite at ease, and when we got tangled up in our Nippongo, we talked in English, the General interpreting for us for the sake of the stenographers.

The question asked by the General were substantially as follows:

“Before the outbreak of the war of Great East Asia, what did you think about it? What was the people’s impression of Japan before the war? What was the estimate of the military authorities regarding the strength of the Japanese Army? What were the effects of the first bombings in the Philippines? What was the attitude of the Filipinos towards the war? Was there racial or other discrimination in Bataan? What did you think was the entire strength of the Japanese Army in the whole Philippine campaign? What was the casualty rate on the Filipino side, including deaths in the concentration camps? What do you think was the casualty rate on the Japanese side? What units did you belong to, and what experiences did you have? What artillery guns did you use? How did you take the departure of General MacArthur for Australia? How about the landing in Aglaloma, the fight in the Moron, Abucay, Mt. Samat and Mt. Natib sectors? While in Bataan, what were the rumors concerning the Japanese soldiers? What do you intend to do now, and how do you view the whole thing?”

To these series of questions our answers were substantially as follows:

“Before the outbreak of the Great East Asia War, there were so many rumors about it, and the situation was very tense; but we never expected it to start as early as December 8, 1941; the Filipinos thought it was a war to safeguard Philippine territorial integrity and so the Filipinos, especially the youth, were anxious to fight, many volunteering to join the ranks, even while the fight in Bataan was already on, going there by bancas; before the war, the Filipinos looked at Japan with extreme suspicion, regarding her as menace to the Pacific and a threat to P.I. independence; the military authorities underestimated Japan’s fighting strength although some quarters seriously thought about Japan’s preparedness for a major Pacific war; the first bombings were quite effective, military objectives being hit accurately, and there was a general belief that perhaps the Japanese planes were manned by German pilots; there was discrimination in food rationing in favor of the Americans, but this was due to the different standards of allowances between the Americas and the Filipinos, and there was no way of complaining to our superior officers for they, too, (as Filipinos) were receiving the same poor rations; the Americans were careful about their treatment of the Filipinos because they were afraid to provoke the anger of the Filipinos who were very conscious that they were bearing practically the whole brunt of the fight in Bataan; an estimate of the Japanese forces was about 500,000 and casualties about 100,000 (the General said the Japanese forces numbered only about 100,000 and the casualties 5,000); we calculated the deaths on the Filipino side at about 50,000; we related our various experiences in our different sectors from the start of the Bataan campaign till the general offensive of April 3, 1942, which finally ended in the fall of Bataan; told him we used 75 mm. and 155 mm. guns, and he was surprised to hear that an average of about 1,000 shells were fired a day (he said the Japanese could not fire back so often due to lack of a good supply of ammunition); when General MacArthur left for Australia, he issued a memo to all officers to the effect that he was leaving on command of the U.S. President to assume a more important post for the successful prosecution of the war, which encouraged the men in Bataan; rumors about the Japanese soldiers were that they were barbarous and merciless and would spare no one if captured; there was also a communique issued in Bataan announcing the death and funeral of General Homma (the General heard this one, too, he said); now that we see the sincerity in the actions of Japan and the high ideals for which she is fighting, we cannot help but feel grateful for the opportunity granted to us to work for our country in particular and for Great East Asia in general.” (Heh!)

After the interview at the Mainichi Building, we proceeded to the Greater East Asia Hall where the General treated us to a banquet. Here, too, we continued our exchange of views. When asked as to what lessons could be learned from the Bataan war, the old veteran General said that jungle positions are the best defense, and an offensive in jungle sectors is the hardest military operation to undertake.

I told the General the following: “When we were in Bataan, we never thought of losing the war and much less of being captured prisoners; when we were in the concentration camp, we never expected to be released; when we were released, we never thought we would become Constabulary officers; as Constabulary officers we never thought of going to Japan as government scholars of the Imperial Government; and, finally, while in Japan we never even dreamed of meeting in an intimate interview the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Forces in the Philippines, our grand enemy in Bataan.”

Personally, I consider my meeting General Homma in this afternoon’s interview a fitting climax of my personal odyssey which started in the crimson fields of Bataan. I only hope I find time to write my “memoirs” which I intend to entitle From Bataan to Tokyo.


March 11, 1943

Shoreham Hotel. Conversation with Major (Dr.) Trepp. Disillusionment of a doctor.

Dr Trepp, aged 56, short, stocky with thick shoulders and a round skull–a typical “alpine.” Comes from a Swiss village on the Italian side of the Alps, lying at an altitude of 1,500 meters. This used to be a 40 horse post-road station run by his grandfather before the St Gothard Tunnel was opened. Has a son in the American army in Tunisia; says that if his son dies, he will kill himself. Anyway, he is really more seriously ill himself than Quezon is.

For ten years was head of the Quezon Sanitorium outside Manila–is a specialist in TB.

His round, pale blue eyes, express a sort of childish innocence which he conceals with a brusque manner. At bridge, his “dooble” comes forth with a crack like that from the long rifle of a Swiss sharpshooter.

