July 9, 1945 Monday

I notice in the papers that many questions are arising as a result of the Japanese occupation. Some of them are the following: (1) Bank deposits during the Japanese regime; (2) Japanese military notes (“Mickey Mouse” money); (3) Real estate transactions during said regime.

All deposits during the Japanese regime have nullified. This is of course a necessary consequence of the fact that the Japanese military notes have been declared worthless. Such action for the present is entirely justified. If bank deposits during the Japanese regime are recognized, no bank will be able to open. They will have to be declared bankrupt unless the government assumes responsibility for such deposits, which is of course impossible. The military notes, of course, have to be declared worthless because there is no reason for them and they were issued by the enemy. The United States and Philippine governments cannot be made responsible for them. They have to be outlawed. These military notes are not really money or currency. They were really only a means of requisitioning Filipino materials. It was the equivalent of the Japanese confiscating the food and other materials belonging to the Filipinos without compensation. But at the same time, the Japanese, by order, declared them legal tender — refusal to accept was considered a hostile act punishable with a heavy penalty. We therefore, against our will, had to recognize them as legal currency. They were used in all transactions. In the meanwhile, the circulation of Philippine Commonwealth money was strictly prohibited. Anybody circulating them or even possessing them was arrested and punished. The Japanese had spies to detect those violating the prohibition.

I do not believe though that the so-called Mickey Mouse money problem is permanently dead. I think after the war, discussion of that subject would have to ensue. The Japanese have circulated here over a billion. Where are they? The rich, the influential, the intelligent do not have them. As they knew what would become of those notes, they disposed of all that they had. So where did they go? They must have gone somewhere since they were not destroyed. I suspect that they went to the masses — to the laborers, small merchants, producers and vendors especially the small ones like those who produced and sold “camote”, “casava”, vegetables, etc. They must possess quite a big amount. They worked hard for their money. When normalcy is resumed, they will demand that the notes be recognized or be given some value. I do not believe they will stop their demand until they get something. I believe they will get something. Even now in Congress, a resolution was introduced to register this kind of money and try to get payment from Japan. I am sure it will be taken up in the peace conference. I suggest that proceeds from the sale of Japanese properties and holdings be applied to the payment of these military notes. After the war, Japan will not be in a position to pay. So I believe that the United States Government or the Philippine Government will pay even a small portion. There is a precedent for this. Belgium was in the same situation as the Philippines after the First World War, although the German marks circulated in Belgium went down in value and afterwards became worthless. The Belgium government assumed responsibility and paid a portion of those marks at a rate which I do not remember just now.

However, in recognizing these military notes in whole or in part, the necessary economic measures must be taken to avoid inflation. The release of such a big amount necessarily will cause inflation. Furthermore, the government cannot afford to pay at one time and if it has to borrow money, it will need also a big amount for amortization and interest. What should be done is to make an accurate and scientific readjustment in the circulation. Nobody knows how much Japanese military notes have been circulated in the Philippines. Notwithstanding all my efforts, I could not ascertain it. I believe, however, it is not as much as I originally thought. The military notes circulated only in Manila and some provinces in Luzon. In the South, with the exception of Davao and inside the cities of Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod, they did not circulate at all. A good portion of those notes had been destroyed. My estimate now is that there is only over a billion. The way to find out is to have them registered. Supposing it is one billion, I would pay immediately 5% or about ₱50,000,000. The rest or ₱950,000,000 I would divide into 40 parts each part to be paid in installments every year. Each installment would be ₱23,750,000. I believe that this amount can be absorbed by the natural increase in our production. This is just an example. The installments may be paid every five years if so desired. There should be three provisions: (1) That the periods may be shortened, if the finances of the government and the development of production — agriculture, industry and commerce — so warrant; (2) That the bonds are negotiable; and (3) That if the finances of the government so permit, the bonds may be redeemed sooner at a discount the amount of which shall depend upon the maturity of the bond. In other words, if for instance, a bond will mature in 30 years, after a period of five years the government may purchase them if offered by the holders at 25% or 50% of the face value of the bonds as may be decided upon.

But I say this must be considered after the complete termination of the war. While the war is still going on, it is natural that the Japanese money be declared worthless. One advantage of the postponement is that, if we get anything from Japan by way of an indemnity or by confiscation of their holdings in the Philippines, such amount will eliminate or at least lighten the burden that may be imposed the government.

Another point is, if we declare the Japanese notes worthless forever, it may relieve Japan from the obligation of providing for them as part of the indemnity.

It is reported that Pres. Osmeña sent a message to Congress recommending a solution to the problem of indebtedness incurred before the war paid during the Japanese occupation. The recommendation of his advisers, as I remember it, is the following: (1) Declare all payments invalid; (2) Declare all payments valid; (3) Revalue the payment made in accordance with the rate of exchange between the Philippine peso and the military note at the time of the payment. I do not understand why the government should meddle in a strictly private affair as this one. Furthermore, I doubt whether payments made could legally be declared illegal. It will be an epso facto law. As to the revaluation, this will involve many complications. Everything may as well be left for the courts to decide.


