Friday, November 17, 1972

Surprise! Instead of the 166-man body meeting, the meeting was of a small group of 15 people each from the Steering Council and the Sponsorship Council and 4 floor leaders to go over the amendments.

Apparently, this morning, there was an organizational meeting. These 15 people from each of the councils were appointed and they were to start meeting in the afternoon.

Noli Santos told me that he had nominated me, together with Magtanggol (Tanggol) Gunigundo, to represent the Sponsorship Council but there were objections because some delegates had said that I was too independent-minded. This was a compliment, but I told Noli that I was not keenly interested in joining this group anyway. After all, in the words of Munding, this is now lutong macao.

During the roll call of the members, however, my name was called. It turned out that I was elected a member.

Tio Juaning Borra asked for certain interpositions of phrases in the Preamble approved by the Steering Council. He said that, after all, with the exception of the change of two words—that of “independence” to “sovereignty” and the inclusion of “equality,” the present Preamble is the same as that of the 1935 Preamble. So, he urged that we might as well give credit to the authors of the 1934 Convention. We are basically adopting their Preamble, he claimed.

The note of sarcasm in many of Borra’s speeches cannot be hidden. Borra has been critical of what is happening in the Convention. Unfortunately, he cannot be too outspoken; I hear his son is presently indicted for a serious crime before the courts. How sad! This is the reason why, during the last two months, he could not give full vent to his feelings. Nevertheless, every now and then, his pent-up feelings of bitterness and frustration would suddenly burst out.

When it came to the Declaration of Principles, the committee took up the amendments section by section. When we reached Section 2, a motion was made to reject an amendment by Naning Kalaw, who was not there. The rejection was made almost with a vengeance. But the motion went further; it would reject not only Naning’s amendment but all other amendments that now or in the future may be presented.

I said that, so as not to complicate matters, perhaps the last amendment should be taken up first, namely, the amendment by substitution. I announced that I had filed an amendment by substitution.

To my great surprise, Clemente (Clem) Abundo immediately made a motion that all amendments by substitution should, hereafter, be rejected. Fidel Purisima and Valeriano Yancha, among others, showed so much zeal in joining Abundo in gagging me. I said it would not take long for the body to get my amendment and other similar amendments discussed and rejected—perhaps, only two minutes. But I wanted the body to take it up.

Abundo, Yancha and Purisima would not brook any accommodations. Pacificador, too, was vehemently against giving me the floor.

As I write this diary now, my thoughts fly out to the American Constitutional Convention and what Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania had said: “I flatter myself that I came here in some degree as a representative of the whole human race… I wish the gentlemen would extend their views beyond the present moment of time, beyond the narrow limits of place from which they derive their political origin.”

How different it was during the times of those reasonable men!

Some delegates, like Tony Almedo, urged, “Give Caesar a chance to explain.” Good old reliable Jess Matas was cheering, and so also were those solid, conscientious and progressive colleagues, Noli Santos and Pete Yap.

But the loyalists were bent on mowing down the opposition.

When I was faced with this kind of problem during my UP days, I wrote an editorial in the Collegian, quoting from the nineteenth century English liberal, John Stuart Mill: “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would no more be justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, in silencing mankind.”

Far away and long ago!

Peps Bengzon was apparently in charge of the Declaration of Principles. He explained almost in a spirit of cordiality that we should not say that Caesar Espiritu’s amendment has been rejected. Rather, he said, most of the provisions have been substantially incorporated in the draft Constitution; it is only a question of phraseology.

I thought this was deception done so diplomatically. What, was it Alice in Wonderland said? “In a world of the absurd, reason is madness.”

Although Peps was quite conciliatory, I could not help but stand up to say I appreciated those words but that, in my thinking, 70 percent of the concepts in my amendment do not find reflection in the draft of the Steering Council.

Anyway, I had no regrets. I did not really expect any positive response from this group, but I did succeed in inserting into the records what I felt I was happy enough that I was able to do this.

I was surprised at how well-knit the pro-Marcos people are. How eager they are for the kill against anyone who might put a monkey wrench into their conspiracy!

Afterwards, I had a talk with Ben Abubakar and Dr. Aruego. Ben told me that it was Sen. Enchong Sumulong who had wanted to make the present members of Congress members of the interim Assembly, with the present delegates to the convention as ex-officio members. Only when the interim Assembly should constitute itself as a constituent Assembly would it be able to introduce amendments to the Constitution.

Of course these ideas would get nowhere in the Convention; the delegates are now hell-bent on being assemblymen!

I also had a chat with Dr. Aruego. He was a delegate to the 1934 Constitutional Convention. He had written The Framing of the (1935) Constitution, the authoritative book on the 1934 Constitutional Convention. (Dr. Jose P. Laurel’s notes on the proceedings of the 1934 Convention, were, of course, much more comprehensive and profound, but they are not as easily available as Aruego’s book.)

Aruego said that there is no comparison between the pressures during the 1934 Convention and the pressures now. Recto was not a traditional Quezon man; he had only been with Quezon on the “pro” and “anti” issues on the Tydings-McDuffie and the Hare-Hawes Cutting Acts. The real men of Quezon were Sotto and Cuenco from Cebu.

Although there were also some charges that the Constitution was already cooked up in Malacañang during the 1934 Convention, actually this was not taken seriously because no one believed it. Our present situation, according to Dr. Aruego, is completely different. Everything is emanating from Malacañang.

At the end of a gruelling day, Greg Tingson rode with me up to the Quezon Elliptical Circle. It is so very apparent, he said—the great difference between people with convictions and those without. “This was so conspicuously displayed during the brief meeting we attended this afternoon. While you were talking out of conviction, the rest of the delegates were bending to accommodate whatever was made necessary by political realities.”

But is this wise or right? Aying Yñiguez had told me yesterday that he is making a choice and his choice is grounded not on moral but rather on purely political considerations. “My options are within the realm of political realities and, therefore, my decisions are political, not moral.”

Are all politicians the same? Pursuing to build a bridge even when there is no river?


July 2, 1945 Monday

The Sunday Times of June 24, 1945 reports that new parties are being organized. Three parties will probably fight for power and control of the government in the November elections. Despite efforts to bring about a reconciliation of warring leaders of the party in power, the split up of the Nacionalista party into two factions is inevitable as a result of developments in the Philippine Congress.

A third political group is reliably reported as being formed, led by intellectuals pledged to support a program of government more liberal and more socially conscious than embraced in the platform of the ruling party. Roxas will be leader of the Nacionalista left wing and Osmeña of the administration party. There will be a fight in the convention for nominations, but the losing group will put up a ticket of its own. Independent big wigs are being invited to join the third party. Inactive political groups like the Sumulong popular front and the Abad Santos socialist party are also being courted. The new group may not be able to put up a complete ticket, but they will have candidates for the positions except President and Vice President.

Bad news. The United States civilian relief activities in the Philippines will be discontinued on Sept. 1, 1945. The Philippine government will therefore assume the activities and the full responsibility. This is a mistake and our government should have left no stone unturned to have the American aid continued. The Philippine government will not be in a condition to undertake the financing of such tremendous work.

The Associated Press dispatch of June 20, 1945, released in San Francisco, reports that, “At a press conference, the civilian Philippine delegation headed by Brig. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, who was one of the leaders of the campaign to include an outright guarantee of independence in the charters, has accepted the self government formula.” This attitude was probably induced by the opinion of Premier Fraser of New Zealand and others, that there is no difference between self-government, self-determination and independence.

