January 25, 1970

01 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 52

PAGE 50

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

January 25, 1970

Sunday

2:55 PM

The President must do almost everything in the government. Nothing moves unless he pushes it.

So I had to meet the student demonstrators themselves. Their speeches were getting obscene and lewd. I told them that I was sad that they could not deliver more moving speeches in more elegant language. We settled the matter but I frankly told them no release of funds until after July.

I met with the labor leaders for breakfast after the oath-taking of the new Court of Appeals Justices including Vicente Rafael, labor leader is objected to by Justice Roman Ozaeta of the Philippine Bar Association, as he (Vicente) was allegedly an undistinguished labor practitioner. Also met the extended generals who I am retiring. Gen. Sangalang says he has no truck provided that they will all be terminated at the same time. I referred the suggestion to the Sec. of Nat. Defense thru the C of S Gen. Yan.

Sec. Romualdez has his misgivings about the plan to free the rate of exchange and to allow it to seek its own level. He is worried it may plunge down too low. Dr. Zabvkar says from his experience it will not. Anyway I have ordered that we be ready with some foreign exchange to support a more stable rate and to finance the importation of essentials.


January 22, 1970

01 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 47 01 Diary of Ferdinand Marcos, 1970, 0001-0099 (Jan01-Feb28) 48

PAGE 45

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

January 22, 1970

I have been able to settle the Senate Presidency at 3:30 PM. Puyat remains and Roy becomes Executive Vice President of the Nacionalista Party as well as President Pro Tempore. Tolentino remains as majority floor leader.

We have organized the panel of lawyers to handle the defense in the protest filed by Osmeña. They are Ex-Chief Justice Paras, Ex-Justice Ozaeta, Don Quintin Paredes, Dean Vicente Abad Santos, Joe Africa and my classmate Ramon Aquino. The offices of Tañada, Pelaez and others who are as senators disqualified from appearing before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, will be listed as appearing as counsel for me. Offices will be established at the Northern Lines Bldg. Jose Africa will be the Vice Chairman of the panel; possibly Ex-Justice Ozaeta will be the Chairman.

A disturbing piece of news from Joe Maristela is that Gens. Ileto and Tanabe have promised support to the Adevoso Junta in their assassination and coup d’etat planning. We must check this and neutralize them. But I will first personally meet with Joe Maristela tomorrow night.

This is compounded by the fact that the process will necessarily go up if we set free the rate of exchange. Then we will impose more taxes and for the next six months we will not be able to relax credit or government expenses, nor imports. I must increase the entry of tax-free goods into the Free Trade Zone and soon.

PAGE 46

Office of the President

of the Philippines

One of the PSA (Intelligence) Sgt. Retuta, in civilian clothes as a photographer was mauled by the student demonstrators today in front of the palace. No reason except that he was allegedly infiltrating. This should get us some sympathy.

The demonstrators (some ten of them) are still there with their mike shouting unprintable and vicious imprecations at me, Meldy and everybody. You can hear them in all rooms of the Palace except our bedroom and the study.

They want P10 million to be released to their schools for such things like a gym for the Phil. Normal College. These public works releases have been suspended in accordance with the new policy of priorities and savings in the last six months of this fiscal year of P243 million.

We will have to tolerate such irritating demonstrations until we lift this policy.


September 14, 1945, Friday

Visit of family. I saw Victor, my new grandson, son of Paddy and Lily, for the first time.

Since my arrival, I had been conferring with the detainees of Muntinglupa and getting impressions. All seem to be very disappointed. They do not understand how we could be traitors. Even old Don Miguel Unson was bitter. All agreed that we should get together to protect our rights and to vindicate ourselves.

We who came from Iwahig continued to meet and comment on the different events and news. We were somewhat depressed. We were beginning to have the impression that some of those assuring us of their support are not really working for us. We even suspect that for political or personal reasons they preferred and wished that we remain in jail for a longer time or that our cases be prolonged.