July 8, 1945 Sunday

My happiness is complete. I received a letter from my wife. It is a long one and has plenty of news. I notice that it is dated June 9th. I notice also that it is post-marked June 15th. So it takes a full month for a letter to reach us. I believe this is due to censorship. I hope it will take a shorter time hereafter.


July 4, 1945 Wednesday

Great day for the United States. It is Independence Day, marking the birth, of the American nation. She is justly called the cradle of liberty — the repository not only of the democratic rule, or government by the people, but she also adopted principles and ideals to guarantee the rights of men.

But what a paradox, what an irony — the Philippines is still under the Stars and Stripes. She should not have stayed here so long. We have been deported and imprisoned. We have been forcibly taken from our homes and separated from our dear ones. We have been humiliated and made to suffer. We have been treated like hardened criminals, muted with persons accused of treason and other serious crimes. In other words, we have been deprived of our liberty. And all these without any trial, without proper investigation, without even informing us of the charges against us. Oh, liberty, justice, where art thou?

It is said that the most serious charge against us is for having signed the two “manifestos” — both beseeching the people to keep peace and order and to help in the reconstruction of the Philippines. I shall discuss the first document in connection with my statement as to why I accepted a government position under the Japanese regime. As to the second “manifesto”, I signed it together with many others, not voluntarily and willingly for, as a matter of fact, it was imposed upon us, but without any regret. Under the circumstances, it was a good and justified step. We wanted our people to keep peace and order while they were defenseless and at the mercy of the Japanese. We wanted to save as many Filipino lives as possible. The peaceful citizens who lived outside cities and towns were suffering terribly because of the criminal and unscrupulous elements who took advantage of the disorder to prey upon them. Food production and transportation of foodstuffs were being interrupted or at least made difficult. Many in the cities died of malnutrition. The poor and those belonging to the middle class suffered terribly for lack of food or because food prices were beyond their means. Under the circumstances, what could we do but urge that peace and order be maintained.

Although it is July 4th, a holiday in the United States and in the Philippines, many of the enlisted class are being made to work at the new camp. They are hurrying up the work to be able to finish it as soon as possible. We are now too crowded in these quarters and we understand many more are coming. We may be happier here because it is in the center of the populated portion of the colony, but if we shall be crowded, we would prefer to be transferred to the new site. The work at the new camp now is done by rotation unlike before when it was done by volunteers. This seems to be a better arrangement because attendance was never assured — sometimes there were many and at times very few; some persons work there everyday, others do not work at all. There were complaints about the food, about being guarded too strictly, that they cannot take any rest, that they are being made to work in the rain. Proper complaints were filed and the authorities seemed to be inclined to hear them out. Food now is more abundant and the treatment better. But we must admit that at times the treatment accorded is well justified. Some men abuse the liberty given them and, instead of working during working hours, they would go fishing, or gather fruits, or talk to colonists. The motto should be “Work hard during working hours; any deviation from this rule is cheating.”

Aurelio Alvero was ordered today to go to the new camp to work. He refused on the ground that he is suffering from rheumatism. He was told that unless he complied he will be put in the “bartolina” which has just been finished. The “bartolina” is only about one and half meters by two meters in size and there is no ventilation except a small opening. It must be hell to be in there, especially when it is hot and with bread and water only for subsistence. Alvero says he does not mind being placed in the “bartolina”. I think what should be done is to have Alvero examined, and if his claim is true, he must not be compelled to work. Alvero said that he was afraid to get wet in the rain which will worsen his condition. He will be willing to do any other kind of work.

* * * * *

In connection with Romulo again, after the nomination for candidates for Senator in 1941, Romulo, who was an intimate friend of mine, showed coolness towards me. I attributed it to the fact that I was nominated and he was not. His resentment was absolutely unjustified. We all worked for him and we were able to get a big majority in the convention promise support for Romulo. Although Pres. Quezon always said that he wished the convention to act freely, the fact was that he controlled the nominations. He was the one who prepared the list of candidates and the names in his list were the ones nominated in the convention. When we submitted the name of Romulo, the President flatly refused for two reasons: he belonged to the same organization (Philippines Herald) as Don Vicente Madrigal. As Madrigal had already been chosen, Romulo could not be a candidate. The other reason was that he was not supported by a majority of the delegation from his own province, Tarlac. How could he expect other provinces to support him when his own province would not even vote for him? But there was a clear majority in favor of Romulo in the convention. It was probably influenced by the Free Press poll in which he got first place among an array of big men. Because of this, I had been calling him “Senator”. When later I was nominated and he was not, I noticed that he changed, probably believing that if I had not been included he would have been nominated. But it was all in accordance with the desire of President Quezon.

I was not a candidate at the beginning. Having been in politics for many years, having held high positions and dispensed many favors, there were many who wanted me to be a candidate. During the Free Press Contest, many approached me to ask my permission to include my name among the candidates. I objected strongly. I was through with politics. I had good reasons not to return to politics. I was in the government service from 1910 to 1922, in politics from 1922 to 1933, and a member of the Cabinet (Secretary of Public Works and Communications and as Secretary of Finance) from 1933 to 1939. In 1938-39, I was Financial Adviser to the President and member of the Economic Mission to America (Mr. Osmeña was Chairman). Having been repeatedly entrusted with power by our people and having held many of the highest positions in government, I felt satisfied. The only positions higher than the highest I have held are that of President and Vice President. Although many persons have talked to me about these positions, and modesty aside, I feel I can do the work to the satisfaction of the people especially in view of my record as an executive, I nevertheless have never had the ambition to occupy a position higher than those I have held. On the other hand, I felt that I had served my people sufficiently and I should devote the rest of my years building myself economically to insure the welfare of my family, consisting of a wife and ten children.