I cannot understand why such a change, proposed by the United Nations trusteeship committee, was ever accepted by Romulo and our delegation. If there is no difference as contended by Fraser, why change the text proposed by Romulo, which is very clear. The fact, however, is that there is a whale of a difference between independence and self-government. The former admits of no interpretation other than that the country concerned will be granted independence; whereas the self-government theory, besides the fact that it presupposes delay, may not ultimately lead to independence. The very explanation of Fraser bears this out. According to the news, he “pointed to the increasing importance of inter-dependence in world affairs.” Inter­dependence means that one or both countries have some more or less permanent” relations. If the new provision means that there shall be progressive development of self-government until independence is granted, who shall determine whether the self-government has advanced to such degree that independence may be granted? If it is the trustee who will decide whether or not a country is ready for self-government, which trustee will undoubtedly be the present corresponding colonizing country, then we may as well forget all about it. If it is the so-called Big Five, composed of England, United States, Soviet Russia, France and China, we also better forget all about it. England and France are colonizing countries and they naturally will want to defend their power and authority over the country under trusteeship now forming part of their colonies. Soviet Russia is ambitious She has expanded and will continue to expand. She has been doing this by means of some sort of plebiscite which everybody knows is just a mere formula since the results are obtained by threats, or by organizing puppet governments under the orders of Soviet Russia. This is precisely what she is trying to do now in connection with Poland. I hope the other countries of the Big Four will not be hoodwinked. China will be interested to guarantee absolute independence, as this is precisely her national policy to protect herself from the continuance of incursions in her territory. But she is too weak for the present and cannot wield any influence.

The United States should be interested in guaranteeing independence. In connection with the Philippines, she chose a course which entitled her to be justly considered as the cradle of liberty. But there are certain factors to be considered here. The United States for the present is the most highly developed in so far as economics are concerned. Her people are hardworking but at the same time they believe in amusing themselves as much as possible. Between business activities and their propensity for enjoyment, they have no time for anything else. This is the reason why at times their Congress does things that may not be to the liking of the American people. This also enables lobbyists to wield much influence in Washington. There are well organized lobbying offices in Washington which are heavily financed. They employ expert lobbyists and men who are well connected with high government executives and influential members of Congress. Practically all big interests in America are represented in Washington. The sugar interest, especially Cuban, was so powerful that to porect the Philippine sugar, the Philippine Sugar Association had to employ an influential ex-Senator (ex-Senator Hawes) with personal and intimate relations with members of Congress, as its Representative in Washington. I shall never forget our experience when I was a member of an Economic Mission to the United States in 1938-1939. To be able to get a little amendment to the provision of the Tydings-McDuffie Law involving our abaca product, we had to approach and convince one Mr. McDaniel, the representative of the Cordage Association of America. The chairman of the committee in the Senate would not even consider it unless we could have an understanding with Mr. McDaniel.

Furthermore, the United States is a representative democracy. They organize the government through parties that fight in the elections for control. Each party has a platform at times just the opposite of the platform of the other party. When a party wins, it naturally endeavors to carry out its policies and points of view as expressed in its platform. This is the reason why there is no continuity in American policies. This precisely is what happened in connection with our Jones Law passed under a Democratic regime. It promised independence when a stable government would have been established in the Philippines. Later, the Republican Party was elevated to power. It reversed the Democratic policy and paid no attention to the stable government provision. To justify its policy, it even denied that there was ever a valid promise of independence in the law. The Republican Party sent the Wood-Forbes Missions here to investigate. These missions reported so many anomalies here to show that there was no stable government.

For these reasons, we cannot be sure that the present attitude of the American government toward trusteeship will be a permanent one.

The trusteeship provision must have been proposed or at least inspired by the English. With it they meant to perpetuate their hold on their present colonies, like India. In so far as they are concerned, it will merely be a change of name — instead of colonization, it will be trusteeship. But in susbstance and in actuality, nothing will change.

The provision is also not clear as to whether the independence to be granted will be both political and economic. The modern tendency now is to grant political independence, but continue the economic control. To me, this system is just as bad if not worse than political dependence. Economic dependence is just as effective as political dependence to control a country. The country concerned will not be able to plan, develop and follow its economic policies. This is precisely what happened to the Philippines when the free trade was established — as a consequence, our whole economy became tightly intertwined with that of America. When the date for independence was fixed, we tried to extricate ourselves from American economic control. But what happened? Everytime we planned something which might affect American interests, we were stopped. We could not approve legislation which might effectuate the substitution of American business by Filipino business. We could not have diplomatic intercourse with other nations to ascertain what advantageous economic treaties we could enter into. We always had to consider American interests. This meant also that we could not negotiate reciprocity treaties with other nations, as has been done with America. How can we plan for self-sufficiency and economic independence under these circumstances? This is precisely the reason why I resigned as Chairman of the National Economic Council during the administration of Pres. Quezon. Everytime I proposed something which might affect American interests, I was stopped. When I proposed that we approach certain nations to see whether we could get some reciprocity agreements under which we could exchange products or export our excess products to those nations, I was warned not to endanger our economic relationship with America. All these support my thesis that independence must be both political and economic.


June 18, 1945 Monday

Discussions have been raging as to whether the policies and acts of America in the Philippines at the present time are correct. The almost unanimous opinion is that America is committing a blunder in the Philippines and, consequently, alienating a good portion of the Filipinos. They say the acts of the Americans in the Philippines after the reconquest, especially concerning the alleged “collaborationists” are uncalled for and unjustified.

The reason it out this way. America came to the Philippines under the most suspicious circumstances. She fought Spain to save the Cubans from the atrocities of Spain. As an incident of that war, Dewey entered Manila Bay, destroyed the Spanish fleet, and later with the American Army, set foot on Philippine soil. It is said that Dewey promised Aguinaldo that America would respect the independence of the Philippines which the Filipinos had won from Spain. Because of that promise the Filipinos helped the Americans. Later, when the Spaniards left, the Americans refused to leave the Philippine soil. Fighting between the Americans and the Filipinos began. As was to be expected we Filipinos were vanquished, America decided to occupy the Philippines.

The Filipinos were heartened when President McKinley announced America’s policy in the Philippines. He said that the Philippines would be prepared for self-government. America had been true to that policy. Little by little we were granted government powers. Filipinos were called to run the provincial and municipal governments. An elective assembly was created which, with the Philippine Commission, exercised the legislative powers. Later, the Senate was created. The Legislature, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives, was created and to it was granted all legislative powers. This was in accordance with the Jones Law approved in 1916. Almost all the government positions were given to Filipinos. Naturally, we were all very grateful to America. In the same law there was a definite promise that independence would be granted upon the establishment of a stable government.

Some discontent arose when later independence did not come notwithstanding the promise contained in the Jones Law. However, the law had not been definite and clear as to when independence would be granted. All doubts were cleared up when in 1935, the Independence Law—Tydings-McDuffie Act—was approved. It provided for independence after ten years. This ten year period was thought to be necessary for economic readjustment since Philippine export trade was almost wholly with America. Notwithstanding our opposition, it established free trade and other economic policies that intertwined the Philippine economic system to that of the United States. In accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was organized, to cover the 10 year period of readjustment. As the economic provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie Act intended to facilitate the readjustment were not satisfactory, we sent Missions to the United States to work for the necessary modification. I was a member of one of those Missions. We met very little success in this connection. When the war broke out in 1941, we had covered over one-half of the readjustment period.