There were two events that disheartened us very much. One is the case of Representative Veloso. He was about to be released and he announced to us his intention to take his seat in the House immediately. We tried to persuade him not to do so. But he insisted. He said that he had already talked to the majority of the Representatives. Apparently, his friends had forsaken him. The house refused to seat him. They set the precedent that he must first be cleared by the C.I.C. What a shameful ruling! Each House is the sole judge of the right to seat of its member. Why should they make it depend upon the discretion of another entity, especially one which is non-Filipino? The House should not allow anybody to interfere in the exercise of its constitutional right. Veloso announced that he would publish the names of collaborators now sitting in Congress and that he would go to the United States to to fight his case. He will make things worse.

The other is the cablegram to Pres. Osmeña of Secretary Ickes of the U.S. Department of the Interior, in effect it warns that the rehabilitation aid would depend upon whether the “collaborators” would be vigorously prosecuted and convicted. Osmeña answered that his administration is taking proper action. He said that proper machinery to handle the matter is being organized. He added that he even disregarded the legal provision that nobody can be detained for over 6 hours. There is quite a speculation as to why Ickes sent such a cablegram. The concensus of opinion is that it was the result of the campaign of Confesor, Cabili, Kalaw and Romulo. Ickes cannot possibly take personal active interest in an affair which is small in so far as the American people are concerned. Ickes’ cablegram was followed by several editorials and publications in the United States against “collaborationists.” The suspicion about the activities of Confesor and others in this connection comes from the statement of Col. Peralta, the guerrilla hero who has just returned from the United States, to the effect that Confesor and others go from one newspaper office to another to give news against the “collaborationists”. These people are certainly doing a lot of harm to the Philippines. The truth is that there is practically no pro-Japanese element in the Philippines. The Japanese themselves found this out, although too late. And yet Confesor and others would make the American people believe that there are many Filipino pro-Japanese and among them are counted many of the outstanding Filipinos who in the past or during the American regime occupied the most responsible positions in the government. I believe Confesor and others at heart do not believe that we are traitors to our country and pro-Japanese or disloyal to America. Their only aim is to prejudice Roxas who is disputing the presidency with Osmeña. So that we are being made the football of politics. We are being the victim of political intrigue and machinations. This gives one an insight of the evil of politics. Because of it, the most rudimentary principles of justice and fairness are trampled upon.

The cablegram of Ickes was received with disappointment and disgust by free loving Filipinos. The “collaborationists” issue is a matter that should be left to the Philippine Government to handle without interference on the part of the United States government officials. This gives us an indication of what we may expect if we are not given complete and immediate independence. Furthermore, why should the rehabilitation aid to which our country became entitled because of loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and more than a billion worth of damages as our contribution to this war, be made to depend upon a handful of supposed “traitors”? Why should our country be punished for the guilt of a few, who some Americans consider as “renegades”?

The answer of Osmeña was equally disappointing. It was weak and subservient. He should have resented the uncalled for and untimely interference. He should defend the rights and prerogatives of his government as we did when we fought General Wood for undue interference in our powers. He should resent the insult to him when Ickes seemed to presume that his government would not do what is right. Some remarked that this is just as “puppet” a government as the Republic during the Japanese occupation. It was an opportunity for Osmeña to make a stand to show that he means to govern this country.

There is another event worth mentioning. Habeas corpus proceedings were started in the Supreme Court for the release of one of the detainees. The Court decided against the petition on the ground that the war is not yet over. There was a brilliant dissenting opinion by Justice Ozaeta. It was a great document. He was for the maintenance and preservation of man’s constitutional libertarian rights.

* * * * *

            Our release began the very day we arrived in Muntinglupa. Saturday, September 8th, Minister Alunan and Gen. Francisco were released after giving the required bail. The next day, Yulo followed. Two days afterwards, Sison and Sebastian were released. There were rumors that Recto and I were to be released next. We had been informed that our papers were ready in Solicitor General Tañada’s office. Everytime one leaves, those left behind felt very sad.

We, members of Congress, had various meetings, once with Roxas. There was a proposition to write a letter to the Senate stating that we would not assume our positions in the Senate until after proper investigation and requesting such an investigation. It was written upon the suggestion of Roxas. But we decided not to take our seats until after our complete exoneration. I think this is a wise decision. We cannot do anything anyhow as we will be tied up on account of our cases. Besides, it will be embarrassing for us when questions involving our case or our relationship with the United States or Japan come up.