January 13, 1936

Left with Quezon, Colonel Santos and Mayor Posadas for the new site of Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa, near Alabang, Laguna. We travelled in a motor which never went over 30 miles an hour, with motorcycle cops in front and behind. When we got there, we shifted to Quezon’s Ford armored car which has bullet-proof (apparently glass) windows. He says that when goes incog. to the provinces he always travels in this Ford alone with Colonel Nieto who has a machine gun with him –Quezon carries a revolver on those trips. He says Encallado, the dead bandit, reported that he saw this car pass in the mountains and could have shot Quezon. Quezon comments he wished he had tried.

I asked him about the Ayuntamiento –he stated that the Marble Hall was to be given to the Supreme Court.

He began to talk about Rodriguez, Secretary of Agriculture. He said he had talked too much in the press –had quoted Quezon concerning the Japanese hemp leases in Davao, which caused the Japanese Ambassador in Washington to enquire of the Secretary of State if it was true that Quezon had consulted him about it. Hull truthfully replied “no.” But the worst was, Quezon had rebuked Rodriguez for talking to the press and had announced his own policy concerning the leases of hemp lands in Davao, Rodriguez had published in the press his own defense as Secretary of Agriculture, instead of giving the paper to the President. Quezon said he would have to remove him, unless he crawled –that he was particularly sorry to do so because Rodriguez was an energetic worthy man, and had done more for his (Quezon’s) election than any other individual. He is moreover a man who has made good in his own business life. He thought Rodriguez would be better as Secretary of Labor.

Quezon said he had talked so much while he was in the Senate –he was now going in for action.

He also said he had already adopted my suggestion and was abolishing all “law” divisions in the bureaus and obliging the Bureau Chiefs to consult the Attorney General or the Secretary of Justice.

The President stated further that the Japanese question resolved itself into a dilemma –either to avoid showing them that the Filipinos were antagonistic to the Japanese, or else to let them occupy the islands industrially; that one of the leading Japanese had passed en route from a ceremonious visit to Australia (a pretext) and that he (Q) had been ill (also a pretext) and postponed seeing him until the last minute. That this Japanese had dismissed the Japanese Consul General from the room during the interview. That Quezon had told him very frankly how the Filipinos felt about their lands, but had put off trade discussions. We talked of the purchase by the Government in my time of the Sabani ranch on the remote east coast of Luzon. [Quezon remarked that this was “blackmail” by an American who had acquired it when he was a Judge of the Philippine Land Court.] That the United States Senators who had raised a fuss about the possible purchase of it by Japanese had been inspired by that man.

Said also that the Filipinos had blocked the use of this man’s ranch to the north of Sabani (now W.H. Anderson’s), by closing the land access to this property.

Quezon said Harding had been very fond of him and liked his opposition to Governor General Wood –that if Harding had lived longer, Quezon would have gotten rid of Wood sooner.

I asked him about the vast iron fields in Surigao which I had reserved by Executive Order for the Government. He said he had already had nibbles from the Japanese and one of them was coming here soon about that, but ostensibly on another errand.

P.M. Becker from Aparri appeared with his two sons asking to have them put in the Philippine Army. Saw General Reyes and think it is fixed.

At my request, former Speaker Manuel Roxas came to see me. Said he was going to his province tomorrow to consult his people as to whether he should accept the post of Secretary of Finance. I told him I had been requested by Quezon to ask his opinion of the plan to use part of the Government currency reserve and exchange standard funds (which are 4 times larger, together, than required by law) to purchase silver at the present low rate, and by issuing silver certificates at a “pegged” rate to make a vast sum for the Treasury –he objected first because the price of silver might go lower on account of the very artificial market for silver in United States, and secondly because they might lose (part of) the 2 million pesos of interest at 2% now obtained in the United States.

He next asked me what I was doing in relation to the Friars haciendas –I told him and he seemed satisfied except as to the constitutionality of my proposed Land Commissioner’s decisions fixing tenure and rents. He observed that the English constitution was not written as was that in the Philippines. I replied that the Philippine constitution gave to the Government the right to expropriate Friar Lands –“yes” he said “and the right to adjudicate relations between landlord and tenant.” Well, he said, “we might do it by establishing a Landlord & Tenant Court.”

Roxas then speculated on the result of the next presidential elections in the United States. Said that if a conservative Republican were elected, he might listen to Stimson,  Davis & Hurley on Philippine policies, but not if a man like Borah were elected. I said, yes, the West is for getting rid of the Philippines, but I thought F.D. Roosevelt was going to buy his reelection by the expenditure of public money and that my grand-children were going to be burdened 50 years hence in repaying the debts incurred by F.D. Roosevelt’s joy ride.

Talk with Reyes, new Chief of Staff of the Philippine army –tired and old, and unaggressive, hardly able to cope with new problems.

I asked Quezon whether there was any plan afoot to recreate the Government of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu –he said that he was not sure, but feared it would be considered as a “step backward” –he intends to accomplish the same object by designating some one member of the Government to act for him– that nobody realized how great under the constitution was the power in the hands of the President of the Philippines.