It is true that I made a lot of money from 1939 to 1941 when I was connected with Marsman enterprises as Vice President and Director of their many companies. But I had not yet saved enough to insure the future of my family. My whole plan that November of 1941 when nominations for senator were being considered, was to continue in business with Marsman & Co. I felt that my plans would be impossible to realize if I ever entered politics again. When I left the government I was deeply indebted — about ₱115,000. This was the result of politics, of having stayed too long in the government where one cannot possibly have made money unless he was dishonest; unless he violated the public trust and took advantage of his position to enrich himself. Under these circumstances, why would I want to reenter politics by allowing myself to be nominated as Senator, which at the time meant sure election, not only because I was well known all over the Philippines, but also because of the so-called block voting? (Block voting is that system by which a vote for the ticket of a party is vote for all the candidates of the party.)

How and why was I nominated? I was busy working in my office on the 4th floor of the Marsman building at Port Area. I tried to forget politics and I believe I had succeeded — never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that I would enter politics again. My determination was strengthened by the fact that my wife and children who had suffered troubles and deprivation because of politics were strongly against it.

It was in the latter part of October, or the beginning of November, when I was called by Pres. Quezon to Malacañan. I thought he was going to talk about the elevator for his new house that Mr. Marsman had given him. I went to see him immediately. I was surprised when he came right out and told me that he wanted me to be one of the candidates for Senator. It was totally unexpected. The papers mentioned many names in connection with the nomination, and I was not included. It was because they understood very well that I was tired of politics — that I hated it. I was satisfied with my work at Marsman & Co.; I was paid well — enough to insure the welfare of my family.

I was speechless for many seconds. Finally, I was able to answer the President that I would like to be excused as I had decided to quit politics for good. He asked me to think about it and to come back after two days.

I did not have to think about it; I was decided not to be a candidate. I nevertheless consulted with my wife and children. Tears streamed down my wife’s face. She knew what it meant. She suffered much because politics had ruined us financially. Furthermore, when I was in politics, she had no rest. Any time of the day or night, she was molested by my constituents. She could not refuse to see them because they were men who had worked and sacrificed much, even spending their own money, to further my candidacy. It would have been the height of ingratitude not to attend to them and be gracious. Remembering all these, her answer was a definite no, for which I was glad as it was in accordance with my conviction.

I returned to Malacañan and told the President of my decision. The President was surprised; he could not understand why I was going to forego and opportunity to be a Senator without having to work or spend for it. He argued with me, stating that I should seize the opportunity, that I could still continue in business, and that I should not turn down any opportunity by which I could serve my country.

I answered him that I had already served my country perhaps as much as any other Filipino (almost 30 years of continuous public service). He then explained the reasons why he wanted me to be a candidate. He said that the Senate was recreated to imprint more seriousness in the legislative business; that the single chamber system was a failure — many bad laws and poorly prepared laws have been passed by the present Assembly; that with every election the radical elements increase and, after a few more elections, they may get control of the Assembly; and that the Assembly is being infiltrated more and more by irresponsible persons. He proposes to insure with the recreation of the Senate that only good laws will be approved. For this reason, he wanted the members of the New Senate all to be serious and responsible, men who are well known for their accomplishments, men in whom the people will have full trust and confidence. This is the reason why he had included me. I naturally felt very flattered. Nevertheless, I repeated my negative answer. I told him that I had already considered the matter from all angles. He left me in disgust.

I went back to my office happy and contented. I thought the matter was closed. Before that day, I had not consulted anybody in the Marsman Company. After the second conference with Pres. Quezon, I decided to consult with Mr. Benjamin Ohnick, Vice President of Marsman & Co. and the ranking man in the organization since Mr. Marsman was in the United States. Mr. Ohnick was inclined to advise me to accept, but did not want to assume full responsibility. He decided to consult Mr. Marsman since the latter was the one who got me into the organization. He sent a telegram to Mr. Marsman. Mr. Marsman answered advising me to accept. He said that under the circumstances, I could not decline. I was rather embarrassed. I regretted having consulted Mr. Marsman and Mr. Ohnick since I had already declined and the President seemed to have dropped the whole matter. I decided to forget the whole thing.

But a week after my second conference, Pres. Quezon called me again. He curtly told me thus. “I want you to be a candidate.” I answered, “Mr. President, you should have commenced that way. You know that I cannot refuse or disappoint you. When I left the government, I pledged to you that you could call on me at any time. You wished to convince me by argument, and I had given this matter serious thought. Now that you want me to be a candidate, it is decided. I accept,” I noticed that he was very pleased. I left rather depressed.

