February 26, 1986

I met with Cesar Virata to agree on a smooth turnover of the Office of the Prime Minister. He agreed but asked for time to meet with Batasan MP’s (KBL). My takeover was delayed because Virata said the Constitution requires that the Batasan must elect the PM. However with sympathetic KBL MP’s (Yñiguez/Virata/JPE plus UNIDO stalwarts, I am assured of a clear majority.

I asked (Ambassador Jose) Ingles to arrange my takeover of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


December 8, 1985

I called a press conference to announce the filing of my candidacy as official UNIDO candidate for the presidency.

In my statement I said: “I can sacrifice myself. I can sacrifice the presidency. But I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice the people who have suffered so much and worked so hard all these years, risking life, liberty and even honor, to put up the political machine that is now capable of toppling the Marcos dictatorship.”

That same afternoon I filed my certificate of candidacy with COMELEC.

Telegrams and long distance calls from all over the country poured in expressing support for my candidacy.


December 7, 1985

Early the next morning, I had made up my mind. I went back to Manila and met Cory at my house. I told her I had decided to give way to her. My only condition was that she should run under UNIDO after all, it was the largest and most organized party in the country at that time. It was accredited as the dominant opposition party. Its capacity to wage and win a nationwide campaign had been convincingly demonstrated in the 1984 elections when we won one third of the seats at stake.

But Cory could not see the point. She would not run under UNIDO.


November 12, 1985

I was invited to attend the NUC which I had created as President of UNIDO and I was therefore anxious to find out the truth of the two documents I had just read. We met at the Cojuangco Bldg. Cory, obviously aware of what Celing Palma was going to do, begged off and left after a few minutes. She said she could no longer be a “unifier” because she was already a potential candidate.

Then I heard Celing Palma suddenly insisting on everyone agreeing on the NUC becoming the DOP. I expressed surprise at this because the NUC is a creation of the UNIDO and it is not right that the creature should displace the creator as DOP.

Then I questioned Celing Palma’s pretension at being neutral, and I mentioned the plot described in the “Gathering of Davids”. At first Celing Palma was denying her role but I said I had the documents to prove it. Because I had questioned her neutrality, she resigned as Chairman of the NUC. Soc Rodrigo, Vice-Chairman, took over.

As part of the planned media blitz to discredit and destroy me and UNIDO, the NUC-CG went on the rampage the next day falsely reporting that I had “shouted” at an “old, venerable lady”. They even distorted it further by saying I had “pointed an angry finger” at her.

I was emphatic but I never shouted at Muñoz-Palma. I never pointed an “angry finger” at her. Soc Rodrigo, who was beside me, can attest to this. But that was all to be twisted and played up by media as planned by Cory’s secret advisers who are very ruthless and bitter people, full of hate and vengefulness.


November 11, 1985

Arrived from Tokyo this morning.

Spoke before the Manila Rotary Club. During the open forum that followed my speech, a die-hard supporter gave me 17-page document entitled “A Gathering of Davids”, dated October 30, 1985. Attached to it was another document consisting of 9 pages entitled “Declaration of Unity, dated Dec. 26, 1984.

the first document was a carefully conceived plot to destroy and discredit UNIDO and me as presidential standard bearer. The objective was to grab the leadership of the opposition from UNIDO and place it in the hands of left-leaning elements, using Cory as their tool. Obviously, this was hatched while I was in US.

The plot had a time-table. They were supposed to the COMELEC accreditation as Dominant Opposition Party (DOP) by Nov. 5. But they were delayed because of my absence. The NUC was to be used as the instrument to get the DOP from UNIDO and Ex-Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was the anointed implementor. All along she had pretended to be “neutral”, but the document clearly showed that she was already part of the plot to replace UNIDO as DOP and replace me as presidential candidate. Their plan was to make Cory the presidential candidate and NUC as the DOP.

The plotters were:

Lorenzo Tañada — Convenor Group

Jose W. Diokno

Jaime V. Ongpin — Convenor Group

Cory Aquino — Convenor Group

Jovito Salonga ?

