Cory and I met at the house of my son, David in our Mandaluyong compound. She announced that she had changed her mind. She was now willing to run under UNIDO! She reiterated her previous offer that I would be her Prime Minister, that she would step down in two years, that I would name 30 percent of the Cabinet, that she would appoint the remaining 70 percent after close consultations with me. I said I would have to think it over and decide before the deadline that night.
At eight o’clock that evening I made up my mind. I called Cory to meet me at the house of Maur Aquino-Lichauco. My two brothers, former Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr. and former Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, came with me. I wanted them and Doña Aurora to witness what I would tell Cory. At about ten o’clock, I told her I was giving way to her. She was overwhelmed. When I extended my hand to congratulate her, she held it in both her hands and said, “Thank you, Doy. I’ll never forget this.”
Cory turned to my two brothers and said “I-formalize na ninyo ang ating pinagkasunduan.” But Kuya Pito said, “Hindi na kailangan I-formalize pa iyan. Lalong masakit lamang kung hindi tinupad.”
“Let’s go,” I said, “We have to beat the COMELEC deadline!”
I called a press conference to announce the filing of my candidacy as official UNIDO candidate for the presidency.
In my statement I said: “I can sacrifice myself. I can sacrifice the presidency. But I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice the people who have suffered so much and worked so hard all these years, risking life, liberty and even honor, to put up the political machine that is now capable of toppling the Marcos dictatorship.”
That same afternoon I filed my certificate of candidacy with COMELEC.
Telegrams and long distance calls from all over the country poured in expressing support for my candidacy.
[Marginal note: This is the day of many decisions.]
[Marginal note: Laurel is beginning to buy votes for the speakership. He has called a caucus on Monday for this purpose.]
[Marginal note: Why did I write October 10th – this is Betty Campos’ birthday; she is with us in the family dining room with Joe for dinner – as I write this at 11:00 PM]
October January 10, 1970
I have enclosed the study of the nullification of the congressional elections in Batanes so I can call a special election but the Comelec (Ferrer, Miraflor and Patajo) says they think there is a hiatus in the law and that their power to nullify is in grave doubt. So I have suggested that they pass a resolution that no one has been elected because in the five towns only in one (the capital of Basco) has there been peaceful and free elections. The Speaker of the House would then be compelled to certify to a vacancy in Batanes. Then I would call a special election.
Have ordered that Commodore Cabal, the commander of the South West Command, and who is from Batanes, — go to Batanes with a squad of marines to give protection to the people there.
The groups supporting Ex-Speaker Villareal for speakership have asked me to remain neutral in the speakership fight and will take this stand in the caucus next Tuesday. The reasons they (Yñiguez who has withdrawn at my promptings, Niling Espinosa, Joe Alberto, Floring Crisologo) give for opposing Laurel is that Banjo Laurel, mayor of Tanauan and son of the Speaker, has been withdrawing funds from the House, signed by Eucinas, chairman of the Committee on accounts and monopolizes all contracts of the House.
Have ordered a tariff and tax free zone to be established in the Nayon Pilipino at MIA; the release of P2.2 million for the new finger terminal at MIA and the preparation of the runway for the Jumbo Jets. We need to add two inches on the surface. Conferred with Sec. Leo Virata, CAA Administrator Federico Ablan and MIA Airport Manager Luis Tabuena.
Boni reports a new assassination plot by the same group masterminded by Terry Adevoso. Malacañang is under sector Noth Manila leadership of which was offered to Joe Maristela, former CIS head, now our informant.
Everybody is suggesting that Imelda take over the efforts at improving tourism. 800,000 to one million tourists visit Hongkong yearly, 400,000 to Bangkok – but only 120,000 to Manila.
So I have asked that all airlines, new and old, be allowed to land in the Philippines without limit at least for one year – the year of Expo-70. We should known then how this will affect our domestic airlines. My feeling is this will build up so much traffic that they will have their share of the increase.
The Chief of Police of Angeles City (a Sumanlan) and a relative of Gov. Nepomuceno, more accurately Mrs. Nepomuceno (who is a Sumanlan) has just been killed. The PC surmise that a man of Mayor Suarez did it as Nepomuceno is feuding with Commander Sumulong, who is in partnership with Mayor Suarez. Nepomuceno is in turn in partnership with Commander Dante.
So I will let them finish off each other in the meantime. But we have got to get in and finish all of them before they wreck the entire government.
I feel, however, that the Barrio Home Defense force of 5 or ten men per barrio is the answer to the Huk movement.