When Quezon left Manila for Corregidor on December 28, 1941, he took Trepp with him as a “personal physician.” Trepp says: “I believed he was a god.” During the weeks on Corregidor, Quezon had a sharp attack of bronchitis and perhaps a touch of pneumonia. “The food for all of us was rationed to two scanty meals a day–but Quezon had mutton chops and beefsteak.” Trepp added: “I lost forty pounds there.” I asked if Quezon had been brave during the bombardment. Trepp answered: “Quite the contrary.” He added: “I once, afterwards, asked Colonel Nieto, his a.d.c, about all the exploits told by Quezon in his book, of his insurrecto life–how he had fought in this and that engagement and Nieto answered. ‘Yes! behind a tree.’ When we got to Negros,” continued Trepp, “Quezon had bought two automobiles, which he left behind him there. When we boarded the planes in Mindanao for the journey to Australia, all the rest of us were obliged to leave our clothes behind, so that the seven chests of valuables belonging to Quezon and his family could be carried. Once he was in Melbourne, he bought two more automobiles and rented a house at $500 a month for six months. A few weeks later, we were on the Coolidge en route for the United States.”

Then with some indignation Trepp added:

“On April 9th, 1942, in Melbourne, Australia, we received word of the fall of Bataan. Nieto and I went up to the President’s apartment and told him the news of the disaster. He was seated in a chair with the family gathered about him looking over the silver and jewelry and personal possessions they had been able to bring from Malacañan Palace on their flight. It had been taken out of the bank in Melbourne that day and a little later was sent back there. Nieto and I went downstairs and cried.” This simple Swiss was evidently unaccustomed to the life of those who sit in the seats of the mighty, nor did he allow for the fact that Quezon had known from day to day, through General MacArthur of the approaching and certain disaster to the armies on Bataan and Corregidor.

I asked Trepp why Quezon had spent $20,000 of the Government’s funds in redecorating and refurnishing the suite in the Shoreham Hotel in Washington? “$20,000!” he cried: “it was $60,000–I saw the bills.” Trepp, with his Swiss conscience did not understand the tremendous inner urge in Quezon to be always building and recreating Malacañan and all of his surroundings as President of the Philippines. It not only compensated Quezon’s own soul for his starved surroundings as a barrio boy in Baler during his childhood, but it truly expressed, as Quezon believed, the desire of a people approaching nationhood to “put their best foot forward.” However brilliant the Swiss may be in interpreting the psychology of foreigners who come there to have themselves analyzed by their doughty psycho-analysts, the rest of the world will always be a puzzle to these fierce democrats of Switzerland.

Quezon had told me that the offer of “independence with honour” was made him by the Japanese before he took his final decision to fight alongside the Americans. Trepp now tells me that Quezon did not learn of this offer until he was in Melbourne, some months later, and that then his first comment was: “If I had only known!”

Poor lonely, defeated man! He had been ousted from “the seats of the mighty” and plunged into the depth of “some divine despair.”

One’s comment on Trepp’s perhaps quite natural feeling is that “any man may be a hero–except to his valet.”


January 29, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

The newspapers this morning gave Premier Hideki Tojo’s speech of yesterday to the Diet in Tokyo in which he promised independence to Burma. He also said: “The people of the Philippines deserve independence, because they understand Japan’s real aims and are ready to collaborate. . . . It is encouraging to observe an ever increasing movement among Filipinos for collaboration with Nippon.

I called this to Quezon’s attention and he was much disturbed. His own letter to President Roosevelt on the subject of “independence now” was dated January 25, but has not yet been sent; it is understood that the Executive branch of the government, except the Department of State, is in favour of a joint resolution by Congress stating that the “Philippines are and of right ought to be independent.” The Secretary of State (Hull) is also in favour of this, but he has little or no influence in his Department. The “permanent officials” headed by Dr Stanley K. Hornbeck are disposed to have no step taken in that direction until after the war and after it can be seen what the situation really is in the Far East.

After reading Tojo’s statement to the Diet, and a subsequent declaration by George Vargas expressing his readiness to accept “independence with honour” as already twice promised by the Japanese, Quezon was galvanized into immediate activity. I told him he should see Roosevelt at once and press the matter for all he is worth. Vargas’ statement as interpreted by Quezon shows that Tojo’s “independence” will not become a reality “for three months yet” and he, Quezon, must go into action in order to get the United States grant of independence first.

He said that the masses of the Filipino people would accept Tojo’s independence eagerly; that the leaders would know that this sort of “independence” would not be worth having, but would fall in line all the same. “This would be a very serious matter to my people–and to myself” he honestly added. After a pause Quezon continued: “When the United States gets back to the Philippines they will then have to fight not only the Japanese, but the Filipinos, as well, and I would be more likely to fall to a Filipino bullet than I was likely to be shot by the Japanese during the battle of Bataan.”

He had told us yesterday at Commissioner Elizalde’s luncheon, at which we gave him our official Mont Tremblant report, that the Japanese in the Philippines had already given to the small farmers of the Philippines land on which they lived and worked “a measure we will have to allow to stand when we regain our country, even if we have to recompense the landed proprietors.”

