EDSA through the eyes of Doy Laurel

Salvador H. Laurel wrote intermittent diary entries for June 1985, August 1985, September 1985, October 1985, November 1985, and December 1985. They trace the initial vigor, then collapse, of his campaign for the presidency, and the negotiations for his sliding down to be the candidate for the vice-presidency in what emerged as the Aquino-Laurel ticket.

This period is also described in my article, The Road to EDSA. In his article, Triumph of the Will (February 7 1986), Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. described the gathering of political titans that had to be brought into line to support the Cory candidacy:

It is well to remember that the unity she forged was not among dependent and undistinguished clones, like the KBL that Marcos holds in his hand. Doy Laurel, Pepito Laurel, Tañada, Mitra, Pimentel, Adaza, Diokno, Salonga and the handful of others who kept the democratic faith, each in his own fashion, through the long years of martial law, are powerful political leaders in their own right. Each has kept or developed, by sagacity and guts, a wide personal following. Not one thinks himself subordinate to another in what he has contributed to keep alive the democratic faith. As far as Doy is concerned, his compromises had enabled him to kept at least one portion, Batangas, of a misguided country as a territorial example of viable opposition. An example to keep alive the hope that the rest of the country could follow suit and become free in time.

We have forgotten how much strength and hope we derived from the stories of Batangueños guarding the ballot boxes with their lives and Doy’s people keeping, at gunpoint, the Administration’s flying—or was it sailing?—voters from disembarking from the barges in which they had been ferried by the Administration. This is the language Marcos understands, the Laurels seemed to be saying, and we speak it.

We have forgotten the sage advice of Pepito Laurel which stopped the endless discussion about how to welcome Ninoy. Every arrangement was objected to because, someone would remark, Marcos can foil that plan by doing this or that. Pepito Laurel said, “Huwag mo nang problemahin ang problema ni Marcos. His problem is how to stop us from giving Ninoy the reception he deserves. Our problem is to give Ninoy that reception. Too much talk going on here!” that broke the paralysis of the meeting.

This is the caliber of men who were approached with a project of unification that entailed the suspension, perhaps forever, of their own ambitions. Cory would be the presidential candidate, and Doy who had spent substance and energy to create ex nihilo a political organization to challenge the Marcos machine must subordinate himself as her running mate. In exchange, the chieftains would get nothing but more work, worse sacrifices and greater perils. Certainly, no promises.

After two attempts, she emerged, largely through her own persuasive power and in spite of some stupid interference, as the presidential candidate of the Opposition, with Doy as her running mate. She had not yielded an inch of her position that all who would join the campaign must do so for no other consideration than the distinction of being in the forefront of the struggle. This should be enough. She had exercised the power of her disdain.

There is a gap in the diary until it resumes with his entry for February 13-17,1986, in which Doy Laurel mentions discussions with foreign diplomats. Then the diary trails off until the EDSA Revolution begins.

It is interesting to situate his entries with the chronology available. Compare Laurel’s February 22, 1986 entry with the Day One: February 22 chronology, and his February 23, 1986 entry with the Day Two: February 23, chronology, and his February 24, 1986 entry with the Day Three: February 24 chronology, and his February 25, 1986 entry with the Day Four: February 25 chronology. The chronology of the Flight of the Marcoses, contrasts with Laurel’s  diary entries for February 26, 1986 and February 27, 1986.

For more, see my Storify story, EDSA: Memories and Meanings, Timelines and Discussions.

The end result would be a bitter parting of ways; see What’s with Doy?  October 3, 1987.

Since the other side of the coin involves Ferdinand E. Marcos, see also my Storify story, Remembering Marcos.


May 5, 1973

1973 Marcos Diary Black Book_Page_080

1973 Marcos Diary Black Book_Page_081

 

…We may have to hasten the process of normalizing by:

1. Conducting elections of an Advisory Legislative Council under the supervision of the Comelec by the Citizens Assemblies.

2. The old newspapers must be investigated formally and their closure directed after formal hearing.

3. The same for other media.

The financiers and oligarchs who may finance further violence should now be neutralized.

Formal charges have to be filed against Aquino, Diokno, Roxas, Mitra, Felipe, Manglapus even if the trials may be delayed.

We must now reduce the number of detention prisoners.

Continue the reorganization of the government.

Push away the capitalists trying to get close to me.


Sept. 23, 1972, Saturday

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(1)

12:20PM

Sept. 23, 1972

Saturday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

 

Things have moved according to plan although out of the total 200 target personalities in the plan only 52 have been arrested, including the three senators, Aquino, Diokno and Mitra and Chino Roces and Teddy Locsin.

At 7:15 PM I finally appeared on a nationwide TV and Radio broadcast to announce the proclamation of martial law, the general orders and instructions.

