Thursday, November 9, 1972

In the morning, Col. Moy Buhain (aide-de-camp to Speaker Villareal of the House of Representatives whom I had periodically served as economic adviser) dropped by to talk to me about the latest draft of the Steering Council. Obviously, he had already seen Speaker Villareal since our last talk. We were speculating on what will happen to the leaders of the country in the new political setup.

I told him that my understanding is that the President has a timetable to have the new Constitution approved by the middle of January so that Congress may no longer have to convene.

“What about Vice President Lopez? Right now he is in limbo. And what about (Senate President) Puyat? The other senators? And the speaker?”

“Theirs are problems as yet unresolved,” I replied. “Under the scenario under preparation, however, all of them would be members of the National Assembly. And there is a good chance, from my reckoning, that the President might want to have Speaker Villareal be the Speaker of the new Assembly,” I added.

Insofar as Lopez is concerned, it may be that after a while, the President would give up his post as president under the new Constitution. Already he has removed what few powers the president has left in our draft Constitution. Why did he have them transferred to the prime minister, as Atoy Barbero was telling me yesterday, so that all the powers are now vested in the prime minister? One possible answer is that he might then offer the presidency to Vice President Lopez, we conjectured. After all, under the Marcos Constitution, the president will now be elected by the Assembly and no longer directly by the Filipino people.

I went to the session hall in the afternoon. Some 40 delegates were scattered all over the session hall, chattering and flitting like birds lost in the wilderness.

No one seemed to know what was happening. The delegates were just whiling away their time. The reason? The Steering Council has decided that it was not ready to meet the 166-man body until Monday, four days from now.

Now, everything is the Steering Council! The Steering Council of 34 people decides everything while the rest of the 316 delegates are left guessing on what is happening, whiling away their time in speculations and small talks.

Greg Tingson, the famous evangelist, came to me, apparently bothered. He said, “Caesar, you and I profess Christian precepts. How shall we defend our actuations in this Convention?”

I was visibly troubled. Should we or should we not be in the provisional Assembly to be able to do what we could for the people at a time when we are needed most?

“It is apparent to me that this government has cast the die. There is no turning back. Should we not support it, abhorrent though it may be? Because if it fails, I foresee a revolution.” I was rationalizing; indeed, I was trying to convince myself.

“This is true,” Greg agreed readily. “For the sake of the country now, it should not fail.”

“But how can I join a dictatorial regime? I believe in human rights. I just cannot. I have pledged to fight all dictators in the world.” I was getting excited.

But if Marcos or Enrile should be out of power, Greg thought, the military would take over. We would then have a military government. Might not a transitional constitutional dictatorship be preferable to a military junta?

Between the devil and the deep blue sea? Is this now the situation of the country? Our fate is sealed?

The evil wrought on the country by the Steering Council is incalculable. However, be it said, its members are quite frank about what is happening; they keep on saying defensively that we cannot really express our own sentiments because the President wants this or that provision and that his will must be done.

It is quite true that, so far, some of the reforms of the President are laudable. I agree with Greg Tingson that these reforms may not have been done without martial law. But are these really worth the deprivation of our human rights? I do not think so.

It does not matter, of course, whether we want it or not. Martial law has been proclaimed and it looks like the state of emergency is here to stay.

My fundamental grievance against Marcos has to do with the violations of the human rights of dissenters and the creation of a climate of fear all over the land. Froilan Bacungan defended the action of the President last Sunday, telling me that if we can forget our personal interests and think only in terms of society and the country, then the deprivation of our freedom is well worth it.

In other words, instead of being bitter, Ninoy Aquino should just think of his incarceration as the sacrifice he is making for his country? And this should go for all others in the stockades, including ourselves, if we were arrested? Does this really make sense?