Needless to say, the Filipinos were filled with gratitude towards the United States. The Americans could have enslaved us, but they preferred to treat us as free people. They could have exploited our country, reserving for themselves the abundant resources of the country, but they preferred to leave them for us to enjoy. They could have imposed terms which would reserve for them certain rights or which would grant them preferential advantages. Instead, however, they would allow us to have absolute freedom in our future relationship with America. America meant to give us the kind of independence we had worked for. The readjustment period will expire in 1946, so that in that year we shall have our independence.

How can we now work against the interest of America under these circumstances? It is unthinkable. The Japanese did not do anything in the Philippines, something they should have done, to get the sympathy and support of the Filipino people.

Before her occupation by the Japanese, there was a good portion of Filipinos in sympathy with Japan. This was because of race and geographical considerations. They sincerely believed that the destiny of our country was with Japan and that we will have to be a member of a League of Nations composed of the Far Eastern countries. In view of the announced policy of Japan of not considering us as enemies and of recognizing our independence very soon, naturally the Filipinos expected to be treated as equals.

But from the very beginning, the Japanese conducted themselves in such a fashion that they alienated the Filipinos. One of the acts was to require the Filipinos to bow to the Japanese sentries. Bowing is a practice in Japan which is good and can very well be obeyed. But the Filipinos were not accustomed to such a practice; they thought they were being made to salute the Japanese, to acknowledge them as superior and master of the Filipinos. This the Filipinos could not accept, as a consequence, many failed to salute and were immediately punished. The worst part of it was that, on occasions when the Filipinos obeyed, the Japanese sentries insisted in having the bow executed properly, although the correct form had never been communicated to the Filipinos. The usual punishment for not saluting is slapping. High government officials and prominent people did not escape punishment. Slapping, perhaps caused more people to hold themselves aloof from or even to hate the Japanese than any other act of the Japanese.

Those incidents showed that the Japanese did not respect our customs, did not know the psychology of the Filipino people. Even soldiers not on sentry duty and Japanese civilians indulged in this pastime. The ranking Japanese officers saw the effects of slapping and other abuses being committed by the Japanese soldiers and civilians and they endeavored to stop them, but they met with very little success. General Tanaka himself toured the whole country for the purpose, and it was in that trip that he contracted the sickness which kept him in bed for many months.

The Japanese civilians had a pretty good share in the commission of abuses. Their hands were into almost everything. They commandeered automobiles. They compelled house owners to rent their buildings or houses to them or to their Filipino friends at very low rents. They took over almost all Filipino businesses. In Batangas, one Japanese tried to acquire all the “batels” (sail boats) to have a monopoly of the water transportation business. At that time, Batangas ports were being extensively used for shipping to the Southern Islands on the “batels”. The Batangueños were so angry that, to show their oppositions to this form of robbery, it is said that a Japanese was tied to the mast of one of the “batels” and burned alive. Filipinos who refused to sell their business would be threatened; if this fails to scare them, the Japanese would get the business by force. They compelled the sale of the T.V.T. newspapers to them. If the intention was just to control the press they could have done so without compelling the sale to them. The Japanese civilians alleged that they had been appointed agents of the Japanese Army or Navy to take over businesses to bolster the war efforts. Some businesses are really necessary for war purposes, but it would take a wide stretch of the imagination to consider other businesses in connection with the war efforts.

This monopolization of Filipino business caused the Filipinos to doubt the much vaunted purposes of creating the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” They say it is not “co-prosperity” but “prosperity ko.” “Ko” is the Tagalog word for my or mine. It was obvious that even if political independence were granted, the Japanese meant to make slaves of us, economically speaking.

I did my best to curtail this activity of the Japanese. I did it under the guise of inflation prevention. I knew the Japanese businessmen were being lavishly financed by the Japanese banks (for they did not bring any capital from the outside) and I alleged that it was increasing circulation and consequently causing inflation. I was not very successful. Gen. Utsonomiya with whom I had various conferences seemed to be unwilling or unable to help. Only in very few cases was I able to succeed. Some of the businesses I remember having intervened in is the Puyat Furniture Co., and the Philippine Refining Co. which had the monopoly of sugar refinery in the Philippines. The only Filipino businesses that thrived during the Japanese regime were the “buy and sell” business and the real estate business. In the “buy and sell” business, only those who sold war materials to the Japanese Army and Navy got rich. As to the real estate business its boom was caused by the apparently high values of real estate (I say “apparently” because the fact was that the low value of the Japanese military notes, made the prices seem high).

Returning to the matter of the maltreatment of Filipinos at Japanese hands, the cruelty displayed was to say the least horrifying. Many Filipinos were subjected to severe beatings and other forms of corporal punishment. Many were killed. One of those subjected to torture was Dr. Antonio Sison, Director of the Philippine General Hospital, Dean of the College of Medicine and Surgery, and President of the University of the Philippines. Dr. Sison was very strict in the performance of his duties as Director of Philippine General Hospital. He treated everybody equally; gave no special privileges in the hospital no matter how rich and influential the patient may be. Unfortunately, some Filipinos resented this. One of those harboring a grudge against Dr. Sison denounced him to the Japanese military authorities as being the Chief Surgeon of the U.S. Army in the Philippines. The accusation of course turned out to be false. He was arrested, tied to a post blindfolded for more than ten days with practically no food. He was almost dead when released because of the intervention of Pres. Laurel and his brother, Minister Teofilo Sison of the Interior. In this connection, I should state that at the start of the war, Dr. Sison was a great admirer of the Germans and Japanese. He was one of the assiduous students learning Nippongo. His admiration for the Japanese did not last long, soon replaced by a feeling bordering on hate. He dropped the study of Nippongo.

In Batangas, at the beginning the majority of the inhabitants were very friendly towards the Japanese. But the appointment of a Captain Sakai as Chief of the Military Police (Kempetai) soon changed this. Many were arrested, interrogated, slapped and tortured. At one time, Capt. Sakai made a list of prominent people in Batangas and required them all to surrender their revolvers. Many complied; those who did not were punished. I remember my cousin, Luis Atienza of the barrio of Sambat, Taal, in this connection. He received one of those letters. He consulted me as to what he should do. He said that his friends advised him to buy a revolver and surrender it. I answered: “You should not consult me. You ought to know me well enough by this time. Since you say that you have no revolver, do not acquire one. Don’t allow your dignity to be trampled on, accept any punishment that may be meted out to you. It is not dishonorable to receive punishment when you stand up to what is right.” I later regretted that I gave such an advice as I was thereby assuming too much responsibility. Sakai had done much to propagate anti-Japanese feeling in Batangas. This is the reason why guerrillas multiplied in Batangas.

We naturally protested vehemently against such brutal treatment of the Filipinos. I went to see Gen. Utsonomiya many times to request the removal of Capt. Sakai from office. After a long delay, he was finally transferred to Laguna. I heard that in his new post he changed, became very friendly to all the Filipinos especially the “guerrilleros.” He was able to make many “guerrilleros” surrender. He used to go to the mountains alone. In one of those trips he was murdered. The story was that he agreed to meet an important leader of the “guerrilleros” who wanted to negotiate. The followers of the guerrilla leader discovered the plan and, in order to foil the surrender, murdered Sakai.

Another practice so much resented by the Filipinos was “zoning”. A barrio or town is surrounded; all the inhabitants are ordered to proceed to a small place, usually a school house or a church. There they are kept without food and any sanitation facilities. The men are ordered to line up. A Filipino who is hooded walks down the line, pointing out those he believed to be guerrillas or enemies of the Japanese. The accused are forthwith arrested and punished. In many cases, they are never seen again. I have witnessed “zoning” in my youth; the Americans under General Bell, practiced it in Batangas in 1901.