I place them in Envelope XXXV-C

I was supposed to broadcast at 12:00AM but technical difficulties prevented it.  We had closed all TV stations.  We had to clear KBS which broadcast it live.  VOP and PBS broadcast it by radio nationwide.

The broadcast turned out rather well and Mons. Gaviola as well as the usual friends liked it.  But my most exacting critic, Imelda, found it impressing.  I watched the replay at 9:00 PM.

 

(2)

Sept. 23rd (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I have amended curfew from 8-6 to 12-4.

Arms bearing outside residence without permit punishable by death.

Kits Tatad read the proclamation, the orders and the instructions after my talk.

Have started checking on Zone Commanders.  Gen. Encarnacion of the IV does not seem to have been systematic.  He still talks of some people like Mayor Cabili criticizing the proclamation of martial law as premature although grudgingly extending cooperation under Gen. Order No. 3 for all offices to continue functioning.

Talk to Imee and Bongbong.  London newspaper had it I arrested the opposition, no mention of communists.

And called up Sec. Romulo and Amb. Romualdez before them.  New York Times at least was sure handed and spoke of martial law after the attempt of assassination of my Secretary of National Defense.

 

(3)

Sept. 23rd (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Ordered all wire services and embassies to be furnished the speech, proclamation, orders and instructions.


September 17, 1972, Sunday

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(1)

10:00 p.m.

Sept. 17, 1972

Sunday

At the “Big Antique” 

Malacañan Palace

or “Ang Maharlika”

Manila

We escaped the loneliness of the palace for this old Antillan house now known as Ang Maharlika, the State Guest House several blocks from the palace. It has been restored beautifully by Imelda and is a symbol of Philippine culture in the last century. Almost all our antique valuables have been transferred here.

The departure of our children has made the palace a ghostly unbearable place.

I took a long nap (4:30-7:30 pm) in the room of Bongbong which has the worst bed [illegible] and the lumpiest mattress.

And after an early simple dinner of sardines and pancit, I was able to browse in the library where to my delight I discovered the books I have been wanting to read for some time including Fitzimmons, The Kennedy Doctrine, Sorensen’s The Kennedy Legacy, The Dirty Wars edited by Donald Johnson (some of the principles and lessons are outmoded), Days of Fire by Samuel Katz (The Secret History of the Irguny Zrai Sanmi and The Making of Israel, Chou-en-lai by Kai-Yu, Room 39 by Donald Macfaddan (The room of the British Intelligence in WWII), the History of the World in the 20th Century by Watt, Spencer and Brown.

 

(2)

Sept. 17th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I have invited the Liberal Party leaders (at least ten of their hierarchy) to come to the palace on Sept. 19th to be informed of what we have on the negotiations and agreements between the Maoists and the Liberals.

The Liberal head, Sen. G. Roxas, issued a demand for us to point out the Liberal negotiating with the Communists, knowing full well that I refer to Sen. Aquino, his opponent for leadership in the party and wanting to disqualify Aquino by his own action.

But the Liberals should not get out that easily.

For some of the other leaders have been dealing with the Communists –Mitra, Yap, Felipe, Dy, Pendatun, Lucman, etc.

Antonio Zumel, news editor of the Bulletin had an explanation of his Trade Asia activities in today’s papers. He adopts an aggressive stance of hurt innocence!

I received the report on the 7,400 case of dynamite apprehended in the del Pan bridge by the OOSAC

 

(3)

Sept. 17th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

under Maj. Cruz, son of Maj. Gen. Pelagio Cruz, the ASAC chief. I ordered the dynamite impounded notwithstanding the claim of [     ] for it.

The Air Manila plane was apparently bombed at 4:40 am yesterday by a grenade in a valise with incendiary bombs over Romblon, prepared to ditch because of the right engine being out of commission from the grenade blast but was able to limp up to Roxas City where it landed at about 5:00 am in the dark with nothing but its landing lights to guide it. Capt. Samonte, the captain of the plane did a good job and was lucky.

I have checked on the plans of the delegations I am sending to the IMF, the UN and other international conferences.


September 3, 1972

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Note: preceding pages are missing.

 

Sept 3rd (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

 

Directed that the MIA men (customs, Gen. Man. Luis Tabuena and CAA Adm. Singson) stop the practice of allowing non-passengers enter the area of the departing or arriving passengers. This because of a stowaway in one of the foreign planes and the complaint of the international pilos that we are not taking precaution against possible hijacking.

The propagandists of the communists –among them Sen. Ramon Mitra keep insisting that the terrorism and the bombings by the leftists and subversives are perpetrated by the AFP to condition the people to martial law.

I told Gen. Menzi today that the Bulletin News Editor, Antonio Zumel, is one of the three propagandists of the Communists. I told him that the two others are with Chronicle and Taliba (without mentioning Granada and Fadol of those newspapers). He admitted that Zumel was a Red. I must resign my aide, LtCol. Zumel his brother.