Two days afterwards, I received a letter from him. He said that he had given further thought to the matter and he was of the opinion that I could not be a candidate without resigning my positions with Marsman & Co. I also studied this angle and I also came to the conclusion that there is an incompatibility between the office of Senator and my positions of Director of Marsman & Co., Vice President of the affiliated companies like the Marsman Building Corporation, Marsman Trading Corporation, Cardinal Insurance Co., Insular Drug, and President of the Coco Grove (a mining company). I was also director of many other affiliated companies like the lumber company, etc. Some of these companies get government contracts and there is a prohibition in the Constitution against members of Congress being interested directly or indirectly in government contracts. But I could not disappoint President Quezon and, on the other hand, the matter had already gone too far for me to withdraw since everybody already knew that I was a candidate.

I told Mr. Ohnick about the new incident. He told me to resign, as indicated by Mr. Quezon, after my election. He said that later, he would make other arrangements that would not violate any laws since he understood very well that I could not afford to give up my income from Marsman entirely as the compensation of a senator could not support my family. I so advised President Quezon.

I was nominated formally by the Convention and elected as Senator. Although I hardly campaigned, I occupied sixth place in a roster of 24. Later, Mr. Ohnik told me that the plan was to appoint me later as adviser or attorney for the corporation which does not fall under the prohibition. In fact, many Senators and Representatives occupy those positions in various companies. But I shall divorce myself from all executive positions.

Those are the facts about my nomination. As may be seen, my candidacy had nothing to do with the non-nomination of Romulo.


July 1, 1945 Sunday

Heard Mass. We had been enjoying “adobo”, “macapuno”, “avocado” and other things sent by my wife. I shared them with my companions and they also liked them very much. My wife sent these things with a note referring to a letter that she had written me.

I have not received the letter referred to in the note of my wife. There must be something the matter with the mail service or maybe the censors held it up.

For the first time I heard about Hamamoto, our interpreter and liaison officer of Malacañan; He went with us to Baguio when the government was transferred there. He left Baguio suddenly for an unknown destination, saying that he probably would not make it. He seemed to have foreseen his death. It is said that the Americans and the guerrillas shot Japanese at sight. Even Japanese soldiers who showed no signs of wanting to fight were killed. After the massacres, cruelties, brutalities and abuses committed by the Japanese, we Filipinos hate them. It will take many generations before Japanese subjects could set foot on Philippine soil without being molested. I myself do not know what I would do, in view of the fact that they murdered my dear daughter, Natividad. The Igorots especially will not want to see any Japanese again as they have been subjected to untold cruelties. I remember that about the 10th of April, all the occupants in two Igorot homes near my air raid shelter, numbering about 32, were murdered by the Japanese soldiers. It was said that there were spies in those two houses, but why were women and children also killed? When the Constabulary came, they saw movement in one of the graves. They found that a child was still alive so that it must have been buried alive.

But Hamamoto was an exception. He was a good sincere friend. He was always ready to serve and his record as an interpreter was noteworthy. He saved the lives of many Filipinos. In fact, he always intervened whenever his help was solicited. He worked against the Japanese soldiers in many cases, such as the forcible taking of houses, so as to help our countrymen. Surely the life of a man with such record should have been spared.

Papers report that de la Paz denied that he had ever accused the House with still retaining vestiges of Japense influence. This incident may therefore be considered closed.

Judging from the newspapers we have received, there seems to be general discontent on account of the inactivity of Pres. Osmeña and his administration. Insistent demands are being made that the most pressing problems, like food shortage and food distribution affecting the welfare of the people, be solved immediately. It is insinuated that the administration is incompetent, inefficient.

On the other hand, there is also bitter criticism against the Congress for having as yet done nothing. It is charged that members of Congress while their time with speech making and politics.

These charges, which appear to be true, may affect the prestige and chances in the elections of the present leaders.

It is providential that we are out of this turbulent ground; we cannot be made to share the blame and responsibility.

The collaborationist issue seems to be one of the main issues now being aired. I am afraid it will be involved in the electoral quarrel. Such a situation may affect our cases because this political development may induce one or both sides to endeavor retaining us here until after the elections. My pessimism is being confirmed.


June 27, 1945 Wednesday

A Colonel, Assistant Chief of the U.S. Military Police, came and inspected us today. He stopped in front of me and asked me two questions. “Are you comfortable here?”, he asked. I somewhat hesitated before answering, “Yes, under the circumstances.” What I really meant was that in view of the fact that we were prisoners, and because of the lack of facilities, the comfort that we have is all that could possibly be given. But we are not satisfied. Evidently, the Colonel understood me as he repeated “under the circumstances.” His next question was, “How is the food?” I answered, “It is sufficient in quantity, but it is not the kind of food we want. We prefer not to eat canned foods. What we want are fresh fish, meat and vegetables. We also would like to have rice. This is the kind of meal we eat as Filipinos.” He then turned to our Colonel Superintendent and asked him how they could be obtained. He even talked about fishing. Turning to me again, he said that rice is pretty hard to obtain; there is a scarcity of rice even in Manila and it costs very much. When he passed by Paredes and he was told that Paredes was our spokesman, he asked Paredes to see him. Jokingly he added, “not by motor car.” Paredes went to see him at 2 o’clock and returned after two hours. He immediately gathered us together to make a report.

