Apr. 2, 1973

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…Dr. de Vega has just written me that the Supreme Court has resolved the pending suit in the New Constitution and as of this moment is distributing its decision in favor of our position – 6-4.

The four dissenting Justices are:

1. Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion

2. Justice Calixto Zaldivar

3. Justice Enrique Fernando

4. Justice Claudio Teehankee


Jan. 27, 1973 Saturday 11:50 pm (on board the 777 to sleep here for an early start at 7:30 am tomorrow with Dr. and Mrs. Sharon for Talaga)

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…Chief Justice Concepcion is sick in the hospital and may not be able to attend the dinner on Monday.

It is apparent that the other justices are in favor of dismissing the petition questioning the validity of the ratification of the New Constitution.

But they want to be assured of their continuance in office under the new constitution with new appointments…

But everybody else has accepted the new constitution and as we put it in the dinner conference we held tonight, how do the justices expect us to “unscramble the eggs already scrambled”?

We have to handle them with finesse as the Supreme Court might become the rallying point of the opponents of reform.


Saturday, October 7, 1972

I was concerned for Justice Barrera’s safety. When he saw me, he also showed much concern—for me. He asked excitedly in rapid succession, “Were you released?” Did they release you?”

“I was never taken in, Justice,” I assured him.

“No, no, no, you were taken in, but did they release you immediately afterwards?”

He showed genuine pleasure upon having been convinced that I had not really been arrested. And I said, “How about you, Justice, what’s your story? I was equally concerned about you. I thought you had gone to Hong Kong.”

“No.” He smiled. “It seemed actually I was in the list but it was Secretary Enrile himself who withheld my name saying that I am already quite an old man and there is nothing to be gained in putting me behind prison.”

“As a matter of fact,” he continued, “I had even prepared everything already, including my mosquito net, because I really thought I was going in.”

I proceeded afterwards to the meeting of the Committee on External Affairs.

“By the way, my name is not Ramon,” I said repeatedly because there was so much joking about the Con-con delegate Ramon Espiritu who, according to the papers, has been arrested.

Ramon Espiritu is one of the members of the Communist politburo in the Philippines who were arrested in 1956 and put behind bars for more than 15 years. I do not know him and I have never met him. I wonder why people like Ramon Espiritu, and even more so, Luis Taruc and Alfredo Saulo, who have already been punished so much in the past and who, apparently, are now living within the pale of the law, are to be detained again.

Nene Pimentel rode with me in the car. He told me that he was with Ernie Rondon a week ago when Rondon was taken in. They were apparently having lunch at Rondon’s house when an officer came in and showed him a xerox copy of an order from Enrile to have him arrested.

Pimentel had appeared at the Supreme Court yesterday.

“It was quite beautiful the way the thing had proceeded.” He was almost ecstatic. He had told the judges point-blank that if the Supreme Court did not do its duty now, they may find themselves in the same predicament as Chief Justice Taney in Ex Parte Merryman during the U.S. civil war. Taney had pitifully bewailed the illegality of Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and his (Taney’s) own inability to release those arrested.

He said that the conditions did not warrant the declaration of martial law. To begin with, the bombings could not be used as an excuse. For example, Pimentel warmed up, who were caught after the grenade bombing of Plaza Miranda a year ago? There were some convicts among them, but there was absolutely no proof that the NPAs have really done it.

Again, who bombed Joe’s store at Carriedo? A PC trooper, not NPAs. Who was suspected of bombing the Con-Con? Two men dressed in PC uniforms were seen running away; in fact, it was probably because he was yelling and telling everyone that he saw two soldiers coming out of the toilet (which was the epicenter of the bombing) that Pepito Nolledo was later arrested.

Nene told the Supreme Court that it was their historic duty to do something to avert disaster. He apologized for speaking that way, but he was before a court of justice and if he could not speak there, he would not be able to speak anywhere else.

Nene said that he had discerned from the interrogations that Chief Justice Concepcion and Justices Fernando and Teehankee and possibly Fred Ruiz Castro were probably sympathetic.

It’s too bad, I said, that JBL Reyes is no longer in the Supreme Court.

According to him, the responses to the interrogation of the solicitor general, Titong Mendoza by Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, showed that Titong himself was quite skeptical about the government’s actions.

The CEPO meeting I attended afterwards was held at the Army & Navy Club. When Tavi Tavanlar came in, he informed us that there was a think tank that was helping President Marcos formulate economic policies. Among the regular members that he had seen in these meetings of the group were Armand Fabella, Gerry Sicat, Ting Paterno, Bong Tanco and a few other guys. Tavanlar suggested that CEPO should formulate certain economic policies for presentation to this think tank.

What? Actively collaborate with the man primarily responsible for the loss of our freedoms—and the arbitrary arrests and even tortures? What a preposterous idea!


Sept. 24, 1972, Sunday

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(1)

1:25 AM Sept. 25th

Sept. 24, 1972

Sunday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Diokno, Chino Roces, Max Soliven etc. have filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court.

I asked Justices Claudo Teehangkee, Antonio Barredo, Felix Macasiar and Felix Antonio to see us. They insisted that the government should submit to the Supreme Court for the Court to review the constitutionality of the proclamation of martial law, Proclamation No. 1081.

So I told them in the presence of Secs. Ponce Enrile and Vicente Abad Santos as well as Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza that if necessary I would formally declare the establishment of a revolutionary government so that I can formally disregard the actions of the Supreme Court.

They insisted that we retain a color of constitutionality for everything that we do.

But I feel that they are still image-building and do not understand that a new day has dawned. While they claim to be for a reformed society, they are not too motivated but are too bound by technical legalism.

