January 25, 1970

01 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 52

PAGE 50

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

January 25, 1970

Sunday

2:55 PM

The President must do almost everything in the government. Nothing moves unless he pushes it.

So I had to meet the student demonstrators themselves. Their speeches were getting obscene and lewd. I told them that I was sad that they could not deliver more moving speeches in more elegant language. We settled the matter but I frankly told them no release of funds until after July.

I met with the labor leaders for breakfast after the oath-taking of the new Court of Appeals Justices including Vicente Rafael, labor leader is objected to by Justice Roman Ozaeta of the Philippine Bar Association, as he (Vicente) was allegedly an undistinguished labor practitioner. Also met the extended generals who I am retiring. Gen. Sangalang says he has no truck provided that they will all be terminated at the same time. I referred the suggestion to the Sec. of Nat. Defense thru the C of S Gen. Yan.

Sec. Romualdez has his misgivings about the plan to free the rate of exchange and to allow it to seek its own level. He is worried it may plunge down too low. Dr. Zabvkar says from his experience it will not. Anyway I have ordered that we be ready with some foreign exchange to support a more stable rate and to finance the importation of essentials.


July 23, 1945 Monday

The newspapers bring two pieces of news; one elated us, and the other alarmed us.

The first seems to indicate an early end of the war. United Press reports in New York that the United States government administration is taking steps to draft the United States unconditional surrender terms. New York Herald Tribune states that the possible terms as reported from reliable sources are the following: (1) Return of all territories seized by force; (2) Complete destruction of Japanese fleet and air force; (3) Dismantling of all shipbuilding facilities capable of turning out air crafts and munitions; (4) Japan will not be invaded, only a token “supervisory force” will be sent to Japan; (5) Japan is to retain her form of government, including the Emperor, and to manage her own political, economic and social affairs; and (6) Japan may be supplied with iron, coal, oil and other resources needed for civilian use.

Some parts of the above terms need clarification. For instance, what shall be done with Manchuria, Korea and Formosa?

If I were Japan, I would grab peace under the above terms. Japan is already beaten. With the hundreds of superfortresses, her annihilation or almost complete destruction is assured. Furthermore, due to her own fault, her dream of union among the countries of Greater East Asia has been blasted. Because of her record in these countries, it will take a century before her nationals will be welcomed in these countries. Not only did she disqualify herself to be the leader of any union to be organized here, but she will probably not even be admitted until she shows that she can treat other people as civilized people do. China may want to be the leader. If Manchuria and Formosa are returned to her, she will be the strongest nation in the world and may even dominate the world. The Chinese are not only good businessmen, but they have also shown themselves to be good soldiers. But they were also shown to be cruel at times. I believe that for the safety of the Orient, China be divided into at least three nations: North and South China, and Manchuria.

It is rumored that in Washington these terms for surrender were received with general approval.

The above news must be related to other news. It is reported that Russia is acting as intermediary and that Stalin took with him to Berlin the surrender terms, evidently to submit them to the Conference between him, Truman and Churchill. Another news item is that before the Russian delegation left for Berlin, the Japanese Ambassador Sato, had a conference with Foreign Commissar of Foreign Affairs Molotov and with the Vice-Commissar.

Something must be in the offing. All of us expect or at least hope that termination of the war will come.

Today, our stock prices have reached the highest level.

The alarming news is that the feud in Manila seems to be impossible to patch up. It is growing worse to the dismay and disappointment of the Filipino people.

Roxas is reported to have stated that the administration of Osmeña “smacks of dictatorship”. He reiterated his criticism of the elimination of judiciary officials, army men and civil service employees without following the processes provided by law for their separation. He also cites blunders being committed by the administration. “Take for instance eggs,” he said. “The price fixed is 3 centavos per egg, whereas the price at sources is 4 centavos. The hen will not even care to lay eggs.”

It should be remembered that the Committee on Appointments returned the appointment of the seven justices appointed by Osmeña. This is tantamount to disapproval. It was suggested that the Court of Appeals abolished by Osmeña be revived. Instead, Osmeña reappointed the seven justices in defiance of the apparent desire of the Committee.