Paredes said the Colonel talked to him about giving us better food, allowing us to bring food in, allowing us to have our laundry done outside the camp, etc. The Colonel said that he came precisely to investigate our living conditions and he will see what can be done. When asked about our petition to MacArthur, he said that it passed through him and he passed it on to the General Staff. Whether it reached MacArthur or not, he did not know.

Paredes then talked about our case. He explained that we had not been sentenced nor have we been informed of the charges against us. We believe that we have not done anything to deserve imprisonment. He mentioned some specific cases, like Bayan who is merely a technical man; that of Yulo, who supported two guerillas and gave information to the U.S. Army about what he saw in Manchoukuo which had been used by the U.S. Army to its advantage. Paredes asked that we be released; if that was not possible, that we be brought back to Manila and given limited freedom; and if this was still not acceptable, that our conditions here be improved. Here we are worse off than the criminals with long term sentences as they are allowed to go around the Colony, while we have to remain inside the stockade.

The Colonel said that he fully sympathized with us, but it was not within his power to grant our request. But he believes something will be done soon since Congress seems to be very interested in us. He reported that one day the House was discussing the matter of the collaborationists issue and the discussion became so heated that the public was excluded and the doors closed. The Colonel said that the C.I.C. was supposed to have investigated us, and after sentencing we were turned over to the Military Police. Paredes reiterated that none of us had been duly investigated and, consequently, we could not have been sentenced. The Colonel then said that probably the reason was that we were merely under protective custody to save us from persons who might want to kill us. Paredes said that he would be willing to bet that anyone of the officer class here could travel from one end of the Philippines to the other without being molested. Paredes said that they probably are not aware that in placing us under protective custody we are really being punished. When we are left “incommunicado”, we are punished; when we are separated from the family, we are punished; and when we are made to eat food that we are not used to eating, we are punished.

The Colonel said that the Military Police did not know anything about the merits of our cases; that MacArthur ordered that after action by the C.I.C, we be turned over to the Military Police; that they were given 48 hours by MacArthur within which to take us to Iwahig. This is probably the reason why we were shipped in a freighter where we were herded in a dark and hot hold like cattle. He added that the order is to hold us for the duration of the war.

Discussion ensued as to when the war with Japan, this being the war referred to by the Colonel, would last. The visiting Colonel asserted that it would take about eighteen months, whereas our Colonel here in the camp insists that the war would last only three months. Paredes said that with the way the American Army is fighting and with the bombing of Japan by super-fortresses, the war with Japan could not possibly last much longer.

Paredes and Gen. Francisco who also had a conference with the Colonel, got the impression that everything had been done in accordance with orders from Gen. MacArthur. In connection with our request for transfer to Manila, Paredes suggested that we could be confined in our respective homes, or in another place like the house or “hacienda” of Don Vicente Madrigal in Muntinglupa, or the house of Mr. Bayan in Quezon City. The Colonel took note of the suggestions of Paredes. Chief Yulo, after the report, again expressed his indignation and strongly criticized MacArthur.

A few days ago, all the members of the officer class were transferred to a part of one of the buildings. We are now separated from the enlisted class by a wall made of nipa. But we are in the same compound; we are now very crowded. However, there is no doubt that things have improved. The new administration seems to do everything for us. The Superintendent is Lt. Col. Gilfilan, while the assistant is Lt. Stanley F. Hogenberg, Jr. They are both very kind and considerate and take personal interest in us. The Lieutenant saw to it that we were provided with clothes and shoes. He gave us boxing gloves and other athletic equipment, and dominoes and other paraphernalia for our amusement. He provided instructions for the illiterate prisoners in the camp. Once he asked a young boy whether he went to church. He distributed Catholic books and sacred medals.

The enlisted class was required to work either in cleaning the premises or in preparing the new camp to which we will be transferred. This camp will not be finished until after three months. Sometimes men complain of the treatment accorded to them by the Captain in charge of the construction, compelling them to work even during a rain storm.

Don Vicente Madrigal receives newspapers which we read. Among the news is that Confesor was bitterly attacked in the floor of the House. Representative Borja of Iloilo said that if Confesor had not left for the mountains, he would have been killed for the many abuses he had committed, especially the taking of private property. Rep Rafols also hurled charges against Confesor. Both called him names. The language used must have been terrible as they were ordered stricken off the record. Confesor should resign or ask for an investigation. He should clear himself or leave the service. If the charges are true, his usefulness to the government is over since the people will lose their respect. A government with such officials will be crippled.

The other news is that there seems to be a strong movement to settle the dispute of Roxas and Osmeña for candidacy for President. It was reported that Osmeña may choose not to run if such sacrifice is necessary to effect unity. It is said that Osmeña had done it in the past and he will be willing to do it again. Roxas was expected to do the same. There was an editorial in which the withdrawal of either of them was advocated for the sake of unity. As a precedent, it cited the withdrawal of Rizal in favor of Del Pilar in Madrid; the elimination of Bonifacio and of General Luna; the conciliation of Quezon and Osmeña after the “Collectivitas-Unipersonalistas” fight and the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Bill fight. There was a suggestion for Osmeña to run for President and Roxas for Vice President. The fight seems to be inevitable, but efforts to settle matters should be continued to insure unity for the good of the country.