Altogether it looks to me as if the Japanese were “outsmarting” us in political warfare. It reminds me of what I told Professor Robert Gooch, in Charlottesville, 13 months ago when Churchill came to Washington and the “global” war was decided on, which meant simply “go for Hitler and abandon the Pacific until later.” I then said to him that if they are completely abandoned now, you may later have the Filipinos as well as the Japanese against you in the end.

Quezon’s draft of a letter to Roosevelt stresses three points:

(1)  the proclamation of Philippine independence and the recognition of the Philippine Republic by the Japanese.

(2)  the rehabilitation and development of the Philippine economy.

(3)  the guarantee of the future military security, political integrity and economic progress of the Philippines.

“It would be both wise and proper to proclaim Philippine independence now, rather than wait until 1946.”

He recommends the passage of a joint resolution by Congress advancing the date for independence to April 9th (the anniversary of the fall of Bataan) or the 4th of July, 1943.

This would be a “shot heard round the world” he urges–the most telling psychological blow that could now be delivered in opening the “Battle for the Far East.”

“A further and very important consideration is the possibility that Japan may, at any time, proclaim Philippine independence and establish a puppet state there. If this should happen” he urged, “before America recognizes Philippine independence, Japan will have gone far toward making the United States a laughing stock or a mere opportunist in the Far East.” (He should modify this language… in the recent abrogation of the extraterritoriality treaties. Axis propaganda hammered at the theme that this was “a plagiarism of the magnificent gesture of the Japanese”).

…In exchange for a guarantee of military security the Philippines will offer to the United States:

“The use under a generous lease of strategic air and naval bases which will act as the center of America’s power for peace in the Far East” and… “all the trained and proven Filipino man power needed to man these bases.”

…The assistance of the Filipino armed forces, etc.


November 12, 1942

Today I checked out from Bayombong Hotel and transferred as a boarder with Mrs. Maria Reyes who operates a Restaurant adjacent to BC Compound.  The Reyes Bldg. is a large two storey one with the Restaurant on the first floor and the second floor a Clubhouse with three rooms for rent. Mrs. Reyes hails from N. Ecija, I love her Tagalog food and her place is very near my office. The Clubhouse serves as the HQ of the Lions Club and rentable for social affairs.

Last night, I was invited by Belgian Fr. Lambrecht for dinner at his Parish residence.. As mentioned before, after he learned I am a USAFFE  O. who saw action in Bataan, he manifested his hatred on the Japanese due to their cruelty. After dinner, he showed me his hidden short wave radio and listened to a news broadcast from a station in San Francisco that narrated gains of the Marines and the US Navy in Solomons area. The Allies are also reported gaining in the African Front. At one point, Gen. MacArthur’s HQ adviced the Guerrillas in the Phil. to lay low and just concentrate on training and on gathering of intelligence info. This is no time for combat due to lack of firearms and ammo which can not be supplied yet, it added. Possession of short wave radios are prohibited by the Japanese as they do not want the people to know foreign news. Those with short wave radios are risking their lives.


July 2, 1942

Mr. Nakashima, Assistant Supervisor-de-Facto, has taken charge of the purchasing of spare parts. Naric needs a two-year supply, at least. Honesty is essential in this task.

Mr. Fukada reported that the Army is ready with soldiers for Nueva Viscaya purchases. Next move depends on the Naric, he stated.

The body of a Japanese soldier was found floating on the banks of the Pasig River.

Philip told us many stories about Bataan. He attributed the USAFFE’s defeat to two things:

(1) the meager, almost nil, food ration; and

(2) the complete aerial superiority of the Japanese.

“We were like rats,” he said, “only worse. When Japanese planes swept down, bombing, strafing… the only thing to do was to bury yourself under the ground. If you were lucky, you came out alive with earth all over your face and body. If you were unlucky…” He did not continue his sentence.

The ration in Bataan was a handful of “lugao” every day, nothing more. “It was a pitiful sight,” he said, “to see soldiers hardly able to lift their rifles, extending their hands to their officers, begging for food.”

Philip said there were no replacements in the front lines. While the Japanese forces used fresh troops, the USAFFE did not have enough men to cover the front lines. The same troops stood in the front from January to April, from morning to evening and morning again, till the lines finally broke before the ceaseless firing, bombing and shelling of the Japanese forces.

He explained that the only thing that kept the spirits of the boys alive was the hope of the convoy. “We were told that the convoy was on the way. And so we waited and waited. I have actually seen officers standing on the shores, scanning the seas, looking for the convoy. Sometimes they would see a wave and they would say, ‘There… that look like the spearhead of the convoy.’ We were like thirsty men in a desert, scanning the sands for an oasis. But the convoy did not arrive. Next week, they would say. Then it was ‘in a month,‘ ‘in two months,’ in three… never!”

He said that he was not sorry he went to Bataan. Aside from the satisfaction of serving his country, he looked at it as a post-graduate course in a University. It was educational, he pointed out. It was life.

Somehow man understands life better in the face of death.


June 28, 1942

Tears.

Tears of joy.

Mothers embracing sons as they walked out of the prison camp in O’Donnell.

It was the most touching sight ever seen in this country. The defeated troops have been allowed to return to their homes.

