The Villareal group has obtained 67 signatures. Went to see the body of Mayor “Banjo” Laurel who died in a helicopter crash at Pi, Cam. Sur the other night. Their heli went out of gas, landed, refueled with ordinary gasoline, took off at night and crashed.
If I do not help Pepito Laurel, he will lose the speakership fight.
Have postponed the caucus to Wednesday after Banjo’s funeral.
Will visit Iñing Lopez at the Meralco Hosp. tomorrow, at the suggestion of the VP, Nanding & Jose Aldeguer.
Received six vessels from the U.S. requested by Amb. Byroade, three LSTs, one tugboat and two LCVPs, this morning at Navy headquarters, then a courtesy call from Mr. Roy Mason, head of the Board of Trade of England, then the City boy and girl officials, Ramon Jacinto and Sen. Aytona on the requirements of ISMI which was one of the big contributors in the last campaign.
Am now completing the files including expenses and contributions.
Am giving Don Vicente Madrigal an award tomorrow at 10:00 AM.
[Marginal note: Laurel and Puyat and even Villareal say: “There is only one elector we have to campaign for and win – and he is in Malacañang.”]
January 9, 1970
Breakfast with Speaker Laurel, Speaker Pro Temp Jose Aldeguer and Maj. Floor Leader Marcelino Veloso. Told him of the drift towards the left and the fear of political leaders, businessmen and the military that we are not taking steps to prevent it but are instead encouraging it. He has agreed to remove Emmanuel Yap, head of Cepo and his next in rank Lichauco.
Then met with Former Speaker Villareal and Com on Appro Chairman Jose Alberto who agreed that we call a Nacionalista House Members Caucus Tuesday, Jan. 13th 10:00 AM at Pangarap. I intend to interview the different blocs and see who is supported by the majority.
But we must not allow the Nacionalista Party to split up on this rivalries. We must keep our old cohesion. So I also intend to call Pres. Pro Temp Jose Roy, rival of Pres Puyat for the Presidency of the Senate.
A demonstration of Batanes students – about 500 asked for arrest of those still terrorizing would-be witnesses. They claim PC helpless. So I have ordered the NBI deputy chief, Ponciano Fernando to personally go with 12 PC men who are from Batanes, to obtain evidence against, identify, arrest and prosecute all the alleged terrorists. I challenged the young men and women to fight for their rights by testifying and convincing their relatives, friends and fellow Batanenses to testify.
I am happy that my speech before the Rotary yesterday noon on Open Skies for one year and lifting of the suspension of loans for mining and new export oriented industries has been taken well.
I can feel the confidence surging back to our people. Standard remark was: “We did not know this was being done. We are glad he is President.” Soft-soap but gratifying.
Earl Mazo, Nixon’s biographer, has just interviewed me and he says Imelda and I are so high above the newspapers and the crowd now that we should not be concerned what the papers print because if it is bad, the people will not believe it anyway.
Two questions have come up in his interview:
1. Are the U.S. military bases in the Philippines a deterrent or a magnet to bombing and/or nuclear attack. (The Recto & Laurel position is that they are mere magnets not deterrents and are not only useless but prejudicial to Philippine national interest.) I personally believe that now with the present nuclear capability of Red China and the ABM buildup of the U.S., we need the bases for the defense of the Phil. If China had not developed its nuclear capability we would not need them. Pres. Nixon explained to me last March when Imelda and I attended the Eisenhower memorial services in Washington D.C. how the U.S. would use the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) to counter-act any nuclear threat from Red China.
2. What will happen to our economy, specially the sugar industry if the IS does not extend our special preferences. (Of course the sugar industry would collapse because special preferences or the quota given us in the American market allows us to sell our sugar at the favored price of 7 cents a pound as against 3 cents a pound in the world market. And our cost of production is from 3 to 4 cents a pound. Our dollar earnings from sugar alone is $160 million out of a total dollar earnings of $1.5 billion.)