We in government did all we could to save the lives of Filipinos and to free them from imprisonment or detention by the Japanese. Hon. Jose Abad Santos was the Secretary of Justice and former Justice of the Supreme Court who, according to reliable information, was the one to whom President Quezon left all affairs of government when he departed for the United States. When we heard that he was being held by the Japanese in Cebu, we talked to General Wachi, Director General of the Japanese Military Administration, and other generals and asked them most insistently to free Mr. Abad Santos. We explained that he was an Orientalist. We also talked to Col. Kawakami who was the Commander of the Army and in whose hands was placed the fate of Mr. Abad Santos. We were told that our intervention came too late as Mr. Abad Santos had already been executed. Kawakami was extremely cruel to the Filipinos. He was reported to be mentally deranged.

When we heard that Gen. Manuel Roxas was being held by the Japanese in Mindanao, we also took the necessary steps to free him. We were also told that he had already been executed. It appeared that Roxas had really been sentenced to death, but the Colonel in charge refused to carry out the sentence. We later discovered that Gen. Roxas had been brought to Manila. We do not know whether our intervention had any influence at all in Gen. Roxas’ case.

We also intervened in behalf of many other Filipinos. I was always one of those who intervened.

One day my friend, Representative Feliciano Gomez, came to see me to ask me for help for the Mayor of his town as he was being sought by the Japanese. The Mayor, Mr. Alinsod, was accused of being the head of the guerrillas in the town. He assured me that he was not a guerrilla. I talked to General Kawazoe, Chief of Staff of the Army in Central Luzon, who promised to investigate. After a few days, the General came to me, bringing with him papers which proved that the Mayor was really the head of the guerrillas in Sta. Rosa and that he provided guns and food to the guerrillas. I called Mr. Alinsod and asked him to tell me the whole truth. The Mayor confessed. I saw Gen. Kawazoe again, told him the truth, but I strongly urged that the Mayor be given another chance and I would be willing to guarantee his future good conduct. The Mayor was not arrested. He later joined his companions in the mountains and continued his guerrilla activities until the landing of the Americans in Leyte.

Another case was that of Mr. Calingasan, Mayor of Tuy, Batangas. Calingasan had been one of my best leaders when I ran several times for Representative. I remember that in one of our political meetings in Tuy, a fight ensued. Calingasan drew his dagger and challenged the rioters. The disturbance stopped. Calingasan was arrested by the Japanese, charged with being a guerrillero and with having furnished food to American guerrillas. His family came to me to solicit my good offices. I talked to Gen. Kawazoe. The General showed me the papers of the Mayor, among which was an affidavit admitting his guilt. I insisted that the Mayor be released, promising good conduct on his part in the future. The general acceded and Mr. Calingasan was delivered to me in my house. He had various scars on his body as he was tortured during his imprisonment in Nasugbu.

I intervened in various cases of guerrilleros caught by the Japanese. I succeeded in very few cases. One of the patriots I tried to save was Mrs. Antonio Escoda, wife of the newspaperman whose underground activities were well-known and who was captured and put to death by the Japanese. Because of the capture of her husband, she sensed that she would be arrested too. I employed her in my department to show the Japanese that she was cooperating with the administration. All my efforts were in vain because she was arrested and executed.

Another person I tried to help was Gen. Vicente Lim. I was making arrangements to employ Gen. Lim in my department to camouflage his underground activities when he disappeared. I heard later that he tried to escape to Australia and was captured. He was executed.

Many persons representing themselves to be guerrillas came to my house to request for monetary aid. I was very careful in dealing with them because the Japanese Military Police had employed spies to catch Filipino officials who were in contact or cooperating with the guerrillas. However, whenever I was sure they were genuine guerrillas and could be trusted, I gave them valuable information and some monetary aid. I could not give as much money as I would have wanted because I did not have much to spare. Three Filipino guerrillas with whom I had constant contact were Colonels Baya and Jurado, and Lieutenant Jimenez. I personally knew they belonged to the USAFFE. Lt. Jimenez was in constant contact with Bataan and Corregidor and I was able to give him valuable information. I remember I gave some monetary aid to Lt. Lazaro Malabanan who came in behalf of a large guerrilla organization in Batangas, and Ramon Cabrera of the Ateneo de Manila.

One case I would specially like to mention is that of Roberto Vallejo, nicknamed Berto. He was our cook in Manila and we took him with us to Baguio when the government evacuated to that city. From the very beginning, I noticed that he was always out specially at night. During air raids, he would not enter our shelter but instead would stay in an open space. I asked my wife to dismiss him. It was then that he revealed to us that he was a Sergeant in the guerrilla forces. He showed me all his papers. He said he had to observe and report on the effects of the bombings. I immediately relieved him of his duties as our cook so he can concentrate on the performance of his patriotic duties.

Much of the difficulty in our effort to save lives was due to the rather unusual organization of the Japanese Army in the Philippines. Local commanders do not seem to be under any central authority as they paid no attention to orders or requests from Manila. The local commanders would arrest provincial and municipal officials and peaceful law abiding citizens notwithstanding orders, rules and regulations emanating from higher officers in Manila. We were repeatedly frustrated. Many times we were able to obtain the release orders of arrested persons from higher officials in Manila, but local commanders would disregard them.

The punishment inflicted by the Japanese were of the most cruel nature. They also enforced collective responsibility. For the death of a Japanese soldier, masses are massacred and towns burned. This happened in a town in Tayabas.

Another cause of discontent is the forcible eviction of Filipinos from their homes or the forcible taking of private buildings and houses. There were all kinds of abuses in this connection. They would notify the house owner to leave with a certain period and he has to comply. If the buildings and houses were to be used for military purposes, we Filipinos would have understood the necessity of giving up our homes, although we would have objected to the method employed. But in many cases, we just could not see how military necessity enters. The houses are not strategically located and sometimes only one or two officers live in them. In some cases, the houses were left unoccupied and as a result they were looted. Don Vicente Singson Encarnacion was forced to leave his house. The house, which was left vacant for a long period of time, was vandalized. To settle all conflicts, a House Committee was created in accordance with an understanding with the military authorities. However, from the very start, the Japanese officers paid no attention to the committee, and soon thereafter the membership of the committee had to be changed several times as nobody cared to serve in it.

An incident happened with reference to the house on Taft Avenue belonging to the in-laws of my daughter, Natividad. The Cojuangcos were notified by the Japanese officers that the house was to be occupied by the military. Naturally, the owners expressed their desire to have the matter submitted to the House Committee. They had good reasons not to give up their house. I took the matter up with Malacañan and with the House Committee. The Japanese officers returned and told the owner that they must leave within two days and upon failure to do so, they would be thrown out into the streets with all their furniture and belongings. When the Japanese were told that the matter was being investigated by the House Committee, they answered: “Never mind Committee. They are all crooks.” The owners had to leave, transferring to a very small house and moving almost all the furniture. A few days later, they found out that the occupants of the house were Filipino women who were mistresses of the officers. Barely a month passed when the owners found the house abandoned. They returned to the house.

When Gen. Homma announced that the Japanese came as friends of the Filipinos, and when General Tojo announced that the Philippines would be granted her independence immediately and later in October, 1943, actually granted our independence, there was general rejoicing and genuine expression of gratitude to Japan on the part of the Filipinos. There were many, however, who doubted the sincerity of Japan. They turned out to be right. After independence, the changes affected were only in names and expressions. The Japanese continued to intervene in public affairs especially in the provinces. They continued to arrest and abuse the Filipino; they even arrested public officials without notifying the President or the corresponding high authority. They still controlled businesses. Confiscation still continued.