The Senate of the United States Congress has approved the Bretton Woods monetary agreement, approved by representatives of 44 countries. The agreement provides for the establishment of an international bank with a capital of $9,100,000,000 to make or guarantee loans for rehabilitation and economic development. It also provides for a fund of $8,800,000,000 as monetary fund for stabilizing the currency exchange rate of participant countries. The participation of the United States will be $5,900,000,000 in the proposed $17,900,000,000, divided thus: $3,175,000,000 for bank’s capital and $2,750,000,000 for the exchange stabilization fund.

The approval of the agreement in the United States Congress seems certain.

This Agreement is of far-reaching effect. We must be a member of it. As one of the countries needing funds for rehabilitation, we should secure from the fund what we need for the purpose. The exchange question will also he vastly simplified. I suppose the bank will also act as a sort of clearing house.


February 6, 1936

The President names all but one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals–good selections, made in accordance with recommendations of the Supreme Court, and various Bar Associations. It now appears that the undue deliberation in the selection was owing to Quezon’s desire to make the public understand that there would be no “politics” in his courts. Even so, I think he overplayed his hand. I saw Francisco Delgado and congratulated him–he replied that his acceptance was at a considerable financial sacrifice–I said “of course”–he replied that when, years ago, I offered to appoint him a Judge, he could decline but now every citizen must do what he was able to help their own new Government.

In the afternoon, I had a bridge party–Rafael Palma, Pedro Guevara, Colonel Lim, Angel Tuason, Jose Reyes, Zamora and Nazario–they play really expert Culbertson bridge.


January 30-31 & February 1-2, 1936

Dull, uninteresting days, in spite of the tropical beauties of which Conrad and Maugham write. Quezon busy all the time selecting the judges for appointment to the new Court of Appeals. He is evidently bent on cleaning up the old government of which the moral fibre has softened in recent years. My having secured an interview with hm for Jaronilla was not a success (tho I knew he was not going to appoint him on account of Jaronilla’s weakness before Wood when he was his Attorney General). Quezon announces that the two judges (unnamed) who sought promotion from him personally had thereby disqualified themselves!! Quezon’s list of “clean-ups” since inauguration are on

(a) Rice imports

(b) Graft in sale of clipper stamps

(c) Oil leases

(d) Sevilla in United States punished as an oil share pusher

(e) Baguio cadets caught hazing dismissed –including Quezon’s own nephew

(f) Bandit suppression

(g) Attack on jueteng gambling and

(h) Dismissal of Judge Paredes –this unversally popular.

Jim Ross says that Quezon is being much more careful about women nowadays.

Trip with Doria and Florence Edwards February 1st to Tagaytay ridge –sensational view down on Lake Taal & the volcano –ideal site for bungalows for week-end.


January 11, 1936

Having failed yesterday through lack of organization of his staff to get an interview with Quezon, he asked me to lunch today. Advised him to have a written list of visitors who have been granted interviews, and if possible, limit them to 10 minutes each, when an a.d.c. should be hovering in the door.

He was talking with Colonel Santos about the removal of Bilibid –he had just seen the municipal board and in a few minutes persuaded them to sell to the government a 1200 acre tract near Alabang, and Santos was instructed to begin to move the prisoners immediately. This is a speed record! Quezon told me that it was a remark of mine a few days ago which started this quick action, for I had commented “Oh! moving Bilibid –we have been talking about that for 25 years!” Quezon also said he preferred Executive to Legislative work because you could “get things done.” He and Santos and Vargas were then talking of the appointment of Generals in the new Philippine Army, and several additional names were mentioned –Quezon said impatiently “Oh! no –we will have more Generals than soldiers!” He and I then had lunch alone on the veranda, where I struggled with the ankle mosquitoes. Quezon said he was inviting the Supreme Court Justices in relays to luncheon to investigate their views on human as against property rights, without their knowledge of his purpose; that if they were already fixed on the bench he would not feel authorized to enquire into their views, but that it was his duty to appoint (or reappoint) within a year the whole lot of them, and he did not intend to do so unless they satisfied his views on “liberalism.” He said that, so far, he had no cause for dissatisfaction.