The Tribune carries the picture of a Filipino private with his USAFFE cap walking with a piece of stick on one hand, to support his thin body. On his haggard face, was a faint smile. He had done his duty to his country. His family surrounded him and his mother was supporting his left hand.

There were tragedies too.

Some boys died on the train on their way home. Release had come too late.

One mother arrived in camp very happy. She brought a jitney for her son. When his name was called, there was no son. The mother was worried. One soldier said: “He just died, madam.”

Even Japanese soldiers watching the meeting between parents and sons who had served their country shed tears.

War is blood and tears.

 


June 15, 1942

Visited Pagu at San Marcelino police station. He was with Unson and several others. They were all thin and pale and their hair was cut short. I thought I would not be allowed to see them but the policemen let me in. They said they were arrested because of alleged distribution of enemy propaganda. I asked them how they were treated in Fort Santiago. They remained silent. I understood.

I promised to work for their release. Just keep on praying to God, I told them.

Talked to Phil about Bataan till past midnight.


June 13, 1942

At Waldorf-Astoria.

Story of Lt. Colonel Andres Soriano:

Soriano said that it did a great injustice to Aguinaldo to call him a fifth columnist. The General was perfectly loyal.

Bombing of air fields:

“The bombing of Baguio was at 7:30 a.m. on December 8th; these enemy planes then turned northwards and bombed the Cagayan valley–Aparri, Tuguegarao and Iligan.

“At about the same hour, Davao was bombed.

“Next they came over Clark Field–not a fighter up to oppose them. Many of the officers were at luncheon when the Japanese struck. They said: ‘We don’t know how it happened.’ At that time, 17 B-40s were destroyed on the ground at Clark Field. Explanation: the wires to detectors had been cut by enemy agents.”

Soriano, when I asked about the American planes which, according to Quezon had taken the air when news came of the bombing of Baguio at 7:30, said they were probably some planes which were en route for Mindanao at that time, and were recalled.

By the 10th & 11th of December, almost all our planes (80%) were destroyed–“it was worse than Pearl Harbor.”

“Three-quarters of an hour after they struck at Clark Field they were over Iba Field–all the officers were having luncheon.

“MacArthur took command of all the armies on July 20 (?). He did not have five months in which to pull them together. General Lewis Brereton arrived early in November, a very amiable man–he found a Brigadier General in command of the air force, an officer of the old laissez faire school. They put him in command of the fighter planes, when they should have shipped him off home.” Those fighter planes were ready to start for Formosa, and actually started, “I don’t know why they were recalled to the ground–some of them may have been included in the squadron which started for Davao that morning and had been recalled.

“After December 10th or 11th, the Japanese were entirely masters of the air, unopposed. I understand that the Americans had 38 four engine bombers, and about 170 other planes in the Philippines before the invasion.

“Supplies for besieged armies on Corregidor & Bataan: An officer told me: ‘All through the battle of Bataan we expected relief and reinforcements, though we knew the American Pacific Squadron had been temporarily put out of action at Pearl Harbor. On my first trip back from the front at Bataan to see General Sutherland on Corregidor the boys in the trenches had asked me to bring them food, tobacco and whiskey. This was on February 3rd; on February 18th I was again sent from the front on an errand to Corregidor, and this time all that the boys asked me to bring back was only “good news”–i.e., of relief coming. We all expected help until we heard President Roosevelt’s address on February 22nd. The truth about the sending of supplies is as follows: three convoys started from Australia. The first was diverted to Singapore; the second to the Dutch East Indies, and the third, consisting of three cargo boats started at last for the Philippines. Two of the vessels turned back and went to the West coast of Australia–to Brisbane. One boat, the Moro vessel Doñañate (?) got through to Cebu; it carried 1,000 tons of sugar and 1,000 tons of rice, both commodities we already had in the Visayas, so it was like carrying coals to Newcastle. Very little of this got through to Corregidor and Bataan, because of the blockade. Another vessel went aground near Leyte but the cargo was salvaged. We understood that after Pearl Harbor, the American Navy could not convoy supplies to us. Nor, of course, could they strike directly at the Japanese Navy as had always been the plan.’

“On Dec. 1st, Quezon sent for Admiral Hart, and questioned him. Hart seemed very confident. He thought that if the Japanese ever cut the communications between the mainland (U.S.) and the Philippines, it would, at the most, be 18 days before it was re-established.

“Of the airplanes sent from the United States via Australia in the months just preceding Pearl Harbor, the bombers, which could fly all the way, got through to the Philippines. A shipment of 200 fighters intended for the Philippines, had inexperienced young boys as pilots and crews, and they smashed up 180 of these 200 planes in Australia. ”

Soriano’s account of important visitors to the Philippines just before, based on which, Quezon had believed that there was a well prepared plan worked out for the defense of the Far East. Quezon was not really consulted, or informed in detail, but he had every reason to think that the defenses of the Philippines were.

“Quezon saw Duff Cooper and was not at all impressed by him. General Sir Brooke Popham was in Manila several times from the end of 1940 to April 1941. He conferred only with Sayre, Grunert and Hart.