But the other problem that really bothers me is the fact that the President has practically staged a coup in the Convention. He has literally dictated some provisions of the new Constitution. This is indecent, immoral. And was it necessary? We have already given him—under duress—all that he wanted in terms of political power. Was it still necessary for him to impose his will on the other provisions? Unbelievable as it may seem, we now believe that it is, indeed, true that he has gone over the whole draft of the Constitution, provision by provision, and made corrections in them in his own handwriting.

Mene mene tekel upharsin. I can see the handwriting on the wall, similar to the one that appeared during Belshazzar’s feast.

I feel like crying, uttering a cry of anguish, like Othello, as he proposed to strangle his sweet wife: “But the pity of it, Iago. Oh, Iago, the pity of it!”

As some delegates were saying, it was indiscreet to have these notes of the President on the Constitution seen by several delegates. But did he even have to do it?

Even Lolo Baradi, a former ambassador and a loyal Marcos man, could not stomach what was happening.

“On All Saints’ Day, during the Cabinet meeting, the President made a slip on TV,” he told me. “He had asked Sec. Abad Santos, ‘what about the constitutional provisions on the judiciary? Are they already prepared?’ ‘Yes, sir,’ was the answer of the secretary. ‘We are preparing them.'”

The President was also reported by Lolo Baradi to have said: “I have some boys who are working with the Convention.”

Ikeng Corpuz has also seen the TV show and he and Lolo Baradi were laughing at these slips by the President. Obviously, Marcos did not realize that the TV was on when he uttered the incriminating remarks.

Moy Buhain had said this morning that he also saw this TV faux pas of the President. Or was this intentional? Come to think of it. Could it be that he had really wanted everyone to know that he was actively interfering in the writing of the Constitution? And thus intimidate every prospective oppositionist?

Ikeng Corpuz came to me and sat beside me. “You should now try to get your economic amendments in… I have read the provisions in the draft Constitution and I can not distinguish heads or tails in the article on the national economy,” he sighed.

Ikeng Corpuz is a good man but he really glosses over many things. He was obviously trying to compliment my understanding of the economic situation by supporting the provisions on economic policy that I have written. At the same time, he is also trying to impress me that he does understand their full import. But his actuations in the Convention have not been very consistent. Nevertheless, we have a certain attachment to each other.

Inggo Guevarra was in despair when he saw me. “There is nothing at all about industrial development in the new Constitution,” he wailed.

I had a dramatic meeting at the elevator with the delegate in real limbo—former Ambassador Eduardo Quintero, who had exposed Marcos’ payola in the Convention and had paid for his honesty by being framed by Marcos. Marcos had ordered dollar notes “planted” in his home. I’m sure history would proclaim him as one of the heroes of the Convention.

He saw me first and greeted me. He was with his daughter, who was obviously pleased to see me. I think they were happy over the fact that I had visited Quintero twice at the hospital.

About five army troopers were immediately behind Quintero, which suggested that Quintero is still under guard or some kind of house arrest. He looks somewhat stronger than the last time I saw him at the hospital. However, like Inggo Guevarra, he, too, may have arrived too late to vote. The voting had already closed sometime last week.

In the evening I attended the party given by Ting Jaime at the Club Filipino on behalf of the Philippine Chamber of Industries for Jess Tanchanco (our long-time Philippine Chamber of Industries first vice president) who has been appointed administrator of the National Grains Authority.

Several past presidents of the Philippine Chamber of Industries were there.

Don Fernando Sison, secretary of finance in the Macapagal administration, greeted me by saying that I looked pale and too thin last week at the meeting at the Hilton. (Ever since I heard that I would be arrested, my ulcerative colitis has worsened.)

In the course of our talk, we heard from Don Fernando that, perhaps, a general amnesty for political prisoners was forthcoming on the 15th of November. I thought that this would be a wise move on the part of Marcos. It would somehow heal the bitter division in the country caused by the incarceration of so many political prisoners.

Marianing del Rosario opined that many of Marcos’ reforms seem to be getting the support of the people. He does not like a dictatorship, Marianing said, but he might even support him in his drive for reforms. He thought Marcos would succeed with his “democratic revolution.”