It is reported that Senators Sa Ramain and Rama had also been detained apparently for being collaborationists, but later released for the purpose of attaining a quorum during the Senate session. I do not know what Rama did; as regards sa Ramain, he had committed acts, such as signing the Constitution, for which others have been arrested and are now suffering imprisonment. Why the discrimination?

There are Senators-elect appointed during the Commonwealth Government who, under the Constitution, forfeited their right to a seat in the Senate for accepting other positions in the government. These are Domingo Imperial, who accepted the position of Justice, Court of Appeals; Roxas, who accepted the position of Colonel and afterwards became General in the Army; Sebastian, who accepted the position of Judge of the Court of First Instance; and Tirona, who accepted the position of Judge of the Court of Industrial Relations. If the four above are eliminated there can be no quorum in the present session of Congress. Already there are reports that the legality of the present Congress or the present session of Congress is being doubted. A lawyer has submitted a memorandum raising that question and Rep. Montejo of Leyte wants the question submitted for legal opinion. If the law is to be strictly adhered to, this question must be determined.

Rumor circulated that the Congress has passed a resolution requesting that we be turned over to the Commonwealth Government before July 15, 1945. An employee in the office of the Colonel happened to glance at a newspaper and he transmitted the news to a colonist, one Mr. Lopez, who came running to our quarters to tell us the news. We hope this will be confirmed. It means that our friends in Manila have not forsaken us. The general belief is that Congress must have some sort of understanding with Pres. Osmeña and Gen. MacArthur, and that after we have been turned over to the Commonwealth, we will be released. Discussion arose as to why the 15th of July was mentioned. One said that the purpose is to prevent us from sitting in the Senate since Congress adjourns on or about the, 15th of July. Another said that they want us to be out before the 15th to enable us precisely to attend the session. Chief Yulo doubts whether Gen. MacArthur would do anything. Furthermore, he opines we cannot be released during the duration of the war in view of the U.S. President’s order, and if MacArthur releases us or turns us over to the Commonwealth, it will have to be declared that a mistake in considering us collaborationist had been committed. MacArthur will not reverse himself or admit he was mistaken. Paredes thinks that the C.I.C. may declare us not guilty, in which case we can be released as we will not come under the presidential order.


June 25, 1945 Monday

It is reported in the newspapers that prices in Manila are very high. Meat costs ₱8.00 per kilo; fish ₱4.00, etc. It is also reported that more than one million people live in Manila. They must be suffering very much. I am worried about my family. The immediate cause of course is the operation of the law of supply and demand. Goods, especially foodstuffs are not produced or brought to Manila fast enough to keep up with the demand and buying power of the people. But the main cause is inflation which generally accompanies wars. But there are different ways of combatting inflation, at least of minimizing the effects of inflation. Apparently, the necessary measures are not being adopted. I shall discuss more fully the inflation problem.

It is reported that Don Vicente Singson Encarnacion was appointed Secretary of Agriculture, and ex-Representative and ex-Governor Marcelo Adduru as Secretary of Labor. As constituted, the rest of the Cabinet is as follows: Interior, Confesor; Finance, Jaime Hernandez; Justice, Delfin Jaranilla, Acting; Public and Communications, Cabahug; National Defense, Cabili; Health and Welfare, Gen. Basilio Valdes, and Public Instruction and Information, Maximo Kalaw. The general comment is that it is a very poor Cabinet. The present Cabinet is not a credit to the appointing power. Probably, service as “guerrillero” has been the predominating consideration. Also political consideration must have entered into the selection. There are some that believe Pres. Osmeña had also been swayed by personal considerations. I hope the present Cabinet will show that in accomplishment it is not behind other Cabinets.

I had been giving a description of some newcomers. Among the latest newcomers are boys of eighteen of less. Should they not be separated so that the youth would not be under the malevolent influence of hardened criminals. There is a very old man who is a paralytic. He could hardly walk to the mess. I do not know whether he was effective in the performance of activities attributed to him. Certainly he cannot render any effective service now. I would release him even under parole. The detention of these persons seem to be un-American.

At this juncture, I would like to mention again an old timer, Gov. Jose Urquico. He is suffering from tuberculosis of the vertebrae—spinal cord. He is very sick as testified by American Army doctors who have have examined and X-rayed him in the military hospital at Iwahig. He is getting weaker and he may die soon. He cannot be treated here, but he is afraid to go to a hospital in Manila as he may be placed again among foreign war prisoners as what happened to him before they brought him to Iwahig. For the sake of humanity, he should be released so that he can be given proper food and be attended to in his home.

In connection with the election of Jose Zulueta as Speaker, it will be remembered that I had to withdraw from the race on account of the fact that Pres. Quezon, then President of the Senate, and I were both Tagalogs and from the same Senatorial District. It was feared that this would weaken the party. The election of Zulueta means that regional considerations and politics no longer prevail as he, like Roxas, President of the Senate, are both Visayans and come from the same Senatorial District.

