Tuesday, October 17, 1972

At noontime, I went to a meeting called by Senator Liwag, which was attended by the remaining Nueva Ecija delegates.

My brother Rebeck, really, is the one who represents Nueva Ecija—with Sed Ordonez, Emmanuel (Noli) Santos and Ernie Rondon. I actually represent the first district of Rizal—that glamor district comprising Quezon City, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Caloocan, Pasay, Navotas, Malabon, Parañaque, Las Pinas, Pateros and Taguig. Nevertheless, I am a native Novo Ecijano.

The agenda: the transitory provision.

Simultaneously, Alberto (Bert) Jamir, Iniong Santillan and Decoroso (Cosoy) Rosales, among others, were also meeting at another room of the Army and Navy Club to discuss the same subject.

Liwag read to us four documents written by four delegates. In the first of this, the writer said that he was going to vote for the transitory provision because he has no right to remove representation from his district in the interim Assembly. In spite of everything, he may yet be able to champion the cause of his constituents in the Assembly. Moreover, even if the delegates voted on creating the National Assembly in which they, themselves, were included, ultimately, by the ratification of the same by the people, the authority of the people would be stamped on it.

The second document said that the author will vote against the provision because actually it does not represent the real will of the people. It is not conducive to their welfare.

The third document stands for some kind of a compromise—but in the end it is for voting in favor of the transitory provision.

The most interesting document, however, was the fourth one. It sounded like it was written by a judge of the Supreme Court. The document said that there are two questions involved—one of principle and one of pragmatism.

The basic question has to do with principle. Are we convinced that the provision will be for the welfare of the people? Do we believe that this is the right thing to do? Does it not run counter to any other declaration previously made by us in the Convention?

If these criteria were not decisive enough, we should resort to pragmatism. We should find out if our vote will be decisive on the matter. In other words, will the provision pass anyway, with or without our vote? Or will our vote be decisive—can it change the decision of the Convention? If our vote is not decisive anyway, then a “No” vote will only make us vulnerable as well as ineffective. We should vote “Yes” then so that we can salvage any chastening influence that we might yet wield in the Convention or in the National Assembly.

Although he said that he would abide by the decision of the majority, Liwag gave the impression that he felt that we might as well vote “Yes” on this transitory provision if only as a matter of pragmatism—but then, he himself was not certain that this martial law is a sincere commitment to the welfare of the people.

Apparently, Noli Santos has already made up his mind to vote “Yes.” Like most delegates, he is somewhat afraid to vote otherwise.

In the same manner, Rebeck seems inclined to vote “Yes.” He said that there is really no alternative.

Sedfrey Ordoñez, however, said that, in principle, he will vote “No.”

On the second point raised by Liwag, namely, the compensation of the delegates in the Interim Assembly, he made a surprise proposal—that the delegates should receive only compensation equal to what we are now receiving as delegates. To him, it would be immoral and unprincipled to accept a salary higher than what we are now getting because then we would really be taking advantage of our position to benefit ourselves. We should not unduly profit from the creation of the position.

One delegate suggested that it is also stated in the Constitution that there should be no other interests on the part of the congressmen but that actually many of them are carrying on many other interests. And in the New Constitution, it is clear that the members of the interim Assembly would really not be able to practice any profession. This will be a full-time dedication, for them, to the National Assembly.

I opined that some big-time professionals in Manila, including Sedfrey Ordoñez, Sig Siguion-Reyna, Mateo (Mat) Caparas, Enrique (Ikeng) Belo, Juan (Johnny) Luces Luna and others would probably rather resign as members of the National Assembly than give up their lucrative law practice. My statement was not contradicted by Sedfrey.

I didn’t commit myself to any position on this point. I felt that it is, in fact, not the main issue. It is whether we should vote “Yes” or “No.” I related the story of Braulio Yaranon who was told that if he were to vote against the transitory provision, he would be a hero but he would be hanged.

In the afternoon, while I was on the 13th floor, Lito, Raul Roco’s aide, passed by. I asked him about Raul. He said that Raul, who has gone underground, is safe although he has been sleeping in different places. He has met with Raul eight times already, he said. He added that Raul is determined not to yield.

I told him that I have been trying to reach Raul to let him know that if I were in his shoes, I would give up and go to the stockade because my chances of survival would be better there. I said that the times are abnormal but that Raul Roco has still many more years of creative service to render to the country. He should not unduly risk his life in the next few weeks.

Lito said that Raul is engaged in “consolidating his forces.” I tried to pin Lito down on the meaning of “consolidating his forces.” I was relieved to know that he did not mean that he would join another outlawed group, much less the NPAs. If he was thinking of joining the NPAs, I would advise strongly against it.

Shortly before I left the session hall, I got a really big surprise. One of the young activists who has been attending the Convention sessions for quite a long time already as an observer came to me and said he wanted to give me an advice.

Ray Tan—he introduced himself—said that, paradoxical as it may seem, most of the activists and radical students feel that we should vote affirmatively on the transitory provision.

But why? I could hardly believe what I was hearing.

Ray said that he had gone to many areas and communicated with many youth groups and that the common consensus is that it is better to have as many people as they can trust in the new Assembly.

But why? Ray felt that, in any case, some of the reforms that the president seems to be introducing are somewhat along the lines of what we ourselves have been advocating, particularly, land reform.

I asked him how much his contact is with students. He claimed that it is a broad one. He said that actually the students that he is in touch with are the remnants of the different leftist groups—the leaders, that is to say, who have not been arrested and detained.

