January 13, 1970

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Malacañang

Manila

January 13, 1970

Awarded the Rizal Pro Patria to Don Vicente Madrigal.

Saw Iñing Lopez in the Meralco Hospital. Had lunch with him. Had sashimi and tempura as well as mizuno and Japanese melon. He is disgustingly healthy.

Worked the whole afternoon on counter-insurgency, the emergency plan and the Barrio Home Defense Force.

A new confirmed report of a plot to assassinate both me and the Vice President has just been reported by Boni and confirmed by Joe Maristela. The military group is headed by Terry Adevoso – the political group is still being checked.

Apparently the plans of the Liberal paralleled those of the communists. They will await the results of my efforts to improve the economic situation then if I fail, they will take advantage of this by assassination.

Well, we must not fail!!

And I must check the participation of Pres. Puyat of the Senate and Speaker Laurel of the House.

Ralph Nubla reported tonight that Congressman Yap of Tarlac, right-hand man of Sen. Ninoy Aquino, has said that they will give me six months – then they will strike. We must clarify all these plans.

 

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Malacañang

Manila

Imelda has a mass in the right breast and worries us because the doctors say that while there has been no change, an operation to remove it and to find out if it is malignant may be necessary.

I am suffering from pain in the right groin after golf. I hope it is not hernia. I see the doctor tomorrow.

And we were on a project to have another baby, a boy if possible. Massive injections of hormones for Imelda is necessary if we are to have a baby and this is not good for her growth in the breast which might develop into something serious with these hormones.


Monday, January 12, 1970

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Malacañang

Manila

Monday

January 12, 1970

The Villareal group has obtained 67 signatures. Went to see the body of Mayor “Banjo” Laurel who died in a helicopter crash at Pi, Cam. Sur the other night. Their heli went out of gas, landed, refueled with ordinary gasoline, took off at night and crashed.

If I do not help Pepito Laurel, he will lose the speakership fight.

Have postponed the caucus to Wednesday after Banjo’s funeral.

Will visit Iñing Lopez at the Meralco Hosp. tomorrow, at the suggestion of the VP, Nanding & Jose Aldeguer.

Received six vessels from the U.S. requested by Amb. Byroade, three LSTs, one tugboat and two LCVPs, this morning at Navy headquarters, then a courtesy call from Mr. Roy Mason, head of the Board of Trade of England, then the City boy and girl officials, Ramon Jacinto and Sen. Aytona on the requirements of ISMI which was one of the big contributors in the last campaign.

Am now completing the files including expenses and contributions.

Am giving Don Vicente Madrigal an award tomorrow at 10:00 AM.


September 1, 1945, Saturday

I am sick. I have fever and eruptions cover my whole body. How I remember my wife and children! How I miss their loving care!

We learned that the drawing of lots to determine who of the Senators should serve 2 years, 4 years, and 6 years took place last August 23. They used a device — something like that used by the Sweepstakes Office. Those who came out for 6 years are Pedro Hernaez, Proceso Sebastian, Nicolas Buendia, Vicente Rama, Alejo Alonto, Domingo Imperial, Emiliano T. Tirona and Eulogio Rodriguez; for 4 years, Melecio Arranz, Quintin Paredes, Ramon Fernandez, Esteban de la Rama, Manuel Roxas, Carlos Garcia and Rafael Martinez, and myself; and for 2 years, Ramon Torres, Elpidio Quirino, Claro M. Recto, Jesus M. Cuenco, Jose Yulo and Vicente Madrigal. Evidently, the deceased senators David Maramba and Jose Ozamis were not included or assigned to 2 years. I do not believe this could be legally done; they should have been included. It is especially important as Ozamis might have died after the 2 year term was over. There is some criticism about the drawing. Fraud is insinuated. I doubt it, however; if the Sweeptakes system was adopted, fraud is impossible.

I am satisfied with the result. Now if I decide to quit politics as I have always wanted, I can. But I may be forced to continue in politics to seek vindication.