The Dutch Chief of Staff who after visiting the United States from Batavia, became Commander-in-Chief for the Netherlands East Indies when his chief was killed in an air accident. He visited the Philippines.

“Litvinoff came to Manila about November 1st or a little later. Quezon was ill, and Litvinoff was only there for two days, but the President saw him and was very much impressed by him.”

Then Kurusu, whom they all knew in Manila because he had been Consul General there in my time, came through on his mission to the United States about the middle of November.

In October 1941, the Secretary of the Colonies and the Secretary of Finance of the Netherlands East Indies made a trip across the Philippines.

Soriano had had reservations for the September Clipper from the United States to the Philippines but became so uneasy over international relations that he left America on July 29th instead.

After MacArthur had been given Supreme Command there was real co-operation established with the American Army, which had been rather sore theretofore with General MacArthur because he had accepted service with the Filipinos. Soriano thinks, however, that MacArthur was glad to take Filipino Command, otherwise he would lose rank as Lieutenant General at the end of his extended term (five years) as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and would have had to step down and become a young Major General. (As a matter of fact, he became the Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.) General Grunert was coming to the end of his term as Department Commander of the Philippines; he had been offish with MacArthur because he worked with the Filipinos, and the Department Commander had been an “ally” of Sayre. Now Grunert is very friendly with Quezon.

The Americans in Manila, after Soriano arrived back there were still “asleep at the switch”; only a small percentage of them were awake to the seriousness of the situation. Right up to the 1st of December many people thought that nothing was going to happen. Quezon was one of the few who seemed aware of the danger, tho he was not informed as to the real strength of Japan. He kept cool-headed. He realized the situation after Secretary Knox’s ballon d’essai statement of November 11th and Secretary Hull’s comprehensive and sweeping statement of November 26th to the two Japanese Ambassadors in Washington.

In Manila during those last weeks some of the Americans feared that the Filipinos would not support them–these were the “Old Timers” who had always looked down on the Filipinos. In Soriano’s opinion there was absolutely no justification for this fear among the “Old Timers.” He did feel some uncertainty as to the real though concealed sentiments of some of the members of the Legislature. Possibly some of the Filipino lawyers who had as clients the more important Japanese financial interests in the Philippines were luke-warm, or followed the line of least resistance. He also suspected the real feelings of some of the professional Filipinos who had taken their degrees in Japan. The only pro-Japanese Filipinos of whose sentiments he was sure were two Filipino businessmen he named.

“In September, military supplies from the United States began to trickle in; there was a very noticeable increase of them by November, when bomber squadrons arrived. Nearly everybody thought that the crisis would not come before Spring and this would have given MacArthur a real chance of success. Even with the small air force we had there at the moment of invasion we could have gone far to stop the Japanese landings at Lingayen Bay and Guman Bay (e. coast Bicols), if we had learned the lesson of the battle of Crete. We might also, with our limited air force intact, have been able to keep the Asiatic fleet in our waters and thus impede the invasion. This would have served to stop the Japanese on their way to Singapore.

“We could have preserved the bulk of our air force if we had dug shelters for them in the hills around the air fields. There was a perfect opportunity for this at Stotsenburg, for example. This was what MacArthur did with the few rickety planes he had left, on the air fields he constructed on Mariveles Bay during the siege of Bataan. With the immense amount of mining machinery we already had in the Philippines we could easily have dug out shelters of our air defenses and airplanes.”

I asked Soriano whether the Spaniards in the Philippines had to be watched. He replied: “Perhaps I am partial, but in my opinion the great bulk of the Spaniards then in the Philippines were entirely loyal. They are, of course, extremely influential in the Islands.”

About the disastrous campaign on Malaya, Soriano said that the acid criticisms of the Australian General Gordon Bennet were probably correct. Soriano, who was educated in England, said that the Englishmen of the colonies are probably of a somewhat lower social stratum–it was their arrogance and that of their women which led to disaster. The especial harshness of the Japanese towards the English was due to championship of the Asiatic races. They humiliated the English because of their political and personal bossiness towards Asiatics. They are leading a race movement for their fellow Asiatics. (N.B. “Old Timers” and the policy of “Prestige in the Philippines.” F.B.H.)

“The Filipino Scouts were the back-bone of our armies–I consider them the equals of any crack regiment in any army in the world.

“The Philippine Army were mostly draftees–some divisions were fairly trained–most of them were just barely trained. The young Filipino officers, the first class to graduate from their Military Academy at Baguio, were excellent; many of them were killed.

“When I was commissioned, I reported to General Jones at Fort McKinley; he was the commander of the Southern Luzon forces. An officer of the Philippine forces was not considered the equal of an American officer. We managed to secure the same pay for the Filipinos.

“On Bataan, relations became excellent between American and Filipino officers; no distinction was made; promotions and citations were equal.

“Vicente Lim, and Generals Capinpin and Francisco, in the front line were really fine soldiers. General Segundo, tho he had been at the best military schools in the U.S., was always uncertain–he should not have fallen back at the first day’s battle at Morong. Quezon had previously disciplined him by sending him for a year to Mindanao, and then called him up to command the Military Academy at Baguio. He lost all his batteries and equipment at Morong. Lim, Capinpin and Francisco are all three prisoners of the Japanese now. Homma’s Chief of Staff really did commit hara-kiri.