Before the organization of the Republic, each ministry had Japanese advisers. After the Republic, all were withdrawn, with the exception of the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture. They refused to allow the Minister of Finance to supervise Japanese banks and to control Japanese investments and credit. The offices in the Japanese Administration corresponding to the different ministries remained, however, and continued to give suggestions to the Filipino officials which under the circumstances had to be followed. I must recognize, however, that my adviser, Dr. Haraguti, had been very good to me. He expressed approval or at least sympathy for my plans. But unfortunately, he seemed to be powerless and the military people continued to be the deciding factor. I should add that Japanese officials continued to intervene in private affairs.

To top it all, after the Americans landed, the retreating Japanese massacred everybody in sight, by guns, bayonets and hand grenades. Some of the victims were my own daughter, Natividad, married to Ramon Cojuangco, and my brother-in-law, Jose Lualhati, husband of Conchita.

Many Filipinos joined the American Army to avenge the deaths of their dear ones. It would be unthinkable that Filipinos would not turn pro-American, or that they would do anything to jeopardize America’s war efforts, even those who cooperated with the Japanese. But instead the Americans arrested many of them, including almost all the Filipino high officials during the Japanese regime who served only to help their own people. They arrested numerous persons for flimsy motives and for complaints which generally come from persons who harbor grudges against the accused or who try to make the Americans believe that they are the real “guerrilleros.” The Americans are sowing seeds for anti-American feelings. The Filipinos actively work for Philippine independence because, as they say, if we drive all the Japanese and Americans away, we could manage our affairs without any kind of interference. There will be opposition to any movement that might tie us up with America politically.


May 22, 1945 Tuesday

Poetry seems to be contagious for today two poems were submitted, one by Minister Quintin Paredes and the other by Governor Sergio Aquino. Copies of each poem are attached hereto. Everybody was surprised about Don Quintin who was well known as a statesman and jurist, but nobody was aware of his talent to write poetry. Aquino was known as a poet. He evidently abandoned poetry to embrace the cause of our country and to serve our people. He became Fiscal and later Governor of Tarlac. His executive ability earned him a promotion to Governor of a district composed of the provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Bataan. His poetry shows that he must have been a good poet.

We read in a local bulletin that Osmeña was coming home—back to the Philippines. Accompanying him were the members of two Committees—one composed of Senators and Representatives who are members of the Committees in the U.S. Congress having jurisdiction over the Philippines, including the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Milliard Tydings; the other, a technical committee composed of military men (Army and Navy), and economists. The purpose for the visit of these Committees is not stated. But we fear that a survey will be made by both Committees which may later be used to justify the postponement of independence or the retention of the Philippines as a U.S. colony. Our only consolation is that before we left Manila at the end of April, we read a statement from Osmeña to the effect that independence is a settled issue; in other words, independence will come on July 4, 1946 or sooner. There was an insinuation that the date would be accelerated. But of course the Committee may report that the destruction of the Philippines is such that rehabilitation will constitute a serious problem, and that in order for America to help or to want to help, independence must be postponed. They may even report that it is the wish of the Filipino people to postpone independence.

Already it is rumored that there are agents of imperialism in the U.S. Army and Navy, in the C.I.C., who would attempt to influence us so that we ourselves would petition for the postponement or at least express sentiments in favor of such postponement. There are reasons to believe this rumor. It should be remembered that when we were in the headquarters of the Army operating around Baguio, Colonel Arsey, who seemed to be a member of the General Staff, asked us what we thought of independence. When we answered that we did not want it postponed, he seemed surprised and stated that he had talked to hundreds of Filipinos and 95% of them were for postponement. Similar questions I understand are being asked by some members of the C.I.C. This work of the Imperialists for retention is reported to have the backing of influential Filipinos, like Mr. Carlos Romulo.

Personally, I believe that the Filipino people will vote against retention. No amount of money and influence will swing them from their determination. If the vote in a plebiscite is adverse, fraud must have been exercised. But of course I may be wrong. It is feared that the Congress of the U.S. will revoke or modify the Tydings-McDuffie Act without consulting the Filipino people. We all understand of course that once independence is postponed we will never get our independence or at least its attainment would be attended by great difficulties. But I am sure of one thing: that until independence is actually attained, the agitation for it will never stop. Already Taruc and Alejandrino have organized their United Front, one of the purposes of which is to fight any person, group or party, whether Americans or Filipinos, who will want independence denied or postponed. As events are developing, there may be formed two parties in the Philippines with a clear cut issue on independence—one will be against and in favor of American domination, and the other in favor of immediate and absolute independence. The cleavage may cut along social lines: rich men who believe that only America could protect and preserve their wealth, will line up on one side; and those who sincerely believe that it is the destiny of all peoples to constitute themselves into independent nations, and those who believe that the Philippines by right should be free and independent, will line up on the opposite side. Those against independence may win in the first elections. But each defeat will only encourage those for independence to work harder, and in the long run they will win for their cause is just, right and patriotic. The retentionists will meet the same fate as the “Federal” and “Progressive” parties in the Philippines. The cause of Philippine independence will triumph in the end.

Such a fight will of course be prejudicial and injurious to the Philippines and the Filipinos. We have to admit that there was stagnation in the economic development of our country, due not only to the economic policies of America which favored only the Americans, but also to the fact that the Filipino leaders devoted their whole time to the political issue of independence, thus neglecting to prepare a comprehensive economic program for the development of the Philippines.

The American committees, however, may not consider any political issue. As the Philippines has shown loyalty to America and the Filipinos have not only sacrificed their homes and property but even their lives side by side with the U.S. forces, America may wish to help in the rehabilitation of the Philippines. The Committees may want to have first hand knowledge of the economic problems in order that they may be in a better position to assist the Philippines. In that case, we should be very thankful and very grateful.

My conversations within the compound have not been limited to the so-called big shots. I have also talked to the lowliest of us here in the colony. Some of them cannot even read nor write. I came across three men—Catalino Capasi, Almadover and Caramay—who all hail from the town of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where I have many friends. They said that they were arrested, charged with being “Sakdal” or “Kapili”. They swore that they had never joined any of these organizations. One of them, Caramay, says that he was a “cochero” (rig driver), and it is possible that Sakdals and Kapilis had used his vehicle. They said that Sakdals and the Kapilis left with the Japanese. But one common feature during their interrogation was that they were compelled by the Americans to admit their guilt. They were beaten up by their American interrogators, slapped and boxed whenever they denied their guilt. At first, I just could not believe it. But they insisted that they were telling the truth and I am now inclined to believe them. But they also know of many cases where the arrested or suspected persons were threatened with bodily harm, but no actual force was used; where they were promised release or immunity if they would admit their guilt or sign affidavits against other persons. In other words, all means short of the use of force were employed in order to obtain a confession or admission on the part of the arrested person. Governors Aquino and Urquico told us that no such cases were reported to them. As a matter of fact, they were glad that they fell into the hands of the Americans because other suspects who were taken by the guerrillas—a good many of them—were put to death. According to the two Governors, a woman was burnt to death in the public plaza. I am just wondering whether cruelty is an Oriental trait. The Japanese have shown themselves to be unnecessarily cruel. The Chinese are also known for their cruelty. Are we Filipinos the same?

Although receiving gifts from the outside is prohibited unless the gifts go through the office, they continue to come. Gifts of food are not given to the addressee but divided among all of us. Many donors are anonymous. A Mr. V. Macasaet has sent me many things but I do not remember him nor do I know why he gives me anything. Do we really need the protective custody?