I have amended both Gen. Orders Nos. 1 and 3 to assume all powers of government including legislative and judicial and clearly excluded cases involving the constitutionality of my acts from the jurisdiction

 

(2)

Sept. 24th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

of the Supreme Court.

I met the cabinet to emphasize the program to reform our society.

And I signed the decree (No. 1) to promulgate the law on the Reorganization of the Government.

Tomorrow I will sign the decrees promulgating the new Civil Service Rules, the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Law, the Land Reform Funding and dismiss some judges, the CIR judges, Public Service Commission.

We have impressed everybody with our fairness by the arrest of Cong. Roque Ablan, Rafael Aquino and Gov. Luis Bocalan.

I have ordered profiteers to be arrested.

And the ROTC boys have cleaned up the streets of graffiti.

Only KBS and the The Daily Express are operational.

 

(3)

Sept. 24th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I just talked to Earl Mayo, the biographer and advisor of Nixon, and his first advice is to immediately meet the press as soon as possible and explain that this is not a dictatorship.

Sec. C.P. Romulo, whom I talked to again by long distance, has done a good job of holding press interviews and issuing press releases.


August 31, 1972 Thursday

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6:20 PM

 

Malacañan Palace

Manila

The doctors advise rest and no work for some time. Even Dr. Tamesis, my optometrist, also recommends no reading for long stretches of time.

Am calling the Congress to a fourth Special Session beginning midnight tonight, inasmuch as they have not approved any of the urgent bill needed for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Directed Gen. Params of Task Force Soranay to prepare for any eventuality, including possible training in Isabela of 2,500 NPA’s for use for attack on Manila and a total og 10,000 NPA’s for the whole country.

Counteraction and infiltration must be worked out.

Kokoy Romualdez arrived from the US. He reports the bankers and big businessmen of the US are exorcised about the Supreme Court decision on parity and real estate ownership. They asked to meet

 

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August 31st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

him in New York.  And kept blaming me for their deprival of real estate. But he told them a few facts of life — that there were warned about the impending decision some time ago but they did not do anything about the time bomb, that the only one who could help them was the President of the Philippines; but that the President of the Philippines was less interested in their property than in the security of the Philippines and its people which was threatened by the communists and they have not helped in this danger that haunts the President; on the contrary they have belittled his fears and not extended arms and sympathy to fight the communists.

So the businessmen and even the White House are sending two delegations to see the situation and me.


February 26, 1970 Thursday

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PAGE 96

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

 

February 26, 1970

Thursday

 

 

1:25 AM

 

The Supreme Court ruled the mayor of Manila can refuse to give a permit for a rally in Plaza Miranda and offer instead a permit for a rally in Sunken Gardens – in the name of peace and order.

The demonstrators went to Sunken Garden then proceeded to the U.S. Embassy where they were kept away from the buildings by the MPD and the Metrocom. The demonstrators have wrought destruction in Plaza Fergusson, threw a few Molotov cocktails and destroyed the pots along the islands in some streets. The last group was in Galicia Street. They numbered 200 and challenged the police to take them. Tear gas bombs were used again. Even the citizens in their houses were affected by the tear gas.

Enriquito Zobel came to see me and told me that it was not he and his group who had organized to fight me but that it was Hans Menzi who had said that he was asked to resign as a senior aide because he had written me a frank memorandum about government weaknesses and anomalies. Looks like Hans cannot be trusted any longer.

The congressmen from the North were here again waiting for the demonstrators. They had dinner and a movie.

 


February 7, 1936

An hour in the morning at the office with Manuel Concepcion, in my time Secretary of the Philippine National Bank. He told me of his father’s conviction by the Courts (as President of that bank) and his own sentence by a divided, and perhaps influenced court; [Johnson and Malcolm seem to have railroaded him] –aided by bed-ridden Chief Justice Araullo, who should not have written the opinion. Manuel is now engaged in placer mining in Abra, and says he takes out enough gold for his living expenses every year and added: “I don’t need a Government position.” Interesting talk on the currency situation. He advocates fixing the ratio between gold and silver, and proposes dissociating the Philippines from the American dollar. Says inflation, and further devaluation of the dollar in the United States is imminent. Believes they mean to raise the price of gold to 45. Says Warner, Barnes & Co. are instructed to invest their cash in Benguet Consolidated for a big rise. Thinks Philippine currency should be based on silver, and sufficient gold dollars held only for all foreign exchange.

He commented how Quezon is rising rapidly through good government.

Had an appointment with Quezon in the afternoon, but he did not return until very late from his official visit to the English Admiral and went straight to bed–exhausted. Garfinkel said Quezon had ordered a launch the duplicate of the Admiral’s, for official visits; that he went aboard the yacht Yolanda and at once wished to have a ship like that; he enquired of the Captain who told him of Lady Yuill’s which was for sale at Glasgow. Wishes to take it up through the British Consulate. Florence Edwards has seen this yacht and says it is “wonderful.”

Osmeña is broke, and is worried about the behavior of his sons by his first marriage. Osmeña’s present wife, however, is a rich woman (Limjap).


February 6, 1936

The President names all but one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals–good selections, made in accordance with recommendations of the Supreme Court, and various Bar Associations. It now appears that the undue deliberation in the selection was owing to Quezon’s desire to make the public understand that there would be no “politics” in his courts. Even so, I think he overplayed his hand. I saw Francisco Delgado and congratulated him–he replied that his acceptance was at a considerable financial sacrifice–I said “of course”–he replied that when, years ago, I offered to appoint him a Judge, he could decline but now every citizen must do what he was able to help their own new Government.

In the afternoon, I had a bridge party–Rafael Palma, Pedro Guevara, Colonel Lim, Angel Tuason, Jose Reyes, Zamora and Nazario–they play really expert Culbertson bridge.