“Colonel Juan Moran, a brother of the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who was Chief of Staff of the 11th Division, did an excellent job.

“The 26th Cavalry, the 45th and 57th Infantry and 24th Field Artillery were Scouts.

“A Philippine division contains only 7,500 men.

“We could have licked the Japs at the beginning, if we had been properly equipped. After the battle of Malaya, no. If we had had an adequate air force, we would have thrown out the Japanese, they cannot stand up against air attack–not even the Manchurian veterans. What enabled us to stand so long on Bataan against such odds, was our artillery. The Japanese simply will not stand artillery fire.

“The Japanese soldier with his bushido and fanaticism is individually better than the German; the Jap is more of a savage, while the German is, in comparison, more civilized.

“The technique and minute preparation of the German and Japanese armies are about equal.”

The Americans in Manila behaved with dignity, and the civilian population conducted themselves well, noticeably so when, after the first two or three days, the enemy had complete control of the air.

In the battles in the Philippines the draftees had to be steadied by the Scouts when infiltration occurred–almost all troops are shaken when fired on from the flanks and from the rear, and think themselves cut off from their base. (Soriano suggests we do not praise the draftees too highly since that they might provoke answers from Americans.)

“A French-American pigeon keeper or trainer (Soriano called him pigeonnier) at Fort McKinley, whom they called ‘Frenchy,’ (named Saulnier), made so good on Bataan, calling out the range for the soldiers that he was finally put in command of a battalion–much to the surprise of the commanding officer, who, however, acquiesced when told what this boy had done.

“The Filipinos had shown great ability in jungle fighting when they were drawn from the frontier type, but not so much so the ilustrados or “white collar” men. Once on the Tuol River in W. Bataan about 3 kilometers from Bagao, a Filipino 2d Lieut, (later Captain), in command of a company, found that they were surrounded by a larger force of Japanese. He had only two platoons, and recognized his inferiority in numbers and equipment. He lay in ambush for 24 hours without food. Knowing the Japanese tactics of reopening their attack just after sunset, he took the initiative and succeeded in making contact on both flanks. They killed a great part of the Japanese platoons around them; 25 or 30 Japanese corpses were found, and he lost only 6. (n.b.) This happened on the 8-9th of February.

“Negritos–(they often saw them); Negritos have learned to speak Tagalog. Used them sometimes as guides, but found them so unrealiable that we quit. They served the Japanese just as willingly. Many of them were killed. We came across a former constabulary soldier from the lowlands named Mariano Daiit, who was living among the Negritos–he had a patch of camotes and some papaya trees. He was a very loyal guide for my commanding officer, General Jones. Once when General Jones and I and two young officers, with only 67 men were surrounded, Mariano, as always, found a way out for us. When we withdrew to Matic, we were no longer able to find Mariano and fear he fell into the hands of the Japanese and suffered the fate they often meted out to civilian assistants.

“When the Japanese High Command got behind in their program, their army became much more brutal. They changed their propaganda by leaflets, and began to call on the Filipino troops to kill the ‘real enemy,’ their American officers. They also changed their treatment of their Filipino prisoners–at first they used to strip off their uniforms, kicked them in the ass and told them to ‘get out.’ Many of them came back to us. As a rule they treated their military captives well, tho they perpetrated savagery upon civilians caught with the troops. When their program fell behind, they changed noticeably; they still took the uniforms, but used the soldiers as cargadores; sometimes they bayoneted their military captives, acting with complete savagery.

“We took very few prisoners, for two principal but very different reasons. First, many of them killed themselves rather than become prisoners. Second, our men often found that a Japanese offer of surrender was only a ruse, or bait, to lead us up to machine gun nests. After several of those experiences, we could not control our boys.”

At one time, the Japanese effected a landing at three places on the S.W. coast of Bataan peninsula, but they were driven off or destroyed.

By the end of the war, the town of Mariveles had been completely destroyed. A vast “all-weather” airport had been established at Mariveles; this was finished just before the surrender of Bataan. It had caves into which the planes could be pushed.

Soriano further suggested that, for the purposes of Quezon’s book the question of stressing atrocities by the Japanese be carefully considered. Will the American public demand the gruesome? He mentioned the weight of other considerations in this matter. He, personally, saw corpses of Filipino men and women mutilated by the Japanese and thrown by them into the Abo-Abo River in Bataan. He told also how one Vicente Logarta (?), a newspaper man from Cebu, left Manila on February 25th and went to the province of Bulacan, where he found that out of 176 cases of rape of girls aged from eleven to sixteen years, 110 had died. There was, as yet, very little information as to what took place in the provinces; it is not believed, however, that such savagery had been shown there as took place in Hong Kong. (Query: had the abundant supply of liquor in Hong Kong something to do with that?)


June 12, 1942

At Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York. I saw Quezon and Osmeña at 9 a.m.