Tonight there was cinematograph show at the Recreation Hall. The films were good, especially the main feature. It explains the victory of the United States—many equipment and the most modern. Their firing power is tremendous. The tanks emit flames which are very destructive and deadly.


June 24, 1945 Sunday

Today is the Feast of San Juan. I heard Mass. The priest delivered a sermon. In substance, he said that one should love others as he loves his own person and that he should pardon those who might have done him some wrong. The sermon is very timely. Among our companions in prison there are some who have killed or done some wrong to others, and others who have themselves been the victim of wrongdoing. The sermon simply means that we should not seek revenge; we should forget the past and let everybody follow hereafter the godly precept of love to others as he would love his own person. Such an advice is very timely. I have heard some companions say that when they are free they would kill the person or persons responsible for their imprisonment. If they do, the probability is that the relatives of their victims would retaliate. There would be continuous quarrelling and killing which could develop into mass encounters. We need unity among all our people at this time.

* * * * *

Upon the request of Don Pedro Sabido, a meeting was held of the eighteen persons belonging to the officer class; he insisted in excluding all others. We did not know what he was going to submit; he only assured us that it would be very important. Upon the commencement of the meeting he took the floor. He said that we have nothing to do and we are losing too much precious time. We should devote such time to the study of national problems that necessarily our coming Republic would have to confront. He submitted an outline of the matters that should be studied. Among them were those referring to the financing of our Republic, including taxation; peace and order, including the organization of a Philippine Army; the economic development of our country, including the nationalization of labor and the rehabilitation of industries, such as the sugar industry; labor problems, including forced insurance of laborers; future relationship with America, political as well as economic. As regards to our relationship with America, he would like a study of the proposed reexamination of the independence question and the question of free trade between the two countries. He also recommended the study of our currency and banking problems as well as of that of the tariff. He would like to know whether the gold we produce should be kept here as reserve for our currency; whether we should have managed currency. We should also study the problem of inflation. He suggested names of those who would preside over the committees to be created, as well as the members thereof. We should organize ourselves for the purpose and to carry out our objectives. I was either chairman or member of the different economic committees.

After the peroration of Mr. Sabido, there was complete silence—nobody seemed to want to start the discussion. I then asked to be allowed to speak. I agreed that those problems were important and fundamental and should be studied. But we must be careful and slow in organizing ourselves for the purpose and in holding regular meetings wherein the reports will be read. I reminded them that we were not free, that we were prisoners. Many of the high officials in Manila do not seem to like us, are rather suspicious of us and some even fear us. They are aware of the influence that we enjoyed in the past or that we may enjoy in the future. They may resent our interferring with them. They may even suspect that we are endeavoring to replace them, and this may prolong our stay here. I explained that for reasons I do not know myself, I smell politics in our detention and any organization formed by us may be suspected to be for the purpose of ousting the present officials and taking control of our government. I therefore contented that the organization was untimely. If at all, we should organize ourselves merely as a social club for entertainment purposes. When we become free, we can form the organization and carry out the purposes proposed. To my surprise, Mr. Recto and others fully agreed with me. Recto added that what we need now is to study how we can go after those responsible for our imprisonment. The whole matter was dropped. Before adjourning, however, we agreed that there must be unity among us. I understand that Mr. Sabido somewhat resented my action. I deeply regret it, but I must be frank and sincere.


June 23, 1945 Saturday

Stock prices receded today. It is said that the Colonel said what he said only to secure our wholehearted cooperation for the success of his administration. Some reported that similar assurance was given in other camps. I do not agree with them. I think the Colonel sincerely believes that we will soon be released, probably because he had studied our cases and he is convinced that there is no sufficient justification for our imprisonment, or because he knows of some facts upon which he has based his opinion.

Our stock is up again. A lieutenant (Filipino) of the Signal Corps, U.S. Army, came and told us that in Manila public opinion is very much in our favor. Gen. Francisco’s wife wrote him that we will soon be released. She did not say upon what she based her opinion.

In the international front, newspapers report that Okinawa has been conquered in its entirety. In the Philippines, it is reported that Aparri was taken, meaning that the Cagayan Valley has been overrun by the Americans. It is believed that the war will soon end.


June 22, 1945 Friday

Hope for our release is just like a stock market; it goes up and down. One day everybody appears happy; the next day, disappointment and deep sorrow reign. Today we are all in high spirits for a reason which I shall now explain.

The urgent need for a separate toilet for the officer class has been felt for some time. Plans were drafted by Engineers Paez and Bayan. Construction was commenced a few days ago under the direction of the two engineers and the supervision of Don Teofilo Sison. This morning, while Mr. Bayan was on his job, the Colonel-Superintendent came although it is not inspection day. This Superintendent, unlike his predecessor, comes quite frequently. Engineer Bayan since his arrival had been having trouble with his teeth. He had consulted Army dentists who believed that all his remaining teeth should be pulled out and a complete set of false teeth be made. Evidently, the Colonel was told about it and he probably remembered it. The Colonel urged Mr. Bayan to have his teeth work done. Mr. Bayan answered that he would prefer to have it done in Manila as it would be very inconvenient for him. He explained that if all his teeth were pulled out, he would need a special diet. In Manila, in his own home, his family could prepare his special food. The Colonel answered that such special food could not be provided by them, but he would make arrangements whereby he would be served before everybody else. Engineer Bayan made the following remarks evidently in order to reinforce his refusal to have his dental work done here: “I expect to be released soon”. Mr. Bayan was probably not aware that he released a trial-balloon to find out something about our possible release. The Colonel spontaneously stated: “The probability is 90% that you will be released without trouble as the government is very interested in you. That is the way I look at it.” Adding, “So you are going to wait.” “Yes”, answered Mr. Bayan.

