October 29, 1972

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9:00 PM

Oct. 29, 1972


Malacañan Palace


God forbid we will ever be another Vietnam. Amb. Pham Dang Lam explained to me that the US through Dr. Kissinger just went ahead and entered into an agreement with Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam without any guarantee that North Vietnamese troops would withdraw from South Vietnam; Hanoi still imposes the same conditions of a coalition government calling it by another name “administrative machinery; nor is there a recognition of the 17th parrallel as a division line between the two Vietnams.

They never knew about the negotiations until the 18th of October. Poor South Vietnam.

I attach the notes I took of the conference.

Imelda is still in pain. They had to bring her to the clinic of Dr. Primo Gonzales for a check on the nerve of her lower right molars. Dr. Punsalang found the gums swollen. So they have tried anti-biotics. If the pain does not



Oct. 29th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace


subside by tomorrow the the dentists will have to pull off the last lower right molar which is not being used anyway because the upper molar was pulled out some time ago.

I have agreed in principle to the organization of three additional battalions in the Phil. Army within the programmed expenditure of ₱216 million for the PA.

February 22, 1970 Sunday

22Feb1970_1 22_Feb1970_2


Office of the President

of the Philippines




February 22, 1970




12:05 AM


Spent practically the whole afternoon (4:00 PM) up to about 8:00 PM with the military, Gens. Yan, Espino, Ileto, Garcia, Tanabe, Sabalones, Ordoñez, Col. Ver and Diaz. Gov. Nepomuceno with Eric Mendoza who is a former jet pilot resigned because of hazing and helping in the location of Dante and Arthur Garcia whom he confirms he met after the claim that he (Garcia) was killed by Dante, were also here. Gov. Nepomuceno is disturbed by my statement to him that his bodyguards are Dante’s men. So he is helping through Mendoza in the campaign to locate Dante.

We mapped out the plans in the event of the massive sabotage of the city and the public utilities. Transferred some of the armor to Central Luzon. They missed Dante by a few hours in Capas the other day.

But we have five companies [of] reserves for the Metrocom which has 1,339 men – one company each from the major services and one from GHQ. Then there are two HDF in Malacañang, two in Camp Crame and one in [Fort] Bonifacio. The different brigades are forming up. In the event of an emergency, the PA can organize two more complete battalions with equipment in Fort Magsaysay and Cebu for the April training.

Our unanimous assessment is that the subversives have no capability of mounting an attack of company proportion and probably will not but are capable of small unit harassment, sabotage and liquidation which capability should also be eradicated.



Office of the President

of the Philippines




Cocoy reports that the people have faith in my capability to solve the problems we face.

Ablan Jr. claims Vic Villafranca whom he says is in his payroll will be the publisher of the Catholic newspaper for which a million dollars worth of printing machinery has been ordered. Villafranca is looking for an editor.

Benny Toda of PAL is allegedly organizing an intelligence team under Col. Hernandez, former J-2, to research on the administration – in retaliation for my open skies policy.

These rich people are back to their old tricks to protect their profits.

The new monetary policy seems to be received well. We will see how the market is tomorrow.



August 29, 1945, Wednesday

Taruc and Alejandrino, the two communists or ex-communits and Hukbulahaps, were notified yesterday that they were leaving for Manila today. This morning they left by plane. We noticed that they left with a heavy heart and we felt exactly the same. Those two men have won the friendship and admiration of all of us. As friends and comrades they are as good as anybody can be. The impression they left is just the reverse of what they were pictured to us before. They were not quarrelsome, cruel and bloodthirsty as they were reputed to be. On the contrary, they are suave in manner, sociable and know how to get along with others. We do not know whether they have modified their views, but several interviews with them have convinced us that they are not the radical men who would forcibly deprive all the citizens of their right over their property. They harbor no ill-feeling or prejudice against the capitalists. They only insist that the masses be given such social protection and opportunity to enable them to live decently. They hate a dictatorial government; they will die for democracy. They are highly patriotic; they love their country above everything. They assured us that there would be no compromise as regards Philippine independence. They will fight even the Americans if they deny us our right to freedom. They are very willing to join hands with us in everything that would help our country and our people. They do not know what is in store for them. We hope that they will be released outright. They are not so optimistic, however. They fear that they will again be requested to surrender their arms numbering about 20,000 rifles and other arms. They were requested to donate these weapons to the Philippine Army for the reason that our Army had no money to buy arms. They refused. Before leaving they told us that they would not compel their men to turn in their arms. Let them do so on their own free will. They will remain in prison if necessary to uphold their views. Or they may be tried for some other cause. They are not collaborationists in the sense that they served or in any way were connected with the Japanese for the truth was that they fought the Japanese. They, therefore, should not have been placed among us. Perhaps the Americans prefer to dispose of their cases before the government is turned over completely to the Commonwealth.