We were given a ration of shoes and clothing which are all second hand, having already been used by the American soldiers. With the exception of the shoes and underwear, we do not wear them. It is because they are all marked “X”. Why they are thus marked we do not know. The “X” probably serves to indicate that the articles now belong to the prisoners. We are not required to wear them. So, I have been wearing the clothes donated by charitable persons.

We try to make our lives less monotonous if possible. We want to forget our situation so that we would not be worrying too much and we would not continue expressing our indignation. Chief Justice Yulo does not seem to be able to do this. Instead of gaining like the rest of us, he is the only one who has lost weight. How do we pass the time then? We wake up early and immediately prepare for the outdoor group calisthenics. This lasts from ten to twenty minutes, and is obligatory. The exercises are quite scientifically prepared, involving all parts of the body. It is amusing to see overweight people, like Mr. Madrigal, perform the difficult movements in our exercises. After exercises, we proceed to the mess hall for breakfast. After breakfast, those of us detailed for the day’s work, clean the compound. When not on duty, I spend my time reading and writing. At noon, after lunch, we take a little nap. Afterwards, we either play a little poker or I continue reading and writing. Suppertime is early—as early as five o’clock. After supper we engage in personal conversations.

The most interesting part of the day is after 8 o’clock in the evening. A musical program is staged every night. We certainly have elements for the program. One of them, a Mr. Sotto, son of Don Vicente Sotto, is a very good singer. There are many other good singers. Then there is dancing choreographed by Dr. Hilario C. Moncado. The program is very amusing and we enjoy ourselves very much. Some of the American guards—the good ones, especially one by the name of Johnny—also take part in the program. A half past nine, the program ends and we then go to bed. I never forget to pray before going to bed. I pray to God to give health and comfort to my family. I pray for the salvation of our people.

We never miss hearing Mass on Sundays.


May 16, 1945 Wednesday

Perhaps no small community has ever seen such divergence in social position, in worldly possessions, education and political beliefs and principles. We have people who dominated Manila society and men who have never seen the halls of Manila society. We have the worst criminals and men who cannot break the most innocent act against the law. We have the richest men in the Philippines and men of the poorest class. We have doctors of law and first order literary men, and men who are illiterate. We have men who are communists and men who are typical representatives of the capitalistic class. We have men opposed to independence and men who will sacrifice their lives for the independence of their country. We have a man who has no par in the Philippines—Dr. Moncado who controlled the most powerful Filipino organization in America and who founded a sort of religious sect in Lanao. With such divergence it would seem that there would be conflicts and rivalries among us. But such is not the case. Each person looks at the other as a friend. There is harmony and understanding. Probably our common fate is uniting us.

There are two persons I am very interested in knowing. One of them is Dr. Hilario Camino Moncado. He is known all over the Philippines because he was the president of the Filipino Association to which almost all the Filipino laborers or Filipino working class in America is affiliated. He has lived in America for many years so that he knows America and the Americans better than any of us. I had a talk with him and I got the impression that he is against independence. His reasons are not clear, but he said something which if true is worth mentioning in a diary like this. He said that America will never give up the Philiipines, as they will use this country not only as a commercial base, but also as military bases. He said that America is preparing for a showdown with Russia and for this purpose, she will need the Philippines. I reminded him that the American people will not stand for that as they are against militarism. He answered that America and the Americans have this attitude and they will not hesitate in using the Philippines for preparing for another war. I, of course, do not agree with him. I feel that I also know the Americans because I have been with them for five years, the latest being only in 1938-39. I was present when Congress almost unanimously disapproved a big outlay for the fortification of Guam. I still believe that the Americans are not militarists and that they will not do anything in the Orient that may involve them in future wars.

I also reminded Dr. Moncado that under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, we will attain our independence on July 4, 1946. Moncado assured me that the Tydings-McDuffie Act will be revoked or modified so as to postpone the granting of independence for a number of years. I remarked that if we do not get our independence now we will never get it.

But I want to discuss the practical side. How could independence be postponed? Under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, postponement will require the approval of the Filipino people. Moncado is sure of the approval and when I asked him why he was so dead sure, he stated that Wall Street will intervene as this country is a good commercial base. He said with the influence of Wall Street, we Filipinos will have to approve postponement. Of course the insinuation is clear. Wall Street will flood the Philippines with money and use it to get the votes of the Filipinos. I also cannot agree with him. I am afraid he is out of touch with the public sentiment in the Philippines and the psychology of the Filipinos. My opinion is that the moment Wall Street interferes with Philippine affairs, whatever cause it may support will be a lost one. There will be a very strong reaction against the use of money to influence us. I want to admit, however, that Dr. Moncado is not alone in that belief. Alunan and Zulueta also believe that the Filipino people will vote for postponement, not because of the influence of Wall Street, but because the Philippines having been almost completely destroyed as a result of the war, the Filipino people will well understand that we will need America for our rehabilitation.

I cannot agree with their views and predictions. I think the Filipino people will vote against postponement of independence. I also doubt if America will be in a position to be of much help as she herself will find difficulty raising taxes and paying amortizations of her national debt. Furthermore, unless we become a part of America, she will not be interested in helping the Philippines as evidenced by the attitude of Tydings. It seems that the sacrifices made by the Filipinos, including the martyrdom of thousands upon thousands will not be sufficient to deserve the help of America. Finally, I am not convinced that we would necessarily need the help of America for our rehabilitation. It will all depend upon what kind of an economic state we wish to have. If we want our industries and agriculture to be developed in a large scale as in the past, to have many millionaires or rich men with palatial homes and many automobiles, then we must solicit the assistance of America.

But that is not my ideal setup. I wish there were more millionaires and rich men but I am not very interested in helping them. They may be able to solve their problems without any assistance. My ideal economic state is where there is no poor, where people have enough to feed themselves properly, to educate their children, and still have a little money for enjoyment. This is the ideal state; this is the condition that will free us from discontent and revolution. With such a modest program, we will not need the help of financiers with their millions. We need only funds to develop our idle lands which are abundant and fertile, to rid these areas of malaria and other diseases, to build roads to make them accessible to other towns, to subdivide them into farms and secure title for each holding, to amply finance the farmers who choose to colonize these areas during the first year or years of their colonization. Do not be miserly with them. The failure of colonies in the past has been due to the fact that the support of the government was timid and only half-way. The prospective colonist was dumped in Mindanao, and upon arrival they did not know where to go to seek help. They encountered all kinds of difficulties: malaria, lack of transportation facilities, lawsuits involving titles to the land they had cleared, etc.

What we need is a modest program by which we can uplift the masses; by which each family will be a small land proprietor. In this way, discontent and revolution cannot breed. The conservatism in Batangas where radical movements had not progressed is due to the fact that almost everybody is a land holder. With the masses happy and contented we can still build up a united and strong nation.

The other personality is Mr. Luis Taruc. He was reputed to be a Communist or Socialist. He had the reputation of being very radical. He was known to be against any government and to be ready to kill if necessary to propagate his ideals. In fact, some killings in Pampanga like that of Tapia had been attributed to him. Now he is detained here, not because he collaborated with the Japanese as the fact was that the Communists never fought with the Japanese, but because he refused to disarm his followers. I asked him what he is now. He answered that he is still a Socialist, but for the present he is abandoning socialism. He organized the United Front, the purpose of which is to work for social reforms in favor of the small men and, above all, for the independence of the Philippines. He thinks the Filipino people will vote against postponement. Regarding independence, they will accept no compromise. They will fight anybody, including Americans, if they are Imperialists. They are ready and willing to join or have an understanding with any political party or group whose platform is immediate independence. They would even submit to the leadership of others on this question. He is accompanied here by the assistant leader of their organization, Mr. Casto Alejandrino, who is also reputed as a dangerous radical. I found both of them very reasonable and very patriotic. With men like them, there is no fear of a revolution against a government which is honest and just and not run by special interest groups nor by corrupt officials who take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves—a government whose only aim and purpose is the upliftment of the masses who are undoubtedly entitled to happiness. Without discontented elements there can be no revolution.