Those who heard this exchange lost no time communicating to others the good tydings. Senator Sebastian ran inside our barracks to tell us the conversation he heard. Naturally, we all became very anxious and listened very attentively to the narration of the Senator. Not contented with secondhand news, Mr. Bayan was shoved into the midst of the happy crowd and made to repeat the conversation. He was cautioned to use the exact words of the Colonel. Mr. Bayan was very accommodating. He kept repeating the conversation every time a new listener came around, notwithstanding his difficulty in talking on account of the condition of his teeth.

There was general rejoicing in the quarters of the officer class. The rejoicing soon spread to the quarters of the enlisted class. The whole morning the conversation was the topic of vivid comments. There were different versions as to the application of the ninety per cent. Senator Sebastian who heard the conversation gave his version as follows: “Ninety per cent will be released.” Recto concurred with this version, adding that the ten per cent referred to Mr. Bayan who will have to remain so that work on his teeth could be finished. The new version did not in any way dampen the enthusiasm as everybody expects not to be included in the ten per cent. The enthusiasm was such that the “bread and water” ration given us at the mess was devoured in no time. In his bewilderment, Mr. Bayan approached the ration table more than once. Don Quintin Paredes became a disciple of Dr. Samari, predicting that comments will continue for two days.

The expression “without trouble” has been interpreted by some to mean that there will not be any formal inquiry. Others believe that he meant that our cases are meritorious ones.

No news referring to us has provoked as much enthusiasm as this one. It is pointed out that the Colonel is in a position to know and he must have based his statements on some tangible facts. He could not have referred to the interest of the government unless he knows it positively.

God bless the Colonel. He certainly has revived our fading hope.

Sensational news are reported in the newspapers we have just received.

The first is to the effect that Representative Emilio de la Paz of Rizal, who was defeated by Representative Jose Zulueta of Iloilo for the Speakership, hurled charges that his defeat meant that there were still vestiges of Japanese influence in Congress. When informed that the Committee on Internal Affairs of the House of Representatives would require him to substantiate his charges, he stated that he is prepared to prove them. Many interpret the act of de la Paz as one of spite because of his defeat. I am willing, however, to grant him the benefit of a doubt. I credit him with sincerity and courage to denounce what he thinks is an evil or inconsistency in the acts of our public officials. As a matter of fact, if the acts attributed to many of us in this prison constitute collaboration, there are many members of Congress who are collaborators. I think I have already named somewhere in these writings some Senators guilty of the same acts for which we have been detained. In the House there are many who took active part in the pacification campaign. Some of them have amassed fortunes for activities during the Japanese regime. One was connected with a business providing lumber to the Japanese. A probe will perhaps disclose facts which may be the basis for the charges of Representative de la Paz.

The second news is to the effect that Cabili had accused President Roxas of the Senate of having sent him a form letter urging him to surrender to the Japanese. On the surface, the charge seems to be serious, if true. I do not know the facts, but there may be a satisfactory explanation for this. The date when the letter was written is very pertinent. Roxas after his appointment as Brigidier General, was placed in charge of the military operations in Mindanao. He was the head in that Island. When Corregidor was occupied by the Japanese, Gen. Homma declined to accept the surrender of Wainright and his men unless Wainright surrendered the rest of the USAFFE in the Philippines, being the Commanding General with jurisdiction over the whole Philippines after the departure of Gen. MacArthur. By radio and letters, Wainright communicated this condition for surrender set by Gen. Homma to all the District Commanders in the Philippines ordering them to surrender. Brigadier General Roxas probably only transmitted the order of Gen. Wainright. Roxas will undoubtedly clear up the situation.

Col. Peralta, the patriot and guerrilla hero of Panay, whose exploits won for him one of the highest decorations given to military men, wrote a letter to Pres. Osmeña, urging the latter to follow a moderate policy on the collaborationist problem for the sake of unity. I already had a high opinion of Col. Peralta. With his letter, my admiration for him has heightened even more. His motive for recommending such a policy is sublime and highly patriotic. It shows his intense love for his country. In war time, he had risked his life so that the liberty for which our forefathers had shed their precious blood, could be attained and preserved. Now in peace time, he urges unity as disunion at this crucial period in our history may cause us to lose whatever liberties we may have already won and even endanger the independence of our country which is already assured. I think much more will be heard of Col. Peralta. He will some day be in a position of great responsibility in our country. I have never seen him. It shall be a pleasure and an honor to meet him.

Dr. Moncado brought news substantially confirming the statement of the Colonel. I am still pessimistic.