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).
Dinner at Malacañan for Cabinet–Doria wore her new black dress which was a great success, and Quezon asked her chaffingly if she was in mourning for King George? Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, sat on one side of me, and spoke con amore of how I supported him as Director of the Bureau of Lands against American attacks. He said Secretary Denison only supported him when, as Governor General, I ordered it. I urged Corpus to write his memoirs–he said he had been a newspaper reporter for five years before I appointed him as Director of Lands, but that his own style was only anecdotal.
Talked with Under-Secretary Albert, who remembers not only the Philippine Revolution against Spain, but later on an interview he had with President Wilson; he came back here sharing a cabin with Quezon when I arrived in the Manchuria in Oct. 1913. He said that Quezon was much excited when he secured my appointment as Governor General through Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan in 1913–he then said: “now we are sure to get independence.” Albert gave Doria some complimentary accounts of me as a public speaker.
After dinner, I talked for a half hour with the President. He told me of his difficulties in appointing Judges, and said that Osmena had urged on him the nomination of Rafael Palma to the Supreme Court. That he (Quezon) had wanted to appoint him, and had consulted Chief Justice Avanceña and other Justices–that they had been rather non-committal, but when Quezon returned from Baguio, and asked them again about Palma, the Supreme Court Justices had meanwhile heard Don Rafael Palma argue a case before them and were now certain that he was not qualified to be a Justice. Quezon said that Osmeña had asked for an appointment with him every day for a week, and that he had given every excuse, especially that he was tired, until it was too late for Osmeña to interfere again. Osmeña then told Quezon that they were better able to select the judges than was the bench. I called his attention to how Osmeña had nearly wrecked by administration by his insistent recommendation of Venancio Concepcion as President of the Philippine National Bank. We agreed that Osmeña was a bad judge of men. I called his attention to the efforts I made for five years to induce him (Quezon) to break with Osmeña. He replied: “It took me twenty years.”
Osmeña had also persistently tried to get an appointment with Quezon to argue in favour of Aldanese. Quezon and I agreed that the Collector of Customs was personally straight, but Quezon said he had been put in an awkward position by Governor Wood. I complained that the Philippine Government was full of graft, and asked whether it was not because Governor Murphy has had his head in the clouds. Quezon said, “no, you must not think that of Murphy”–that the original fault was with Governor General Wood–that corruption was rife under him. That his successor, [sic] Governor General Davis had announced in a speech in Honolulu that he was going out to the Philippines to clean up graft in this country. That while Davis was here, he never knew anything at all about the country.
The announcement of the Government’s decision to cancel the lease of the arrastre to Simme & Gilke had subjected Quezon to a perfect bombardment of letters of protest from Americans. They state that the lease of the arrastre to the Manila Terminal Co. under Governor Wood had greatly improved the freight service at the Manila docks. Quezon said that perhaps it had not been done any too well before but that he was going to turn it over to the Manila Railroad Co. and have Paez manage it; that the Manila Terminal Co. had been making 500,000 pesos a year out of it. That they had offered Aldanese a large salary for extra service with the Manila Terminal Co.; that Governor Wood had permitted him to accept; [that it was “unethical” for the Collector of Customs to have another salary from a business firm.] This practice had been stopped November 15 under the new constitution.
Quezon next talked about the (Baguio) Constabulary Academy case, where he had just dismissed eight of the cadets, including his own nephew, for hazing and had transferred Colonel Johnson, the Commandant. The cadets whom he had examined personally concerning this case, had replied that they thought the regulation against hazing was a dead letter. I told him how President Thomas Jefferson in the last year of his life had ridden down from Monticello to the new University of Virginia and had dismissed his own two nephews (my great uncle Cary and his cousin Carr) for a student prank. He said he wished he had known of this, for he would have cited it as a precedent in this Constabulary case.
When Aguinaldo confirmed my fears that something serious could happen to the campaign because it was not known under what plans we were going, the President reassured me by saying that Del Pilar had planned everything and had provided for any eventuality, and that it was Del Pilar who was responsible for said campaign. Rifle shots rent the air. Colonel Sityar informed Aguinaldo and Del Pilar about this, but Del Pilar, laughing, told him, “Colonel, you confuse rifle shots with noise produced pounding rice.” This remark somewhat troubled Colonel Sityar who told me within earshot, “If only the General were accustomed to hearing rifle shots.”