May 15, 1945 Thursday

I asked Madrigal whether he had seen and talked to Osmeña and why Osmeña went to the United States. He said Osmeña had to go to Washington on account of the attitude of Senator Tydings, The Chairman of Insular Affairs. The U.S. Senator had said that we had to decide whether or not we wanted independence; and that if we chose independence, they would no longer meddle nor help. We would have to run our ship alone. If we wanted them to assist in the rehabilitation, we would have to ask the U.S. to withdraw their promise of independence or at least ask for the postponement of independence.

Coming from Tydings, it is quite a surprise. Independence was a settled question. We were to have it on July 4, 1946. Tydings was one of the authors of the bill (Tydings-McDuffie) providing for that independence. Why raise it up again? Why not just say, “Since you are going to have your independence, the United States can no longer help you in the rehabilitation.” We suppose that Tydings represents the opinion of his committee and the sentiment of the American people.

The statement of Tydings will cause a distinct surprise and disappointment to the friends of America in the Philippines. Before the coming of the Americans, almost every Filipino was waiting for the Americans, for many reasons. One of them is that some believed that it is of great material advantage to be connected with America. They believed that commercial preference like free trade would be continued. Some have connections with officials and employees of American firms and they wanted the Americans to come to be able to return to their former jobs. Unfortunately, there are many others whose motives were not very holy. They believed they will receive back salaries or back pay, pensions and indemnities for properties destroyed on account of the war. They believed that the United States would help us even after granting us independence. They consider it as some sort of compensation or recognition of the firm stand of the Filipinos in favor of America and the sacrifice of tens of thousands of Filipino lives for the triumph of American arms. To those people, the stand of America as expressed by Tydings will constitute a great disappointment.

Again the question of independence comes up. This question has divided us in the past and has been the cause of the stagnation of the development of Philippine economics. Instead of devoting their whole time and energy to the economic development of the country our public men devote their time to the discussion of political questions. Again, we will be losing time—time we need so very badly to prepare and carry out the program of rehabilitation and reconstruction. We should have a complete program for the economic development of our country.

We will again be divided and perhaps the campaign and speeches will be even more lively and bitter. I, for one, am in favor of independence right now. If America wants to assist in our work of rehabilitation, she can do so even with independence. Is not the sacrifice made by the Filipinos, the loss of tens of thousands of the flower of our youth, enough to merit assistance? But the Americans want the postponement of independence before they would help us. We are not stupid enough not to know that postponement means permanent retention of the Philippines by America.

In my opinion, the postponement of independence will merely delay the foundation of our nation. Whether we like it or not independence is coming. If we turn back and ignore the patriotism and sacrifice made by our forefathers to attain that which of right belongs to us—independence—and we now become anti-independence or propose the postponement of independence, you can be sure that other people will take up the cudgels. We may defeat them now because of our influence and means. But in the long run they will be the victors because their cause is just. It is the only goal that any self-respecting people can strive and fight for. The sacrifices for the sake of attaining independence were great and such sacrifices should not be in vain. Independence will come whether we like it or not. If so, let us begin early. Let us lay the foundation now for a united and strong nation. Why delay? Let us tackle fearlessly the problems now confronting us, and if America does not wish to assist us, then let us do it with our own energy and resources. We are not wanting in these, but there have been no concerted and well-defined programs for the full and vigorous use of such energy and resources.

Three news reports were received of interest to us.

The first is the formal surrender of Germany. It was received with joy, not only because we want the Allies to win, but also we believe that with Germany eliminated and the war in Europe ended, the war in the Pacific cannot last much longer. As a matter of fact, a good portion of the Army, Navy and their equipment is being transferred to the Pacific.

The second news is the occupation of Baguio by the American Army without much of a fight. We were worried because of friends and high government officials who are still there. We learned, however, with great satisfaction, the Ministers Emilio Tirona and Arsenio Luz, and Vice Minister Pio Pedrosa were safe and have already been brought to Manila to the concentration camp. It seems that the Japanese did not massacre or kill anybody before retreating as they did in Manila. This is was because of the fact that the Defense Commander of Baguio was General Babe, a very old retired general who had been sent to the Philippines to be the adviser of the Philippine Constabulary. He was a very kind gentleman with a feeling of true friendship for the Filipinos. When he was placed in charge of the defense of Baguio, we expected that no serious defense of Baguio would be made.

We began to ask each other whether it would have been better for us to have remained in Baguio like Ministers Tirona and Luz. The unanimous opinion seems to be that notwithstanding our hardships and sufferings experienced during our trip from Baguio to Tubao and the loss of almost all our personal belongings, we still do not regret our having come as we were able to avoid the dangers caused by almost continuous bombing and shelling, the menace coming from retreating Japanese and from men who were not real “guerrillas” but whose only purpose was to loot or rob other people.

The third news is to the effect that Balete Pass had already been taken by the Americans and that they are now in Sta. Fe. It took a long time for the Americans to capture Balete, which is a strategic ground for the defense forces. Now that this difficult natural barrier had been taken, it is now expected that the Americans will go faster in the campaign for the occupation of the Cagayan Valley.


June 25, 1942

Quezon is very much exercised because he found that the Army Intelligence Service had discovered that Colonel Andres Soriano, his Secretary of Finance, had been one of Franco’s fascists. And now they were investigating the loyalty of Soriano and of Quezon himself. Quezon busy dictating a strong letter of protest to Secretary of War Stimson. The letter was sent by hand. Quezon called the Secretary of War personally on the telephone, and Stimson replied: “Don’t take them seriously.” Quezon: “But I do–very.” Stimson: “Well, then, let me tell you a story: when I entered the Army in 1917 they at once put me in the intelligence division. The first afternoon I was there, I read that every second man I knew was a ‘spy.’ I’ll call in General Strong and give him hell.” Quezon added that the Army Intelligence is also investigating a foreign ambassador in Washington.

Pacific War Council that day.

Roosevelt said that the reason the Atlantic Charter had omitted all reference to freedom of religion was because neither Churchill, (who was present at the meeting) nor he, had thought enough about religion to remember to put it in. (N.B. this was disingenuous in view of the photograph published at the time showing Churchill and Roosevelt sitting side-by-side on the deck of the Prince of Wales singing each from a hymn book.) Roosevelt added: “Churchill and I forgot it–that is the fact, but I couldn’t very well admit that.”

Roosevelt remarked that King Peter of Yugoslavia was interested only in the Hollywood girls. “I’ll have to send for a couple of them.”

Quezon says that at the Pacific War Council Churchill looked across the table in a puzzled way at him, but when he heard Roosevelt refer to him by name, he had a look of interest and after the meeting, came around the table and shook hands saying: “I’ve never had a chance to meet you before and I am very glad of the present opportunity to congratulate you on the gallant fight put up by your people. We consider it to have been a very great contribution to the war effort.”

Harry Hopkins said to Quezon: “I see you are the best dressed man on the Council.” The Minister from New Zealand expressed doubt. Quezon replied: “I heard a radio speech in English from a Japanese saying that the Filipinos had lost all their virtues as Oriental people due to the influence of Spain and the United States. All that they care about now is to be well-dressed, so that people will look at them.” Hopkins got quite red–he has no sense of humour, which Roosevelt, on the other hand, has in such abundance.