Taruc and Alejandrino returned as they were not able to catch the plane this morning. They are scheduled to leave tomorrow.

Tonight the Class B quarters were inspected and searched. The Lieutenant found clothes supposed to have been stolen from the Supply Office. Some internees are implicated. They did not search the Class A quarters. Had they done so, they would have a large quantity of clothes, shoes, etc. which belong to the Army. These were acquired through donation or purchase. The Captain and the Lieutenant asked us to cooperate with them. I suppose what they were really saying was that they expect us not to receive or buy hereafter. They happened to see the Navy shoes of Arsenio Luz. They confiscated the shoes.

Recto is found to be positive for malaria. We are all scared as so many of us are already suffering from that sickness, we fear that if we remain here for a few weeks more we will all contract the disease.

My son Tony tried to land a job. He failed. He could not find a job — in some places, the employers expressed fear when they found out he bears my name. The Spaniards say, “No hay hien que formal no venga,” meaning that sometimes some good comes out of evil. Not being able to find employment, Tony was compelled to engage in business and he is quite successful. He makes enough money to support my family. He has already proven that he is an able merchant since during the Japanese regime he was also quite successful in business. After all, I am very happy that he did not become an employee. During inflation one of the worst sufferers are those with fixed income like the employees. But even under normal conditions I do not wish my sons to be employed, especially in the government service. There is too much injustice and disappointment. I have seen enough to dislike the public service. Furthermore, there is no future in government employment unless one is very lucky, as in my case. In so far as civic spirit is concerned, a person can also serve his country outside the public service. A merchant or a farmer serves his country just as much as politician, a government official or employee.

July 26, 1944

We heard over the Manila radio that Gen. Lim was executed. He was in charge of the Philippine Army before the war. Fortunately, his family is in the United States. We have also heard that a general evacuation of Manila has been ordered!

The people of Iloilo are wondering whether we, too, should obey these orders.

April 29-May 1, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon back from three weeks rest at Miami as guest of the military intelligence service. Originally he had planned to have me spend a fortnight with him to “finish his book” but on arrival there with his family he wired me there was no room available for me in the house which was provided for him. The real reason, however, as Trepp tells me, is that he was absolutely tired out, and spent the whole three weeks sleeping, resting and playing two-handed bridge. Dr. Trepp says that Quezon is in “good physical condition” but he, Trepp, does not know whether the President will live to get back to the Philippines if that is delayed four or five years longer. Quezon is already homesick, and much depressed by this “global strategy” which has postponed the prosecution of the Pacific War in favour of the European theatre. Trepp says Quezon is “wearing down.” He admits it is chiefly a question of spirit, and on this count, Quezon is getting gradually to realize how the cards are stacked against him and his country. Also he is deeply worried as to whether the Filipino leaders will continue to stand by him or whether they are provoked because Quezon and his family are safe in Washington while they are suffering under the Japanese occupation.

