Early this morning, Tuguegarao was bombed and strafed. The P-51 dive-bombers were strafing with terrifying precision. The Americans probably know we are here. The planes are diving very low –as low as 100 meters above ground. We could hear bombs dropping just a few hundred meters away. Tuguegarao was the worst place since we started this trip. No water. No food. Continuous bombing and strafing. “Seventh Heaven” suddenly seemed better! At 4:35 p.m. the air raid stopped. The whole town was razed to the ground.
Mr. Fukushima, a member of Ambassador Murata’s party, told us to separate our “essentials” from our “non-essentials.” We are to bring only the very essential.
At 6:05 we finished sorting out our “essentials.” We rode our last ride on native soil. We arrived at Tuguegarao airfield at 8:20 p.m. and waited there till 10:55 p.m. for the Japanese plane to arrive. Some of our baggage containing even our essentials had to be left behind.
This was to be my first airplane trip and I was very excited. I sat below the machine-gun turret. A co-pilot sat beside me and opened a package. It was a pilot’s ration. He gave me chocolate out of what looked like a toothpaste tube, some biscuits and yokan. In return I gave him my bag of army biscuits given to me in Tuguegarao. I went up to the turret and saw the deep blue sky. It was hazy and vast and beautiful. I fell asleep.
At 6:55 a.m. the convoy came to a halt. After resting for an hour I went with a Kempeitai to cook rice and boil water for lunch. We found a flowing stream about kilometer and a half away. We cooked rice and filled up all the containers with boiling water. I went back alone carrying all the heavy stuff. The path was uphill which made the distance seem like five kilometers! I reached the tend on the hill at 1:25 p.m. dead tired!
We got ready at 7:00 p.m. Reaching a narrow trail, we were told only the cars could pass. Papa, Ambassador Murata, Mama, Dodjie and Maning rode the car, which left at 7:35 p.m. The car was to take them to Kayapa six kilometers away. And then return for Speaker Aquino, Minister and Mrs. Osias, Betty and the two children and my three sisters.
When the car did not return by 9:15 p.m. we all decided to walk. We walked for three hours and covered four kilometers uphill with out heavy load until we finally saw the car. Speaker Aquino and party rode the car while Kuya Pito, Kuya Pepe, General Capinpin and I, together with some of the Japanese soldiers walked to Kayapa two and a half kilometers away.
Our guests were leaving the College, going French style. They took with them all that was theirs and all that was ours. Among the latter were chairs, beds, tables, cabinets, the refrigerator, bulbs, lamp shades, all amounting to thousands of pesos, specially now that they were irreplaceable. We were disillusioned by the belief that independence would extend to us the pleasure of having our whole building back. But other soldiers were coming in with beds on their shoulders and installing themselves in the divested building. They were sure to be groping in the dark tonight, as their predecessors took all the bulbs with them. It seemed that it was common practice among these soldiers to leave nothing behind whenever they transferred quarters. One of them, whom we approached in complaint and protest, justified such conduct saying that when General Kuroda had to leave the palace of the American High Commissioner which was converted into the Japanese Embassy, all the furniture was taken out, and Mr. Murata had to stay at the Manila Hotel until the Embassy had been refurbished.
The text of the Alliance Treaty between Japan and the new Government was published today. The pact was signed by Ambassador Murata and Mr. Recto who was today named Minister of State. One farcical fact hiding behind the formalities of protocol was that the treaty was dated October 14, that is, the very day when the Republic was proclaimed. This meant that the approval by Tokyo and the ratification of the treaty by the contracting parties took place before one of them—the Philippines—became a free and sovereign nation.
Article 2 of the Treaty provided that “the contracting parties shall cooperate strictly in political, economic and military affairs for the successful pursuit of the Great East Asia war.”
The nature of this strict military cooperation was explained by an appendix to the said treaty: “The Philippines shall apportion all kinds of facilities to the military operations which Japan shall undertake. The Philippines and Japan shall cooperate strictly between themselves to safeguard the territorial integrity and the Independence of the Philippines.”
The negative consequences of this pact, according to official interpretation were:
That the Philippines had to declare war against the Allies.
That no Filipino soldier had to leave his country to fight.
According to the same interpretation, the positive consequences were:
The economic cooperation would continue as it was.
The military cooperation would take place only in case the Philippines would be attacked or invaded.
Through these provisions, it could be seen that the Japanese would continue dominating and utilizing the economy of the country for her ends and that the spectrum of war would move away but not disappear. The people were convinced that when the Americans would come sufficiently near, they would undoubtedly attack, first by air and then by sea, the Japanese ports and airfields in the Philippines. Would this constitute a sufficient cause for a casus belli against the aggressors and to force the government to declare war? The text of the Pact seemed to guarantee an affirmative response, since the Philippines was committed to defend her national integrity and her independence with the help of Japan in case of attack or invasion. Naturally, Japan would do what she believed would serve her interests. If she would feel that the Philippine Army was a hindrance or an enemy, she would rather fight alone in one front.
From now on, the Philippines is free, sovereign and independent. Japan so proclaimed, and President Laurel so announced. The inauguration was a family affair. Only the Japanese representatives were invited: aside from Mr. Murata who up to now is chief adviser of the military administration and henceforth to be the ambassador plenipotentiary; the Vice President of the House of Peers, a bearded short man who looked like Bernard Shaw; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who just flew from Tokyo. The inaugural ceremony was as usual, copied from the traditional program of independence inaugurations within the Sphere.
The truly moving act was the raising of the Philippine flag which for the first time waved in the air after almost two years of prohibition. The ceremony impressed even the skeptical and the non-conformists, attended by gigantic crowd placed by the press first at 800,000 and later at 500,000. There was still a cipher in excess.
It cannot be denied, however, that aside from the captive audience, many came on their own. Many of those who doubted and the recalcitrants saw in the ceremony a national glorification, not Japanese. And there was therefore a greater degree of spontaneity and enthusiasm than there had been in other celebrations in the past.
The inaugural speech of the new President was magistral, delivered pathetically in Tagalog. His program of government is extensive, comprehensive, innovative and conservative at the same time—although not convincing. He accentuated certain totalitarian tendencies of the Constitution, but he prescinded from personal glory and called for national discipline.
Some of the salient points of his program are: general amnesty for political prisoners and the guerillas who surrender within a prescribed period; persecution of public enemies who persist in obstructing the program of reconstruction (for them the Constabulary will be reinforced in order to avoid the humiliation of being forced to seek foreign intervention for the suppression of purely internal troubles); suppression of political parties at least during the formative period of the Republic.
To elevate the status of the masses; fixing a higher minimum wage and helping them materially so that each citizen might be a small proprietor. A new type of citizenry must be developed, to create in each individual a willingness to sacrifice and subordinate his personal interests to those of the State. His obligations are more important than his privileges. He should know his duties as he knows his rights, ready to comply even at the sacrifice of the latter.
To emphasize the dual objective of education: the moral formation and the development of character. It is the duty of every citizen to render military and civil service in accordance with the prescriptions of law. Every student, from the primary school to the university, should submit himself to a rigid discipline and wear the school uniform as
prescribed by specific rules. It is imperative that the family circle be forged. The installation of the paternalistic family, the cultivation of the oriental vitues of piety and filial obedience and the restoration of the woman in her place in the home, are the three cardinal points on which the family should rest.