He asked me also to convey this message to other conscientious delegates whom they can trust—particularly from my Independent-Progressive bloc. He felt that I am one of those the activists trust. He conceded that this is really a strange suggestion—coming from the activists—but that, in any case, he wanted me, particularly, to hear it.


October 10, 1972

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9:50 PM

Oct. 10, 1972

Tuesday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

10 minute interview by BBC’s Derek Wilson (London based in Singapore).

15 minutes TV interview by ABC’s Jim Giggins based in Saigon. He is colored and I like him.

Then 15 minutes TV interview by CBS’ Don Webster for the Cronkite show.

And finally 20 minutes interview by correspondent Mr. Saito of the Asahi Shimbun.

Practically the same questions on martial law.

ABC and CBS will mean millions more of listeners and viewers. I was able to put in the points: the landing in Palawan, invisible government, front organizations, urban guerrillas and better yet –that we have been fighting since the war– and our children will not fight the same battles all over again.

I attach a sample of letters and messages we are getting about the interviews –a letter from Tony Raquiza.

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Oct. 10th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Asked Ting Roxas who arrived only yesterday to work in the Think Tank and start on the Housing program.

Then met the generals for the command conference for lunch.

1. Explained the reform program

2. The rise of criminality in the Greater Manila area. There was a hold-up of Equitable Bank of more than ₱100,000 yesterday by three men in uniform. And Rudy Martell reports his paymaster was robbed ₱800 last Saturday night by men in uniform at the clover leaf at Epifanio de los Santos riding in a bantam car with number 32-45.

We agreed to pick up all police characters and concentrate them. Increase strength of Metrocom by 150 men provided with tactical vehicles for immediate reaction to reports of crime.

An agent Chua of Metrocom, a former or retired master sergeant, was held up last

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Oct. 10th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

night with the collusion of the taxi driver of the taxi he was riding in at about the same place by two men whom he had to shoot with his .45. He suffered a head wound from the taxi driver.

A carnap by three men in uniform took place the other day.

We agreed to push the clean up of the local police faster.

3. The trial by the military tribunals of the AFP personnel in gun running and the manufacture of the bomb that was used in bombing Joe’s Dept. Store that killed one.

As well as the Chinese manufacturers and dealers in heroin.

4. Military operations — I suggested that we catch the leaders of the NPA in a commander’s conference which I am sure they will call any day now. And since Isabela is now harvesting mountain rice if we stop the operations there all the leaders

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Oct. 10th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

of the NPA will seek sanctuary there.

So all units will double operations (except those in Isabela). Then we dragnet Isabela.

I attach report on the assassination plot. The guns of Osmeña have been confiscated — his houses in Cebu and Manila have been raided; so has his apartment and hideout.


October 1, 1972

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11:30 PM

Oct. 1, 1972

Sunday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Guns, Gangsters, and the reduction of the Meralco rates –these are the news that have gone big in the United States.

17,000 guns captured and surrendered is a massive number indeed which has struck the attention of the world that is preoccupied with terrorism.

So too with gangsterism since it is a risk to take a stroll in Central Park or Rock Creek Park even in the daytime.

And the move to dismantle the hold of the oligarchs on our economy and thus our society and government –starting out with the Lopezes’ Meralco.

So we must continue the raids on the NPA safehouses for the explosives and arms we know they have.

And the heroin laboratories.

2

Oct. 1st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I issued the decrees on meat prices and on undeclared income.

And called in my information production group including Blas Ople, Romy Diaz as well as Kits Tatad and the operating officers, the Dept of Education with its 270,000 public school teachers and 70,000 private school teachers, Dept of Agriculture with the APC, ACA, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Lands, Bureau of Forestry etc., the Dept. of Health and its Rural Health Units, the Dept of Local Govts and Community Development, for the organization of an information campaign that must reach every man, woman and child in the country.

Conferred with Jess Tanchangco on the rice problem. Directed him to clean up the RCA.

 


September 11, 1972, Monday

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1:40 AM

Sept 11, 1972

Monday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Birthday celebrations limited to mass and a meeting with the governors and mayors which has turned out to be tedious. I have barely finished with 38 and will have to meet the rest after the Security Council tomorrow.

But it has been an eventful day. The Meralco was bombed in two places last night.

Today the Manila Police battled a jeepload of NPAs, capturing six killing one armed with a carbine five hours after he escaped although another of the escapees armed with a Thompson submachine gun is still being hunted and a Sgt. de Guzman of the Manila Police was killed.

The kidnappers of Tom Aguirre (Banco Filipino) and his son Antonio released them after they paid ₱1.2 million. The kidnappers were well disciplined, had a basement full of communications and had apparently been succesfully kidnapping Chinese for ransom — Tony Roxas Chua’s wife for ₱1 million, La Suerte owners in the same amount, Chen Ba Yek and others.

The NPA’s may have raised their funds in this manner.

So there is hysteria in Manila from a bomb and kidnapping scare.


September 5, 1972

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[Note: the first part of this entry is missing]

Sept 5th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

 

Conference with Gen. Ver and others on contingency plans. I place Gen. Espino [&] Sec. Ponce Enrile’s report in Envelope XXXIV-U

The Pomeroy article on Phil. Maoists [   ] Sen. Aquino is helping organize the NPA, Lopezes and Roces helping the Maoists with [     ] and propaganda, the participation of the [    ] Brothers up to the printing of the Maoist paper “Ang Bayan” ; the Manglapus [  ] Socialist Movement — is an eye opener in the same envelope.