We left Bayambang by night in a special train for Calasiao, and here we disembarked. The honorable president was accompanied by the secretaries of the interior, treasury, and foreign affairs, and by General Concepcion and aides; Colonel Leyba, Lieutenant-Colonels Topasio and Quesada; Majors Tirona and Jeciel, and Colonel Sytiar, of the staff; the governor of Pangasinan, Barcelona, Villa, and others; the Cavite battalion and one company of artillery. The honorable president’s wife, his sister and mother, the sisters and mother of Señor Leyba, and the wife of Colonel Sytiar were also with the party.
It was 12 o’clock at night, and we were all assembled in the plaza of the church at Calasiao. At about 1 o’clock a.m. we resumed the march for Santa Barbara. The mud was terrible, reaching up to the knees. We made a forced march and succeeded in reaching this town at 8 o’clock a.m. and continued the journey. In this town our forces were joined by the “Mixed” battalion under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Joven, and by General Pilars brigade, commanded by the general himself. So our column was now composed of more than 1,200 armed men. We continued our journey toward the extensive forest of Manaoag, and reached it at dawn. After everybody had breakfasted the honorable president ordered that our forces be divided into two columns, one to serve as a vanguard under the command of General Pilar himself, and the other to form the rear guard commanded by Colonel Montenegro.
The honorable president, his wife and sister, the two sisters of Señor Leyba, Colonel Sytiar and wife, General Concepcion and adjutant, Majors Tirona and Jeciel, the governor of Pangasinan, Barcelona, and Villa all accompanied the vanguard. Some 250 troops composed the vanguard.
With the rear guard were the honorable president’s mother and son, Colonel Leyba and mother, and Lieutenant-Colonel Joven and his batallion.
In view of the famous intrigues which resulted in the sensible death of our lamented General Antonio Luna and Colonel Roman, General Aguinaldo who lived under that false impression decided to have me always within his eyesight, and it is this fact which determined my present appointment and also the appointments of General Hizon and Colonel Leyva as first and second chiefs, respectively, of his military room; so that those who were cognizant of the great diplomacy of Aguinaldo called us the three punished ones.
[Kalaw: General Concepcion’s version of the death of Luna after gathering information from other officials is as follows:]
On the 2nd or 3rd of June Luna received a telegram from Aguinaldo asking him to form a new cabinet and asking him to see the President at Cabanatuan. Luna found out upon reaching Cabanatuan that the officer whom he had disarmed was in charge of the bodyguard of the president. Upon going up to the presidency he also found out that Aguinaldo had left for San Isidro. He was naturally disappointed at the apparent failure of the President to keep his appointment. Suddenly a revolver shot was heard from below. Luna walked downstairs to see what was the matter, but before he left the last steps he was stabbed in the back, then he and his aide Colonel Roman were fired upon and boloed, till they died.
On the following day, I inquired whether or not the officers of my brigade had been presented to the President, and Del Pilar, with signs of satisfaction, led me to one of the rooms and said to me: “There they are –they are being held incommunicado as a result of an investigation which I am conducting on orders of the Captain General.”
[Kalaw: The following morning, June 6th, General Concepcion received a telegram from the President of the Council of Government advising him of the death of General Luna at Cabanatuan the day before, on June 5th.]
Immediately I went to see General Aguinaldo and told him of the lamentable happening showing the telegram I received and he showed great surprise not being able to say a word for five minutes, and then said at last: “Please return to your headquarters; in the meanwhile reserve to yourself such a grave incident and order the presentation to the captain-generalship of all the forces armed with mausers!”
As soon as everybody was in front of my headquarters, General Del Pilar separated from us and ordered his men to surround my headquarters. He posted four sentry guards each in front of all the offices. He changed my guards with members of the Presidential Guard and then presented himself to Aguinaldo inviting him to go upstairs with him. Once upstairs, Aguinaldo and Del Pilar held a secret conference. I was later subjected by Aguinaldo to an interrogation about an alleged conspiracy which he said had been planned against him.
According to what chiefs and officers closest to General Luna have told me, there had been occasions in which the forces under his command went to the extent of hating him, since in battles, without attending to reasons, circumstances or conveniences, he was taking them to real suicide; in a word he gets mad when he hears the enemy’s fire… People versed in the military art concede to General Luna great merits as chief of a column, whose radius of action he can dominate with his eye, but not as director of great operations, because his foolhardiness