February 12, 1970, Thursday

12Feb1970_1 12Feb1970_2

PAGE 79

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

February 12, 1970

Thursday

12:00 PM

Against predictions of violence, the Plaza Miranda rally turned out to be peaceful. Some of the leaders shouted for the crowd to go to Malacañang but the crowd would not follow.

But the KM and SDK violated their word and went through with the rally in Plaza Miranda when they had said that they would not leave the campuses. Some 40 trucks came from Angeles City. The men in them did not look like students and they were the ones crying out for blood.

The northern congressmen, senators and governors came to the palace with completely armed men. I dissuaded them from infiltrating the demonstration and inflicting harm on them.

For a time I secretly hoped that the demonstrators would attack the palace so that we could employ the total solution. But it would be bloody and messy.

Anyway I told the northern political leaders that the situation may develop into a revolutionary situation during my administration and that we should prepare for a military confrontation with the communists. The North should be developed as a last bastion, just in case. We must now cache arms and ammo there, prepare Laoag for jet landings, Lingayen Gulf for our navy and organize provincial strike forces, at the rate first of at least 100 men each province.

But we must win the hearts and minds of our

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Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

people. So, I argued, we must all be ready to sacrifice our personal interests for the common good. They agreed to this but begged that the men who had sacrificed in the political battles be not forgotten.

We had dinner and a movie. Blas Ople was there for dinner. And so was Emong Salvador, my old Maharlika comrade. Blas is an enigma. Many of the leaders distrust him. Even Col. Ver feels that he is actually one of the communist leaders and that all the attacks in the media against me and the administration may have been his brainchild. But it is best he is in the palace when there is a crisis. Then we can neutralize him or use him.

As of now I am convinced we have to wage a tedious legal, propaganda and economic battle against the communists. So this afternoon I asked the military leaders, Ponce Enrile, Yan, Garcia, and Ramos to prepare for this. There must be an assessment of the voluminous documents captured from the Ma-Maos – for legal action. The intelligence agencies must be sharpened to the sophisticated finesse of the intellectuals and urban communists. For this the NICA and NBI must be reorganized. And we must fund the various anti-subversion and anti-insurgency teams.

If they want a revolution, I will give them one in the economic field. Drastic, dramatic and effective like the rechanneling of the excess money into agro-industrial projects in the farms and resettlement centers.

I met with Vicente Araneta to listen to his priming plan. Assigned Usec. Roman Ong Jr. to study it.


December 23, 1941

The war reveals the parasite, the non-essential man self-confessed. He who does not produce is regarded, with suddenly clear eyes, as an enemy. In peacetime he often occupies an honored position, being then only a thief who lives lawfully on what his neighbor makes.

The war leaves us with only human values to go by. It is not very comfortable. It either shows a man or shows him up. Out of this new revelation may come a new society, a true society, a society of man.

There are economic problems because there are rich men and poor men. There are wars because there are economic problems. Let us, simply, eliminate the rich men?

From Washington, D.C. came the following communique, issued by the war department:

“Philippine theater: Heavy fighting is in progress in Lingayen Gulf, 150 miles north of Manila, where the Japanese are attempting a landing in force.

“Under a strong naval and air escort a fleet of about 80 troop ships appeared off the west coast of Luzon. Soon afterward a large number of about 150-man barges entered Lingayen Gulf, attempting a landing in the vicinity of Agoo (La Union) Some of them succeeded in getting ashore.

“The Japanese force is estimated at from 80,000 to 100,000, from six to eight divisions. The attempted invasion is being met with fierce resistance by American and Filipino troops.

“Fighting is continuing near Davao on the island of Mindanao.

“There is nothing to report from other areas.”

Reports filtering into the city from the front told how the Lingayen beaches were piled high with Japanese dead, the water filled with the bobbing heads of Japanese soldiers whose boats had been sunk. The enemy, nevertheless, continued to gain.

Air-raid alarm this afternoon, catching the city on its way back from lunch to work. I was in a bookstore when the alarm came. I found a chair and a copy of Peter Arno’s usually very amusing cartoons. I was not amused, though I tried hard to be. The necessity of maintaining a decent serenity during a raid leaves a man not quite up to the enjoyment of even the most Rabelaisian humor.

“They can’t do this to me,” said a wounded one from Murphy, indicating what, in fact, they had done.

In an invasion the invaders are always grim, earnest and “proceed according to plan.” The invaded, bewildered at the beginning by the sudden onslaught of the enemy who had so recently been talking amity and peace, minimize by whimsy and humor the offs against them and set up a wall of lightheartedness between themselves and the desperate character of their situation. It is no longer fashionable to believe in heroes. Even as men conduct themselves unmistakably as such, they perversely refuse to acknowledge it. They die with their boots and a quip on.

They refuse to honor the enemy by taking him –at least in their speech– seriously. This is more than a case of whistling in the dark –the practice of adolescence. This, they vaguely feel, is the proper attitude to be adopted by the host toward an uninvited guest. Impolite and distant.