I had only two sizeable conversations with Quezon in these three days. A good deal of our talk was over the attempt he is about to make, after an hour’s conversation he had April 27th with Sumner Welles to get the Administration to pledge itself to two or three principles essential to the future security of the Philippines after the Japanese are expelled. The first of this is the acceptance by the United States after the Philippine Republic is set up, of naval and air bases in the Islands; the ground forces of the air bases to be supplied by the Filipinos. Second, an appropriation of $600,000,000 by the United States to rehabilitate the Philippines, which Quezon thinks would repair all essential damage done by the Japanese and also allow the Filipinos to industrialize the Islands. Third, support by the United States Government of quota laws on immigration into the Philippines in order “to maintain our occidental, Christian civilization.” (This last, of course, refers to Chinese immigration.)

Quezon expressed his present determination to retire at the end of the two years term of his second presidency which will expire November 15, 1943. He gave very sound reasons why he is determined to observe the constitutional provision under which he was elected for a second term of two years, but I told him I did not believe the “United States Government” would allow him to do this. Roosevelt has the power to suspend the Philippine constitution and after his message to Quezon on Corregidor of December 28, 1941, promising “to redeem and protect the independence of the Philippines” had done little since to carry out this promise.

Quezon says MacArthur states that, if, after Pearl Harbor, the United States had delivered an all-out attack on the Japanese with the two task forces in the Pacific, which survived the Pearl Harbor disaster, plus sufficient naval forces then on duty in the Atlantic, Japan could have been defeated at that time.

Roosevelt had agreed, however, to all the propositions of Churchill, when the latter came to Washington about New Year of 1942, to concentrate the first efforts of America and Great Britain on Hitler. Hence the present “global strategy.”

While I was present with him, Quezon received visits from Generals Stilwell and Chennault and also from the Foreign Minister of Australia, Dr. Herbert V. Evatt. They all had received an unsatisfactory answer from Roosevelt as to sufficient aid to MacArthur.

All of this weighs with increasing depression upon the bright hopes with which Quezon came to the United States in May of 1942. It is breaking his spirit.

He is intensely interested in the pro-MacArthur wave of sentiment now flooding the United States. Says MacArthur will never consider his own candidacy for the presidency if he is given the weapons and men with which to attack Japan. MacArthur has demanded 500 bombers and 450,000 men; he proposes to skip over the Netherlands Indies and get to Mindanao with air-troop transports. If refused sufficient support, he might become a candidate for the presidency–especially if he has been made to appear a martyr.

Quezon had dinner three nights ago with J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Chandler of Kentucky, the leader of the “pro-Pacific War” group in the Senate. Quezon says J. Edgar Hoover is much of the same opinion as Chandler. During this account of his dinner with them, Quezon cheered up as talked of the wonderful Kentucky ham they had eaten–far superior he thought to any so-called “Virginia ham”!

Quezon says that Roosevelt is absolutely “sold” on the Chinese, but adds that he (Q.) would rather live under Japanese rule than under the Chinese, but detests the thought of either.

The speech for which Quezon had been preparing on “Bataan Day” (April 9, 1943) was stopped by Roosevelt who thought it undesirable to commemorate an American defeat. The ceremony was to have been under the auspices of the Treasury Department as a rally to sell war bonds. So, instead of this, Quezon went a week later to Hartford, Connecticut, and spoke at the meeting in honour of General Wainwright, now a prisoner of the Japanese. Wainwright is a Connecticut man.

I tendered Quezon two invitations to come to Charlottesville to speak, but he merely shook his head. One bid was from General Wickersham to address the School of Military Government and the other was from Dabney Welford, President of the Raven Society–Welford had told me he thought that 800 students would attend for such an occasion.

It seems doubtful whether Quezon will finish his book; I turned back to him some fifty typed pages of his account of his experiences on Corregidor with my pencilled notes on it. He expressed no desire to see it. I asked Trepp why Quezon had not wanted to complete his book at Miami and Trepp replied: “He has no mental discipline.”

Quezon said that when he came to Washington in the early summer of 1937 and asked the President for independence in 1938 or 1939, he told Roosevelt how the Japanese had approached him on various occasions asking for “neutralization” of the Philippines, which would have meant withdrawal of the United States forces in case of independence. Roosevelt refused to entertain this idea though expressing himself as in general favour of “neutralization.”