Butz Aquino

Aquilino Pimentel

Sonny Osmeña

Tito Guingona

 

They were the signatories also to the “Declaration of Unity” which had agreed to legalize the Communist Party and swore to immediately remove the US Bases — which Eva Kalaw and I had refused to sign.

It was specifically stated that the UNIDO was to be “forced” “as quickly as possible” to yield to NUC-CG demands “or else” be “isolated” and “viewed as the villain” by the people. A well-planned concerted media blitz to discredit and destroy UNIDO and me “at all cost” was already planned. “Coordinated press releases, interviews” were ready.

The so-called “Command Structure of the Coalition” excluded UNIDO. A convention within 48-hours also excluded UNIDO.

A letter addressed to the NUC, attention MP Cecilia Muñoz Palma, “reminding” her to seek the DOP status for NUC bu November 7, was already drafted.


October 18, 1985

National Unification Committee representatives (NUC) came to the house this morning to suggest process of selection of common opposition candidate. I told them I am already the official candidate of the only accredited opposition party, UNIDO. I suspect they are eyeing Cory as a candidate. It is possible Cory has intimated to Cecilia Muñoz Palma that she may change her mind about running if she is the common candidate. But Cory had continued to deny this in public. I am, however, proceeding with my campaign schedule. Tomorrow I will leave for Surigao and Cebu. Then to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Iloilo next week.


June 14, 1985

I will have to raise funds. Many friends are helping but not enough to support a presidential campaign. Marcos is entrenched –20 years in power. He is no longer popular and he is sick -but businessmen are still afraid of him. I will have to tap friends in Japan and U.S.

Since Marcos has not yet announced the holding of snap elections, this gives me time to raise funds and go around the country. UNIDO will have to match KBL organization. KBL has all the local officials as members. But we have the people. It’s a matter of making them know that the opposition is united under one leader and candidate. The people want change. They have had enough of Marcos.

Meanwhile, beside fund-raising, a calibrated exposure to media, especially the foreign press, which is not under control of Malacañang! I will be fighting a man with unlimited funds and who has the AFP as his private army!

Consolidating opposition forces while reaching out to disgruntled KBLs.

Leaving for Cagayan de Oro to meet Mindanao leaders. Leaving for Tokyo, New York and Washington. Will be back on Sunday, June 23.


June 12, 1985

Today was a whole day affair. More than 25,000 delegates and leaders of UNIDO attended the Nominating Convention at the Araneta Coliseum. They came at their own expense. All we gave them was a hamburger, two hard boiled eggs and a banana for lunch. All political leaders identified with the opposition were present. Even Cory came despite attempts of her “advisers” to dissuade her.* I am told by old-timers that it was the biggest and fightingest political convention on record –and I was unanimously nominated presidential standard bearer of the opposition. I expect Marcos to call a snap election soon –before Christmas.

This will be an all-out fight.

I immediately set the tone of the presidential campaign in my acceptance speech which I entitled “The Final Battle”:

The UNIDO is committed to non-violent change. Bloody revolution is not the only path to freedom: Democracy cannot take root amidst violence. All confrontation must end in reconciliation.

But those who would oppose us know that we will never give up this fight.

We will never give up the fight against repressive rule, against deception, against hypocrisy, against the twisting and shrouding of truth. We will never give up the right to live as human beings in a society where human rights are not denied at the will or whim of one man. Democracy is non-negotiable.

*I am confident we will have only one candidate in the opposition. The only other possible candidate is Cory but she has repeatedly told me she is not interested and that she will never run for the presidency. She has said this privately and publicly. She appears to be sincere. She attended today’s convention and even delivered a speech supporting my candidacy. I was told her advisers (Tañada, Diokno, Arroyo) were trying to stop her and she was in tears because she wanted to –and she did. Her advisers obviously have their own agenda. I hope Cory will not become a tool in their hands.