“And if he fails?” I asked.

“If he fails, that is the end of all of us.”

Even Don Fernando said that if Marcos did well—and if he were to run for election later—he would support him.

Don Fernando mentioned that the President, during the Cabinet meeting, which was televised, had asked the Cabinet members whether the Constitution was already finished. He and Marianing were saying that the President did not hide anymore his interference with the framing of the Constitution.

“I take off my hat to the President,” Marianing said. “He is a brilliant man—for weal or for woe. During that Cabinet meeting, he showed such complete grasp of everything happening in the country. This was clearly shown in his discussion of the problems of each department.”

Don Fernando started telling me his inner thoughts.

He reminded me that at the meeting of PCI’s past presidents last week at the Hilton, the first advice that he gave was for us to adapt ourselves to the situation. Now he is especially advising me to take this stance.

“You have to survive.” He was very fatherly.

He added that this is a matter of survival for all of us, hence we have no choice except to adapt. “Bear in mind,” he said, “that martial law is here to stay with us for some time. I read the transitory provision and it shows clearly that martial law will be with us for many years.”

I suggested that this might turn out to be something like the situation in Spain.

“Yes, insofar as the duration is concerned. It will really take many years. Franco has been there since 1935 but with a very big difference. Franco is still a dedicated man and a poor man. He is a dictator but his major concern is the welfare of his people.”

He stressed that we must adapt and survive knowing that insofar as history is concerned, dictatorships do not really last forever.

“Where is Hitler now?” he asked rhetorically. “Where is Mussolini now? Or Genghis Khan?”

When I asked him how he would have voted on the transitory provision if he were a delegate, Don Fernando replied forthrightly that he would have voted “Yes.” He said he likes to think this is the kind of situation that President Laurel was in during the Japanese Occupation. It is a question of the fundamentals by which one lives, he said. He considers Laurel a hero, not a collaborator; many others were collaborators. He added that he had read the explanation of Pepe Calderon on why he voted “Yes” and it was very good.

He also informed us that many delegates in the Convention, from the time we were discussing the form of government we should adopt, were receiving ₱1,000 each per attendance to make sure that the provision on parliamentary form of government would win.

Really? I never knew this!

Don Fernando said there was so much publicity about people being dismissed from the government for malversing the calamity funds—but these are the small fry. Some people have been dismissed for malversing ₱10 million but the government has malversed nearly half a billion.

“How do you account for the funds? The President has not made any accounting. That is the reason why before martial law Senator Tolentino and others were asking that Malacañang make an accounting.”

“So you see,” he continued, “it is easy enough for the delegates to be paid. There are enough funds.”

He advised me to continue with my journal (this political diary) and have a copy entrusted to someone in case anything happens to me. He said this would not be useful now but it should be extremely useful in the future.


September 5, 1972

Scan0102

 

[Note: the first part of this entry is missing]

Sept 5th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

 

Conference with Gen. Ver and others on contingency plans. I place Gen. Espino [&] Sec. Ponce Enrile’s report in Envelope XXXIV-U

The Pomeroy article on Phil. Maoists [   ] Sen. Aquino is helping organize the NPA, Lopezes and Roces helping the Maoists with [     ] and propaganda, the participation of the [    ] Brothers up to the printing of the Maoist paper “Ang Bayan” ; the Manglapus [  ] Socialist Movement — is an eye opener in the same envelope.


May 12, 1972 Friday 12:30 pm

The entire country continues to speculate on my visit to the brothers Lopez. The comments all seem favorable, specially after my statement that I have reestablished my friendship with the Lopezes for national unity in view of the national interest.

The opposition is still in a state of shock while the Nacionalistas are jubilant.

Gerry Roxas and Ninoy Aquino are meeting with Iñing Lopez on Sunday but Kokoy has been told not to be concerned as Ining will make no commitments. And that whatever obstacles to the rapprochement will be overcome.