When Quezon first arrived with MacArthur on Christmas eve, 1941, at Corregidor, Quezon wired Roosevelt stating that it was already evident that the Philippines could not be successfully defended, and equally evident that no immediate relief from the United States was to be expected, therefore he requested Roosevelt to authorize him to approach both Roosevelt and the Japanese, asking that the armed forces of both be withdrawn from the Islands. It was in connection with that request that Roosevelt wired authorizing MacArthur to disband the Filipino Army if Quezon requested it, and at the same time wired Quezon that he pledged the entire resources in men and materials of the United States, so that the freedom of the Filipinos should be redeemed and their independence established and protected. This was the first time that the United States had ever agreed (tho only by presidential announcement) to protect their independence. It was on this basis that the battle of Bataan was fought–at least, so far as the important participation of the Philippine Army was concerned.

During all these years of political struggle for the independence of the Philippines neither Quezon nor I had ever considered a protectorate possible–nor that the United States would consent to it. Quezon says: “Nobody fought the American imperialists more constantly and vigorously than I did–but now I would prefer to have them there–so long as they let us have back what we had already gained, and allow us to make our own laws. They will never send another Governor General nor High Commissioner to the Philippines.”

Quezon said that in his visit to him the day before, Dr. Evatt, the Foreign Minister of Australia, was in a cold rage against the English. Evatt reacted to the coining of the tricky phrase “global strategy” just as I (F.B.H.) had done. Evatt said that when Australia was threatened with invasion by the Japanese, the English would not send back the Australian troops until after the battle of El Alamein, and then returned them with only the clothing in which they stood–not one item of equipment. Evatt was going directly to England to tell Churchill exactly how the Australian troops felt about it. From my own acquaintance with Evatt I have no doubt that he did just that.

Quezon did not believe the English will make much of an effort in the Far East after Hitler is beaten; he quoted Churchill’s recent address in which he stated that after victory over the Germans, England would partially demobilize. But, all the same, even if the English leave the job in the Pacific chiefly to the Americans, Quezon is, for the first time in his life, friendly to the English and would be willing to co-operate with them and with the United States in the projects for future security in the Pacific. This is something very new for Quezon, who has always detested the English imperialists. He has heard from me many times how the United States originally took over the Philippines at the instigation of England, and against President McKinley’s wishes, but as part of the balance of power, and to avoid a war in 1899 with Germany. Also how the English have always exerted secret pressure on the United States to hold the Philippines as a means of maintaining the balance of power.

Quezon told me at great length of his conversation on April 27, 1943, with Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, which took a full hour, and in which they apparently reached complete agreement. Quezon began by reading to Welles a quotation from a recent address in which Welles had said: “It can never be made too clear nor reiterated too often, that the foreign policy of the people of the United States exactly like their domestic policies, should only be determined from the standpoint of what the American people believe is their real, their practical, self-interest. Our foreign policy must not be based upon emotional altruism or sentimental aspirations.”

Quezon then proceeded to show Welles what the practical self-interest of the United States in the Far East would be, Pearl Harbor has proven to be ineffective to protect United States strategy. The United States, he advises, should take all the mandated islands and make the Philippines their outpost in any plan of defense in the Pacific. Of course he (Q.) knew that he spoke only as a layman, and the General Staffs would have to decide all these plans. Welles interrupted to say that the United States could not take the mandated islands, since that would be contrary to their public professions. That the mandated islands would have to be under international ownership, but the Americans should administer them. With this Quezon agreed, remarking that from the point of view of what he had come to say, it would amount to the same thing.

Quezon then went on to develop his ideas to Welles, stating that a condition precedent to all further agreements should be that the Philippine Republic be recognized by the United States as soon as the Japanese were expelled from the Islands.

He then quoted Roosevelt’s cablegram to him in Corregidor that freedom would be regained and protected, etc.