I wonder why Osmeña is laying so low nowadays?


January 12, 1936

(Sunday) bridge at 10 a.m. in Mariquina in Lord’s house (as partner of Babbitt). Players: Rogers, Andy Anderson, Babbitt, Quezon & myself. At lunch, Quezon was in good form, though he had to get up and wander around as he can never stand sitting through a long banquet. Spoke about his campaign against Encallado and the other bandits, and of his method of handling a bandit campaign when he was Governor of Tayabas 30 years ago, which was to suspend the Presidente and Consejales of Casiguran (his kinfolk) and threaten to put them in prison for 20 years, if they did not turn over the bandit –who had been living quietly in Casiguran all the time. He told them to get him dead or alive, and shortly his body was delivered in two pieces with the head cut off.

Anderson asked the President if he could pay a bonus to the “boys” of the Manila Hotel who had so cheerfully accepted a reduction in their wages –Quezon said no! that a similar request had been referred to him by Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, for his employees, on the allegation that it would keep them honest (!!). Quezon remarked to Corpus that he would like to put some of them in prison, as he needed prisoner workmen for building the new prisons at Alabang. A lot of chaff about Anderson & Rogers, each of whom had put 6,000 pesos in the stock of the new oil companies. Quezon said he had discovered that the Standard Oil Company’s lease was illegal.

I spoke of Vamenta’s article on the Japanese leases in Davao. He said that the illegality had been committed by Filipinos who had sub-let to the Japanese; that these Filipinos were getting 15% of the profits and that he was going to seize that 15% for the government –even if he did not disturb the Japanese until their leases expired. That it really dated back to Governor Carpenter who had encouraged every development of Mindanao, “a thing which any one of us in his position would have had at heart.” (Vamenta was one of Carpenter’s young men). Mention was made of some American for years in the service of the Japanese (supposed, erroneously I believe, to have been Geo. Bronson Rea) who had announced that he was going to retire and live in Zamboanga. Quezon commented that he would hang him if he could.

Babbitt told me later that it always made him furious to have Americans denounce Quezon for his “hair-trigger” opinions, and that Quezon had told him recently how different it was being an Executive –that causes he had championed in the Senate now appeared impracticable to him (Such as Sec’y. Torres’ opinions on labour). Babbitt also said that he usually knew to a centavo how much money the President had –and that Quezon had said not long ago, that he had not saved up anything for his wife and children –he spends every cent he gets, in keeping up his position and the fight.

Quezon said Murphy was so very “good” it made him uncomfortable.

Doria said Mrs. Gaches had stated that all the Filipinos (Mestizos??) she had met, had expressed a great fear of the new army –that they expected to be unbearably taxed to support it. Babbitt told me the new army was the only thing which could keep down future civil disorders.

At lunch, during the discussion about the outlaws, I said that in former times there were some very good people among the remontados, hoping that Quezon would tell the story of his own youth in Baler, where he struck a guardia civil with a club and knocked him out (in a quarrel over some girl)and fled to the mountains with the wild men –but he did not rise to the bait.


November 26, 1935

Long talk with Rafferty in the morning re industrialization in the Philippines.

Golf at Wack-Wack with Jim Rockwell in the afternoon.

Appointment at 7 o’clock at Malacañan with Quezon. He has a sala (or office) next to his bedroom over the front door (where my bedroom used to be, but now reconstructed). He was cheerful and in good form; very friendly. He said he was off tomorrow for a couple of days in Laguna to look into this Encallado banditry. I told him it sounded like the days of Rizal’s books; he said the Constabulary had slipped back in the last few years –thought it a defect in Governor General Murphy’s administration. (Later Osmeña and I expressed to one another a wish that Quezon might not be known to take the matter too seriously.)

Quezon again voiced his irritation with Major General Parker. I said I was sorry to see General MacIntyre leave; he said that he, too, was sorry, but that MacIntyre was determined to leave and retire as Trade Commissioner. He had been quite knocked out by the recent death of his wife. Quezon plans to manage so that MacIntyre remains in the service.

We then discussed my appointment as Adviser on Communications and he asked me also to help him in the reorganization of the government. He is to put me in touch with Quirino and Paez on the purchase of the Manila RR. bonds from the English.

9:30 pm ball at Malacañan—about fifty extremely nice people—the only Americans there besides ourselves were Roy Howard, his wife and son and the High Commissioner and family. The dance was given for Judge Murphy who returns home tomorrow.

Had many interesting conversations —with General Valdes, Miguel Unson and Colonel Paulino Santos. The latter is opposed to the appointment of Moros to govern Moros; said it is better to give positions to bright Moros such as fiscal etc., to serve up here in Manila.

Teahan was amusing about the boredom of Baguio. Osmeña danced every dance; Quezon only one tango. Drinks were served on the balcony; Garfinkel, a.d.c., says that no drinks were offered at big parties following the custom initiated by Governor General Wood. I arranged, at wish of Quezon, to have Nick Kaminsky stay on as superintendent at Malacañan. Ah King whom I brought from Shanghai as my servant was installed again at the Palace as number one “boy”.