We then opened up the discussion of the Friar Lands etc., which was the main purpose of the meeting. I said Colin Hoskins would want 1000 pesos a month for half-time work and he replied that was all right. I told him we were ready to start our secret investigation of the estates at once, and that the recent Herald article stating that I was studying the road system (the exact opposite of what I had told the reporter) was a good “smoke screen.” I asked him if he really intended to buy all the estates, and he said he did not know. I suggested that he get the “three F’s” act passed first and authorize a Board of Land Commissioners to handle the whole subject –to buy or not, as seemed best, to but to fix rentals and tenure wherever they could– not to try to abolish all tenancy. Some of these tenants were not fit to be freeholders, and that was probably why in the disposal of the former Friar Lands in Cavite the real occupiers of the farms had in many cases been ousted or suspended by outsiders. He agreed that we should not try to upset too violently the whole system. So he said if I would prepare the subject, he would call the Assembly in special session in February for 3 days to pass the law –adding with a smile that the Assemblymen would enjoy the Carnival.

The President said he was going to throw open his “bridge or poker club” underneath Malacañan three afternoons a week to the Assemblymen so that they could drink and play there, and keep out of the gambling houses. That this would also give them a feeling of part ownership of the Palace. He asked me how to raise the money for the proposed Board of Land Commissioners to operate and I suggested that he buy silver at present low price and issue silver certificates, which he could buy the law do on a much higher capital figure. This would be a moderate inflation, but I was in favour of a little inflation if we could get the money in circulation and not let it accumulate in the banks. I told him of Dorfman’s remark that there had been no real prosperity whatever among the bulk of the country people in the Philippines, and he thoroughly agreed. I said if really hard times come here it would be principally among the present small class of rich people –that the country people were able to live as they do, almost from hand to mouth. He asked me to see Roxas.

He mentioned Secretary of Labor Torres, and said he bored him –was too theoretical– always reading what they were doing in Germany and wishing to apply it here without knowing whether it is applicable or not. Wanted to get rid of him: “he reads too much.”

I told him his (Quezon’s) personality was stimulating –that he had his staff scared but that was a good thing– nevertheless his agents carried out his wishes. He said he knew that was how he got things done. Told him his strongest characteristic was the “will to create,” which explains his love of buildings –that when a building was finished he lost interest in it.

Quezon then asked me why I had requested him to see Jaronilla which he had agreed to do. I replied “to save his face; he is a candidate for the Court of Appeals, but I know you will not appoint him.” He then said he would explain the situation to me, that he did not wish to be unjust, and I would agree with him. Jaronilla was Attorney General under Governor General Wood, and when the Board of Control case came up, Wood cabled Washington for the opinion of the Judge Advocate General of the Army, which when secured [he handed to Jaronilla to use as his opinion; Jaronilla, instead of balking because his opinion had not been asked as the law requires, accepted that handed him.] This was in the middle of the fight which as Quezon says “landed General Wood in the cemetery and me in a sanitorium.” I had to agree that Quezon’s decision was right. “Besides,” he added, “he is a rotten Judge –he can’t write a good opinion either in English or Spanish– his wife has to help him. If I had a post to offer as snipe-shooter for the Government I would give it to him.” (N.B. Jim Ross also told me that Jaronilla was not a good judge). Quezon then said the Wood-Forbes Report was full of lies, and insulted the Filipinos, who were at least equally responsible with me for my government. He also said there had been Filipinos who had given up everything to oppose Wood, and cited Laurel and Santos. He said that when Jaronilla’s name had been sent to the United States Senate for the Philippine Supreme Court, he (Quezon) had blocked it. He said he did not hate a single Filipino who had opposed him in all innumerable fights, but did hate three Americans: Gibbs, Cotterman and W.H. Anderson.