Quezon finally stated that this was his own last year of office as President, that he had yielded last time to the demand for re-election, but only on the basis of two years more, when Osmeña could succeed him. He would not stultify the position he had then so publicly assumed, that Osmeña had been included on the ticket on his (Quezon’s) own insistence, for Osmeña was only leader of a minority of the Nacionalista party. He was determined to retire on December 31, 1943. He now asked that the United States come to an agreement on future plans for the Philippines and now wait for the end of the war, so that Quezon could retire in the knowledge that he had completed his program for the Philippines.

What he asked was:

(1)  That the United States accept airfields and naval bases in his country (Welles stated that the Army and Navy were in favour of that); that the Filipinos furnish the ground forces for the airfields, and pay their men insofar as they were able.

(2)  That the United States contribute $600,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the Philippines.

(3)  That the Philippine Republic be supported by the United States in maintaining the quota systems established for immigration by the Philippine Commonwealth, so that they could sustain and preserve their own form of civilization.

Welles said he was in agreement with all of these propositions, and if Quezon would write him a letter to that effect, he would present the matter to the President within a week.

Quezon commented to me that the sum he asked for rehabilitation would be sufficient, and would also allow them to industrialize, and that fifty years hence there would be 50,000,000 Filipinos, able to defend themselves.

April 1, 1943

Many things have taken place since I have last written.

On March 7, 1943 Coné sent two men (one of them a Philippine Army G-2, and the other one was Agustin’s houseboy who knew of our whereabouts). They arrived at our mountain hideout at 4:00 p.m. on March 8. Coné wants us to go with them to Iloilo at once, as there are rumors that trouble would begin again any day. I have decided to make the trip by sailboat, as I can bring more of our belongings. If we went over land, it would be hard to get through the lines and I felt I just could not take a long hike again. Mr. J, our guide, left early the following morning to Barotac to see Agustin about a boat. He was able to get quite a large one for 150 pesos.

We left our mountain hideout in the mountains of San Carlos at 2:00 p.m. and arrived at Dunglaan (our point of embarkation) an hour and a half later.

The “parao” (sailboat) we were to take was late in meeting us, so we had to wait for the tide. We ate our supper on the beach. Rose and Estrella, along with eight men who carried our cargo, waited with us until we could sail. We were all very tired, so I opened up the mattresses and laid down. The children were able to sleep, but I was too impressed with the beautiful canopy of twinkling stars. The new moon and the evening star were setting when I heard the tide coming in. The gentle waves became stronger, and it was only a matter of a few minutes when the boat came nearer to the shore.

Estrella’s eight men began loading our cargo, of which I brought more than I expected. By 1:00 a.m. we were ready to hoist our sails. Estrella and Rose were anxious and worried about us as we had heard so many rumors of the Japanese machine gunning sailboats. This boat carried a crew of 10 men, so you see it was quite large. We said goodbye to Rose and Estrella and left.

There is always a Japanese motor boat patrolling the coast, and we could hear it as we left the shore, but as there was no moon, and we carried no light, the danger of being seen was lessened. Our trip was pleasant, with just enough wind to carry us nicely. We were all good sailors, with the exception of Hector (Estrella’s son, who accompanied us), who said he felt a little sea sick. We met two other “paraos” in the dark and off in the distance we could hear the sound of a motor boat.

The dawn of a new day was breaking in the eastern sky when the helmsman sighted Bito-on, our landing place. The tide was going out, so the boat could not go very near the shore. I felt somewhat nervous, as we could still hear the motor boat, but could not see it, and I was afraid of planes. The men were jittery and were rushing the unloading. The water was up to their chests and most of the cargo had to be carried on their heads. John (our cook) took care of the three dogs (they enjoyed their swim), the cats and birds. The children were carried off the boat, Dolly and I rode a small banca (canoe) which our guide was able to secure.

We attracted a great deal of attention, and many people came to greet us with the news that two days ago the Japanese machine gunned their barrio, thinking that some of the Philippine Army soldiers were there. The landing place was still being watched by the Japanese and had been closed to all crafts. You can imagine the reaction of the crew when they heard this bit of news! They lost no time and hurriedly raised their sales and pulled out!