The general impression is that I have just accomplished a political coup! As Gerry Roxas is supposed to have said: “Titiklopin na yata tayo.”


April 17, 1972

…Frank Starr implicates Col. Lino Aragon Angara, nephew of the late Pres. Quezon, in a plot to assassinate me on July 17, 1972.

The sworn statement of Starr which is hereto attached is apparently credible and has the marks of authenticity.

What is disturbing is the supposed statement of Angara “Marcos will be killed xxx And when he is dead the Vice President will become President and then our group takes over control of the Philippines.”

Starr says he told me (Angara) of his contacts often with the Hon. Vice President Fernando Lopez and this report is made in sincere interest to [illegible] maneuver and shape or form to breed distrust between the President and Vice President of the RP. But in fairness to the Truth, and facts statements must be made accordingly.

“I spoke to him (Angara) on at least 7 telephone calls and he said he had gone down to meet the Vice President Lopez in his home province.”

This is not the first time that the Lopezes have conspired against my life. Since 1969 they have so at least three times.

The old plot of Eleuterio Adevoso under Osmeña was connected to the Lopezes.

And the Lopez financial and propaganda support for the NPA through Heny Lopez and the ABS-CBN included as one of the objectives my assassination. Thru Commander Melody of the NPA was assigned to this mission. Commander Melody confessed this.

On the Adevoso plot, our asset within the conspiracy, Joe , revealed that the Osmeña and Lopez camps were involved.

Then when on January 1970, Lopez and I parted ways, Serging Osmena suggested to Iñing Lopez my assassination and this idea was picked up and being implemented.

Chino Roces had in 1979 repeatedly voiced his demand that I be liquidated as this was the only way for them (the activists) to take over.

And Roces and Iñing Lopez have joined in partnership against us.

They have also joined hands to blacken my character. Thus they contrived the Dovie Beams case. The funds sent to her in California have been traced as coming from the Lopez camp.

They escalating demonstrations, mobs and riots, all supported by the Lopezes.

And now the Lopezes have joined up with Roxas and his father-in-law, Amading Araneta.

But apparently they are desperate and may be planning assassination to prevent my declaring Martial Law!


August 20, 1970

03 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0261b-0412 (Jul01-Oct07) nonong

MALACAÑAN PALACE
Manila

August 20, 1970
Thursday

11:40 PM

Have just arrived from the wedding of Kits Tatad at Greenhills Church and reception at Intercontinental. Well attended by newspaper people including those who do not wish us well.

Received the letter of Nonong signed Manuel L. Quezon Jr., expressing happiness over “my gentlemanly letter” that “vindicated the honor of father and sister by rejecting the unjust imputations and insinuations levelled at them.” Formal and a little cold, I thought.

Vice Pres. Lopez wrote me insisting upon his power to control and supervise the Bureau of Forestry including the issuance of licenses. But I am certain this is done by his men who wish to continue collecting from the licenses.

I worked on the oil concession applications. And asked Ting Paterno and Cesar Virata to finish the letter to the Jacintos on the IISMI converting government preferred shares to common voting shares and putting IISMI under a new management, foreign if necessary.


February 28, 1970 Saturday

28Feb1970_1 28Feb1970_2 

 

 

PAGE 98

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

 

February 28, 1970

Saturday

 

 

10:55 PM

 

Am working on a Primer on Communism. Everyone is talking of confrontations with student power. Actually the whole crisis has been utilized by communism to create a revolutionary situation.

Ernesto Granada, columnist of the Manila Chronicle has become libelous. He writes what Iñing Lopez tells him to. Today he blames me for the riots and for paying toughies to infiltrate the demonstrations and to destroy private property and thus raise the ire of the people against the demonstrators. We must watch out on the Lopez side. Mother has written me that one of the friends of Iñing Lopez has revealed to her that Iñing Lopez has paid some people to kill me. I can believe this.