Roosevelt minimized the taking of the two outermost of the Aleutian Islands by the Japanese, but added: “I don’t know what my friend Mackenzie King thinks of it–he lives nearer than I do.” Mackenzie King did not seem to be so unconcerned over it as was Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was asked if he was sure of the victory of his party in the coming Congressional elections–he said “Well–no. But I was Governor of New York with a Republican Senate, a Republican House; and I think I can kid them along.”

National Defense Act of the Philippines. Quezon said: “As soon as I had agreed with the President and Congressional leaders on a new independence law (Tydings-Mc-Duffie Act) which eliminated the provision for keeping the United States Army in the Philippines after independence should be attained, I realized the responsibility we had assumed for the defense of the Philippines. During the last world war, we had organized a Philippine National Guard, but American Army leaders had never encouraged the maintenance of this. So, this time, I realized that my first task would be to prepare the Philippines when free to assume the responsibility for its own defense. I went at once to see General Douglas MacArthur in Washington; he was the best informed–the one man to advise me. The following conversation ensued:

“Q.: ‘General, I wish to ask you some questions and I hope you will answer them fully or not at all–be very frank. Do you think the Philippines if independent can be effectively defended against a first class power?’

“MacA.: ‘I not only think so, but I know so.’

“Q.: ‘Would you be willing to assume the responsibility of preparing the Philippines to defend itself?’

“MacA.: ‘Yes, if the President will allow me.’

“Q.: ‘How much do you think it would cost?’

“MacA.: ‘How much are you now spending on the Constabulary?’

“Q.: ‘About 6,000,000 pesos annually.’

“MacA.: ‘Add to that 10,000,000 pesos each year for ten years–it can be done.’

“Q.: ‘Yes. If I am elected president, that very day I will wire inviting you to come to the Philippines at once.’

“We next agreed that an American law then in force authorizing the President to send, on request, military missions to the South American countries should be amended to extend also to the Philippines.”

Quezon added to me: “I saw Roosevelt again and asked him to let me have MacArthur, and to have this law amended; that was done before I left Washington.

“I was then very much encouraged as to our national defense problem. I believed every word MacArthur said, and felt very confident. But I suspected that the War Department was not very enthusiastic over our plan; I felt this still more so when my friend General Harbord came to Manila a couple of years later; he said nothing about the Philippine Army–either for or against.

“Back in the Philippines, I went for everybody who criticized our National Defense Act. But when in 1939, I saw Czecho-Slovakia and Poland fall–saw Germany defeat them so easily though they had far more by way of defense than we could acquire even at the end of ten years, I began to weaken. I then told the Cabinet that I feared I was spending more money on the National Defense than was justified. If nations like Poland and Czecho-Slovakia can be overwhelmed so quickly, it is possible they would also do it to us. Better, perhaps for us not to waste so much money.

“So, I began to hesitate; I told MacArthur and Sayre. Upon one occasion I made a statement to newspaper men that I was not as confident as I had been before of the ability of an independent Philippines to defend itself against a first class power. MacArthur did not contradict my newspaper statement, but he never lost faith in his work. I called him before the Cabinet and told him my doubts as to the effectiveness of our plans. He replied that he had always taken it for granted that our own defense would be implemented by the United States Navy.

“Of course, my concern was not over the situation of the Philippines so long as we remained under the flag of the United States. I felt first, that no other nation would dare to attack the United States, and, second, that in case of attack, we would not have to rely upon ourselves alone, that the prime responsibility for the Philippines would rest on the United States. Whatever we might have would be just that much help.

“At the beginning of November 1940, I gave notice to all Americans in the service of the Commonwealth that I could not commit myself to them beyond my own term of Office–so they all had a year’s notice before the election of November 10, 1941. I added: ‘I am not a candidate for re-election.’ I had no disagreement whatever with MacArthur; I intended to keep him but would not commit myself or tell him so. He asked me ‘What will you do if you are re-elected?’ I refused to explain and said to him, ‘If you find something you find more satisfactory, take it.’

“The result of the election of November 1941 was much bigger than before. Only Sumulong ran against me. He died later when I was in Corregidor.”


December 2, 1938

Went aboard the new government yacht Casiana at 6:30 p.m. with Don Alejandro Roces, Colonel Eisenhower, Colonel Hutter, Major Speth, Jake Rosenthal, Bob Rogers and A. D. Williams–all close friends of Quezon, who brought with him also his elder daughter Maria Aurora and his son Manuel Jr.

Very luxurious vessel and admired by all.

Bridge took up most of our waking hours on this brief trip. I had only one conversation with Quezon produced a story to record. He says that on his last visit to the United States in March, 1937, he told President Roosevelt that he was in favour of independence for the Philippines in 1938 or 1939, because the existing situation was impossible since: (a) the relations of the High Commissioner to the Philippine Government were not defined and (b) trade relations under the Tydings-McDuffie Act were so disadvantageous. So far as President Roosevelt was concerned, he was then willing to grant immediate independence.

Quezon reports a scene at the reception then given him in Washington by the Secretary of War. Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, adviser on Far Eastern Affairs in the Department of State, whom he describes as “one of those imperialists” came up to him and sneered at the plight in which the Filipinos would find themselves if they got immediate independence. Quezon roared at him: “We Filipinos can live on rice and fish, and to hell with your sugar and oil.”

Quezon also commented that if Murphy really did not wish to return as High Commissioner when McNutt withdrew, he was in favour of Francis Sayre. He says Sayre is a fine fellow, and a son-in-law of the late President Wilson. He learned as Adviser to the King of Siam how to get on with Orientals. “But,” he added, “Sayre is opposed to commercial concessions by the United States to the Philippines.”

Manuel Roxas joined us for the last day of the trip, and I saw him win seven straight rubbers of bridge. He is singularly well up in American political history. He seems to me facile princeps after Quezon. He is shrewd enough, I think to steer his way through all the shoals around him as he enters the present Administration. Very agreeable and interesting man.


September 26, 1936

Record of yesterday’s (Friday) one hour press conference–(not intended to be published verbatim, because the President answers all questions like a “good fellow” without having to consider the effects on the public). He is, however, quoted as being in favour of woman’s suffrage, adding: “my friends might say that the President changes his mind, but when I change my mind I have a reason for it.” This reminds me of my attempt last winter to persuade him to have a regular series of office appointments, not more than fifteen minutes each, and not to spend so interminably long a time listening to certain talkative men, by which process he dislocates his whole program. His reply to me then was: “When I give a long interview it is because it is important.” What he meant, I think, is that it was politically important to him to give up his time to that individual.

Another, and certainly important part of the Friday press conference dealt with the length of time for the existence of the Commonwealth. He said (without quotation marks): That his program of government presupposes the execution of the Tydings-McDuffie independence plan and that public affairs here were being so run that if Congress should decide to give independence tomorrow or say within five years from today, the Islands would be prepared to assume full control and responsibility for the government without any hitch. Then he was quoted as follows: “I have no doubt that many Filipinos want the Commonwealth to continue. Professor Kirk in a recent book answers the question intelligently. I do not believe that the average Filipino is for the continuation of the Commonwealth after the transition period has elapsed. The majority of the people are for terminating the Commonwealth. The protectorate plan is entirely out of the question because it is not understood and accepted in the United States. We are ready for independence in five years, even tomorrow, if Congress should decide to give it. I am preparing this government for that.”