Only a short time at office. Played bridge in p.m. with Pedro Guevara, Tuason, Nicasio and Reyes. I have laryngitis, and can hardly speak. Home and to bed, where I stayed until January 26 with a severe attack of “tonsilitis” or perhaps “dengue” –had no doctor.
The papers are attacking Quezon freely for receiving the bandit Asedillo and allowing him to be taken back to his province by the Governor of Tayabas in Nº 1 car –thus making a hero of him. However, Quezon is extremely wise in showing such energetic determination to put own banditry in the provinces and graft in the government. Both have increased in recent times out of all measure, and much more so than is publicly understood. Whether this is due to (a) the prospective change to a Commonwealth Government or (b) the dreamy mentality of Murphy plus his absorption in his own career as a promoter of Christian ethics, or (c) to the “get rich quick” mood of the times in the Philippines ( hard times following a great sugar boom) is hard to say –possibly all three. But Quezon is placing emphasis upon public order, and he knows how to secure it –his method of “getting” the bandit leaders out here is, in the end, always the successful one in the Philippines.
Asedillo, the old Tayabas bandit, has surrendered and been brought here in the presidential car, to see Quezon personally; was taken back and released in the hills on promising to return in three days with his sons and chief followers. All of this is quite picturesque — no promise of pardon has been given; he will have to stand trial. Entirely in line with the costumbre del pais. I submitted a memorandum on the Manila Railroad plans for the next few years; also Colin Hoskins’ proposed bill on the agrarian situation. Saw Justice of the Peace Abra from Pila, Laguna, and asked him a lot of questions about the Sakdalistas who are said to be disappointed that Ramos, their leader in Japan had not brought this country immediate independence by December 31. They were still sending him money, however, and continued to believe that Japan would get freedom for them. I asked him how large a percentage of his province were in favour of independence. He replied: nearly all of them, tho in 1931 he had told Governor General Davis that only 30% were in favor. He added: “if you bluff these people (i.e., advocate independence), they will believe you, but if you tell them the truth (i.e., the difficulties) they refuse to believe; they think they will get everything out of independence.”