The sailboat had not gone very far when the Japanese patrol boat passed by. Thank goodness we did not run into them!

Dolly and I were wearing slacks and we were told by the people that the Japanese did not like women wearing slacks as they were too masculine. So we changed clothes in a nipa hut. Our guide was able to secure 10 men and two carabao carts. We were anxious to get started as the sun was beginning to get hot and we had about a 1/3 of a mile hike. Our cargo had to be carried about 1⁄4 mile to the carts. It was noon when we finally got started on our way.

Halfway to Jaro, Rite, one of the police dogs, collapsed from the heat, and had to be put in one of the carts. Soon we came to the Jaro bridge and met our first Japanese sentry. We bowed in the traditional Japanese way, and he asked where we came from, and where we were going. After answering all questions, we proceeded on our way to the next sentry, where we were questioned again. Two Japanese soldiers accompanied us all the way to the Bernas house in Jaro for further investigation. I did not happen to have my pass, as I had destroyed it when the guerrillas became so active. The following day the Japanese Military Police came to the house and I was told it wasn’t necessary for me to have a pass. So now I am a free citizen to come and go as I please.

You can imagine our happiness at seeing each other after 10 months of uncertainty! Coné had recuperated from his illness and hazardous trip. We were all very tired and weary, but a nice cold glass of water and a good lunch that Dorothy prepared soon revived us.

January 6, 1943

The days have been quiet since the 23rd of December and what a relief from the bombing and fighting! The enemy is now staying in the town of Barotac. It is estimated that there are around 300 Japanese soldiers there.

Melecia (Coné’s sister) and her husband, Agustin, remained at the farmhouse until the very last, but they finally had to flee. We have been told by one of the tenants that the Japanese came to the house after they left and took a truckload of our things. I am very much afraid we shall not have anything left.

We do not hear any outside news and it is awful not to know what is taking place in the world. There isn’t even any news from Iloilo and I do not know what is happening there.

The Philippine Army is always telling the people that the aid from the U.S. will be here any time. Sometimes I am very depressed, but when I read Ruth Drummond’s letters (from England) in the Ladies Home Journal, I feel we are so much better off than those folks over in Europe. I have read and re-read these two issues of July and August, 1941, until I can almost memorize them. I must say that they carry me away and I sort of forget that we are in these war-torn islands.

December 21, 1942

Yesterday, the bombing continued – thank goodness it was not near us. Planes flew overhead, but they went in the direction of Barotac Viejo and Sara.

Last night we all slept well, but at daylight we were already awake and dressed. Shortly afterwards we heard the drone of planes and looking out of the window, we saw two planes flying over the road to Sara. On their way back they flew over us again.

Yesterday afternoon two soldiers and an officer from the Philippine Army passed by and they told us that Martha Rey’s house was a direct hit.

Our nerves seem to be affected with all this bombing and machine gunning – even the children feel it, but perhaps later on we will get used to it like the people in Europe.

December 19, 1942

This morning we had a bad fright, and remained most of the morning in the shelter. Yesterday morning, about 3:00 a.m. the Japanese entered the town of Barotac Nuevo and by daybreak the planes began bombing the surrounding barrios and the sugar central, as well as the main roads. We could see all this very clearly.

The soldiers in Barotac had to retreat as they cannot offer any resistance when the Japanese planes clear the way.

Everything was quiet last night and we all slept well. Before retiring, we could see fires all along the way, the Philippine Army was burning the houses they had not burned before.

This morning at 7:00 a.m. we heard a plane overhead and it circled and bombed over the town of Anilao (about 31⁄2 km from here). Then it flew towards our direction and bombed a nearby hill where a market had been set up under a mango tree. The plane then flew over us and bombed the town of Banate; on its return it few over Estrella’s rice field where the workers were picking rice. It dove towards them, dropped a bomb and machine gunned the people – fortunately there were no casualties.