They both seemed depressed, and the latter was absent-minded. I learned the reason for this depression while Morgan Shuster and I were questioning Quezon about his war book. He said he had had one of the most discouraging interviews of his life last night with two owners of publishing businesses–not merely editors, (Henry Luce and Roy Howard). And he was not satisfied that the future relations between the United States and the Philippines were not even yet settled, in spite of President Roosevelt’s cable to him on Corregidor that the islands were to be “taken back, independence granted and secured and protected”–a promise upon which he had staked so very much. Now, he began to believe that all the United States would do for them would be to “put them back in the same place they were in the beginning.” When I asked him exactly what he meant, he did not clarify the situation, but Shuster and I afterwards presumed these words to mean a sort of “phony” independence was to be theirs, and without being “secured and protected,” and, even possibly under the hegemony of Japan.

Shuster then remarked that there was a large number of persons in the United States today who were at heart pacifists and would be ready for an arranged peace.

When we were alone together once more, I asked Quezon why, when he was on Corregidor and refused the Japanese offer of “independence with honor,” he had been so sure in staking the whole future on confidence in a positive victory over Japan. He replied: “It is the intelligence of the average American and the limitless resources of your country which decided me. The Americans are, of course, good soldiers, as they showed in Europe during the last war, but as for courage, all men are equally courageous if equally well led. Merely brave men certainly know how to die–but the world is not run by dead men.” He cited the case of the Spartans and the Athenians. “What became of the Spartans?” And then he added that in making on Corregidor that momentous decision, he “wasn’t sure.”

It later appeared that one of Luce’s publications–Fortune in its August number was to publish an excellent analysis of Far Eastern affairs by Buell. They sent Quezon a preview copy of this article which however carried an absurg suggestion that independence be postponed in the Philippines until 1960, the islands to be garrisoned meanwhile by the United Nations. “What” cried Quezon, “they propose to garrison us with Chinese and Russian soldiers? The moment that article comes out, the Japanese radio will use it. The people of my country will turn at once to the Japanese side, and I shall be completely discredited. You propose to return Formosa to China? How foolish. Better garrison Formosa by the United Nations armies, and thereby protect the Philippines and insure peace in the Far East.”

Quezon says he finally converted Luce and Howard to this view, and Luce is going to advocate Philippine independence immediately after the war. Quezon is quite worn out by the strain of these arguments, conducted until 1:30 last night and for an hour this morning. He remains still greatly depressed by the views of Howard and Luce on the Philippines’ status after this war is over. He now sees that the final success of his life’s work really depends upon Roosevelt’s party remaining in power in Washington.

While we were somewhat gloomily surveying this episode of the inside working of New York editorial minds, an American press agent came in and told Quezon that at two-thirty p.m. on Sunday, the Flag Day of the United Nations, President Roosevelt will announce the recognition of the Philippines as one of the United Nations. This is the prompt result of the negotiations conducted by Quezon through Hopkins, and is surely a swift remedy for the enervating doctrines of Luce and Howard.

Quezon, in the midst of serious distractions and worries about the future of his country, has been stirred up by Shuster to make another effort to concentrate on his book. He has just wired General MacArthur inviting him to write and cable a foreword to his proposed book. I reported to Quezon that Shuster expected to sell 25,000 copies of the book, if gotten out promptly, which figure at 15% royalty on a $3.00 book would net him (Quezon) $10,000. The President’s comment in reply was that he had an offer of that sum for ten lectures in the United States which would be much easier for him that writing a book. However he believes that with his experiences and observations of the Japanese attack on the Philippines, such a book by him would serve a useful purpose. He asked me to get from Colonel Andres Soriano and from General Valdes the facts for the period between the invasion of the Philippines and the entry, unopposed of the Japanese into Manila. This I am proceeding to do, since both officers are here in this hotel with us.

(Note by the writer. The following pages are now, seven years later, inserted in this diary upon its preparation for the press, because, although the information was obtained by President Quezon’s direction for his own use in his book, it was never so used by him, and it now seems worth while to preserve for future students testimony as to the effect of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines from two highly competent witnesses of the scenes described and especially as coming from key men in the situation.)

Having been in France myself during the German invasion of that country in 1940, I had in my mind a picture of the kind of observations by members of Quezon’s entourage which should, in my opinion be included in a description of the fall of the Philippines.

Beginning with a question to Don Sergio Osmeña, I asked him how the municipal officials of Luzon had stood up to the invasion, remarking that in France I had been told they all had run away except for one mayor in the north, who had stood his ground.

Osmeña replied that they all stood firm in the path of the Japanese invasion in Luzon, and mentioned one mayor in the Province of Albay, who, when the head of the Japanese column entered his town, climbed on the step of the leading automobile and emptied his revolver into it, then fell back dead. Further questions to Osmeña were not possible because he was off to Boston to speak there in substitution for Quezon, who had been invited to luncheon tomorrow in the White House by President Roosevelt.