My barber, Conrad, tells me that the overwhelming opinion outside Malacañang is that it is about time I took sterner measures against the demonstrators that are violent.

The Armed Forces had a critique of the exercises for the Contingency Plan. Defects being ironed out.

We must finalize the list to be arrested if there is massive sabotage or assassination. I assess the plans of the communists to include these activities by the middle of March.

Johnny Ponce Enrile reports demoralization among the HMBs specially the Ma-Maos who are ready to surrender but would like to make it appear like a capture.

There is restlessness in the transportation sector as the bus operators are losing ₱.30 for each peso gross they earn.

 

 

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Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

We will have to allow an increase in rates as the tire suppliers have increased prices by 17% and the oil people are meeting next Wednesday to increase theirs. I was able to hold the rates down in 1966. Today we will not be able to do this because of the floating rate.

The Congress is moving as slowly as ever on urgent legislation like the price and rent control law.

I have asked Bing Tanco to come and help me on the agricultural program. I hope to put him in as Undersecretary of Agriculture if I can convince Nanding.

I have just appointed Gen. Estrada as Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

The cement shelter in the ground floor (my gymnasium) has just been finished. It is against any possible mortar or grenade attack.

And I have been trying out my bullet proof vest as I was going to Bohol but had to cancel it as the East Visayan Athletic Meet is set for the afternoon and I have some appointments here in Manila. The vest is a little lumpy under my newly tailored barong and shirt. It weighs 13 pounds and protects from the most penetrating rifle fire.


February 23, 1970 Monday

23Feb1970

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Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

 

February 23, 1970

Monday

 

 

1:10 AM

 

The Lopezes are more and more vicious through their columnists. Ernesto Granada happily refers to me as snake-like. He probably knows he is suspected as a communist by me. And so does I.P. Soliongco.

But the Lopez contributions to the radicals is their premium payments for insurance. They do not know that they would be the first to go if the communists take over.

Adevoso and his co-conspirators have met again. They are still at it.

Ninoy Aquino attacked the fertilizer plant project of the sugar planters in a privilege speech – a project that I have already ordered to be suspended.

Villalon testified before the Joint Committee to the effect that the Liberals specially Osmeña funded and encouraged the demonstrations. There must be consternation among the Liberals.

Looks like the demonstrations will continue and they may become more violent.

Met with the PACD and barrio officials who reaffirmed their trust and confidence in me.

Imelda went to the Tondo slums and relates how the children are eating only once a day and in some instances three times a week. So we have decided to convert Tondo into a model city – as a priority project.

 


February 8, 1970, Sunday

08Feb1970

PAGE 72

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

February 8, 1970

Sunday

11:15 PM

I have sworn in the new cabinet members during my speech before the Constitutional Convention members during the cocktail for them at 5:00 PM at the reception hall except for the new Executive Secretary, Alex Melchor whom I swore in the evening at 7:10 when Iñing Lopez and Nanding, Heny Lopez and the Chronicle and ABS-CBN staff came to have dinner with us.

Iñing was very touchy, even arrogant, Heny was non-committal and IP Soliongco kept reapeating that nothing would be the same again and that we would have to listen to the voice of the students as this was the voice of the people.

I kept repeating to Ernie Granada that he should not push me to Byroade and the Americans.

It is my feeling that the Lopezes are going to do their best to undermine against us.

Met with Tony Pastalero brought by Angel Concepcion, former secretary of Sen. Camilo Osias, as well as Fernando (Gerry) Barican this noon for lunch with the first and the latter at 4:00 PM. They both promised to stop the talk about my resignation after I convinced them that if I were not around the military would take over. This is apparently feared by everyone including them.

Barican today has warned of a take over by the Jesuit-Fascist-CIA combine.

We really should warn our people of this. But today I met also with the Jesuit novices who want to be strengthened by my granting their demands (of the NUSP). I agreed to this to widen the split between them (the moderates) and the radicals.