Quezon himself contributed only the following brief statements: that one of the lessons they learned during the invasion was that the Philippines could be defended–with one thousand planes, one hundred submarines and one hundred mosquito boats. The mosquito boats which he himself had ordered in Great Britain for the defense of the Philippines had never been delivered to him; they had been diverted to help Finland in the first of her two recent wars with Russia. England promised to replace them but was prevented by the war from doing so. Anyway, he remarked, at the banquet given him today by the Chase National Bank, he had told them: “This is not our war.” He also added that General Aguinaldo had most certainly not been a Quisling during the invasion; indeed, he observed, in recent years the General had been in favour of immediate independence for the Philippines because he believed that his country was in deadly danger under the American flag. The next morning I secured from Basilio Valdes the following statements on the subject of the invasion. He had been Commanding General of the Philippine Army until it was mustered into the American service, then he became Quezon’s Chief of Staff for the Filipino units in the army, and Minister of National Defense in Quezon’s Cabinet.

The following are the statements from Valdes as I understood his account:

Valdes reports that Americans made up only 20% of the army of defense, but the American newspapers overstressed the American participation in the whole war; that it is very difficult indeed to make any exact figures for the casualties.

He said that in the organization of the Philippine Army, for the first two years, 1936 and 1937, they drafted the prescribed 40,000 men a year. For the succeeding years, having found the financial burden too great, they drafted but 25,000 men a year. (Get copy of Valdes’ last annual report as Chief of Staff to President Quezon; a copy must be in the War Dept.)

Valdes says that when the invasion occurred, there was some panic at first in Manila, but none in the provinces. They had studied the disaster in the downfall of France, and military maneuvers were not hampered by crowds on the roads; certain roads were immediately closed to the public. They held the enemy above San Fernando Pampanga until the troops which had been engaged on the Lucena front were moved around Manila to the Bataan lines–a brilliant military move.

Valdes states that Quezon was in a wheel chair all the time he was on Corregidor; that he discarded it on entering the submarine; 24 hours after reaching Panay, he was able to go up two flights of stairs.

Fifth Columnists and Trickery: Valdes: “After the battle of Morong (in Bataan), General Segundo said, we had to withdraw and with us were cavalry from Stotsenburg who had lost their horses in the battle. The next day we retook Morong; so we searched the forest for those horses. We met a man in Filipino uniform who spoke perfect English; he said he knew where the horses were and led us up a trail. But he led our two officers, a major and a lieutenant up to a machine gun nest–thereupon the guide (Jap) threw himself on the ground. Our lieut. was killed, the officer in command of the machine gun, and the others fled. Then the major killed the false guide. The Japanese were always after Filipino uniforms.”

When asked who the fifth columnists were, Valdes said: “First of all, those opposed to Quezon’s administration such as the Sakdalistas in Laguna and Bulacan and Tayabas, tho their leader Ramos, in prison for sedition, had been moved from the Philippines to an American prison. (For Ramos and Sakdalistas see Hayden’s book). The new name for Sakdalista is Ganap, which also means “I protest.” The Japanese had made much of Ramos and sent him back to the Philippines.

Second: The Japanese-Filipino mestizos, of whom there were not many in the Philippines.

Third: General Artemio Ricarte, el Vibora (Viper) of the old Filipino insurrectionary army. He is now riding around Manila with an a.d.c. and Japanese soldiers beside him. (He caused me a great deal of trouble when I was Governor General and I sent Clyde Dewitt to Shanghai on a small coast guard cutter to arrest him with a warrant from the American Judge there–Dewitt was sea sick for the eleven day trip by sea–Ricarte escaped with the aid of an English clergyman.) Shuster, who was with us in this New York hotel while General Valdes was talking, related an experience of his own with Ricarte about 1903, when Shuster was Collector of Customs in Manila: Ricarte came over from Hong Kong to Manila, and Shuster went out to meet the steamer personally, to hand the oath of allegiance to the United States for Ricarte to sign. Ricarte replied that he was insulted by being asked to take such an oath and that he had breathed enough of the air of his native land, now that it was so polluted. So back he went to Hong Kong, crying out that he would live to see the day when every American was driven out of the Islands. Now he comes back with Japanese to see his curse fulfilled!

Fourth: In Angeles, Pampanga, 8 kilometers from Fort Stotsenburg, a Filipino furniture maker named [Timio kept a shop, at the back of which he had a speakeasy.] When the officers from Stotsenburg used the W.C. by his speakeasy, they would sometimes talk together, and Timio had a stenographer in the adjoining room, and furnished news to the Japs. This man was awarded a contract for making dummy airplanes of bamboo and cloth for the army camouflage, and when the bombardment of Camp Clark air field took place, not a single dummy plane was hit.

Fifth: In the second week of the war, telephone messages went all over Manila saying the watersupply had been poisoned. Three sakdalistas in a car were caught driving around Manila and shouting this news. Valdes had them arrested; lots of people came to his office to know if the rumours were true and in order to convince them he had to draw a glass of water and drink it in their presence.

Sixth: Story of Claro M. Recto, former Justice of the Supreme Court. After the bombing of Baguio, there was a stream of cars which started south for Manila; when they arrived at the “Forks” in Pampanga, “a man in uniform” directed them off to the right in the direction of Stotsenburg, so the line of automobiles served as a “pointer” to aircraft above, and the bombing at Stotsenburg began just before the motors got there.

Seventh: Cutting of wires to detectors on Clark Field (see below).