I would like to have the following for they contain important publications: (1) Daily News, August 24, 1945; (2) Daily News Magazine, August 1,1945; (3) Gallegos’ Economic Emancipation, published on August 17, 1945, (4) 7 papers published by the Pacific General Headquarters.


September 1, 1945, Saturday

I am sick. I have fever and eruptions cover my whole body. How I remember my wife and children! How I miss their loving care!

We learned that the drawing of lots to determine who of the Senators should serve 2 years, 4 years, and 6 years took place last August 23. They used a device -something like that used by the Sweepstakes Office. Those who came out for 6 years are Pedro Hernaez, Proceso Sebastian, Nicolas Buendia, Vicente Rama, Alejo Alonto, Domingo Imperial, Emiliano T. Tirona, and Eulogio Rodriguez; for 4 years, Melecio Arranz, Quintin Paredes, Ramon Fernandez, Esteban de la Rama, Manuel Roxas, Carlos Garcia and Rafael Martinez and myself; and for 2 years, Ramon Torres, Elpidio Quirino, Claro M. Recto, Jesus M. Cuenco, Jose Yulo and Vicente Madrigal. Evidently, the deceased senators David Maramba and Jose Ozamis were not included or assigned to 2 years. I do not believe this could be legally done; they should have been included. It is especially important as Ozamis might have died after the 2 year term was over. There is some criticism about the drawing. Fraud is insinuated. I doubt it, however; if the Sweepstakes system was adopted, fraud is impossible.

I am satisfied with the result. Now if I decide to quit politics as I have always wanted, I can. But I may be forced to continue in politics to seek vindication.

I would like to have the following for they contain important publications: (1) Daily News, August 24, 1945; (2) Daily News Magazine, August 1, 1945; (3) Gallego’s Economic Emancipation, published on August 17, 1945; (4) 7 papers published by the Pacific General Headquarters.


August 21, 1945, Tuesday

7:30 a.m. The market was almost dead. There were no quotations for buyers. Sellers were getting sleepy as there was no movement. Don Vicente Madrigal, the President of the Exchange, was so disappointed that he ordered the temporary closing of the Exchange. The sellers left with bowed heads, some even with tears as if some near relations had crossed the Great Divide. But Bayan kept watching and surreptitiously or privately (outside the Exchange), he bought, but timidly and only very small lots.

At 9:00 a.m., Dr. Bunye came and reported that Col. Gilfilan was going by boat. Why not by airplane like others, others who were even minor officers? Immediately we concluded that Gilfilan was going to accompany us, as did Col. Superintendent Forbes when we were brought over here by boat.

At 10:45, Zulueta, who had gone to the hospital not to be cured but rather to smell for news, came back with the report that the Postmaster had certified that the radiogram was authentic. Zulueta considered his trip highly successful because some way or other he was able to connect himself with the cook of Col. Gilfilan and the cook assured that he had overheard a conversation with the Colonel in which the release of war prisoners was mentioned. Immediately the stock market was revived and there were brisk transactions. But Don Vicente persisted in not opening the Exchange, so all transactions had to be done privately — off the Exchange.

At 4:00 p.m., transactions suddenly stopped. It was learned that Col. Gilfilan and Lt. Reyes were going by airplane and not by boat. Consternation! Paredes endeavored to save the situation by stating that his interpretation is just the reverse — that the news was favorable. To show he meant it, he bought some shares. The action of Paredes elicited no enthusiasm.

But we were just like fools. There was too much wishful thinking. When it was found out that the S.S. Mactan had not arrived, some, including myself, illogically came to the astounding conclusion that we were leaving on that boat.

7:00 p.m. Cortez came and reiterated his belief. No reaction.

8:20 p.m. It was announced that MacArthur was going to Washington. More pessimism as it was suspected that in the meanwhile we would be forgotten.

Up to 10:00 p.m., conversations here and there — all pessimistic. Mr. Papa, who works in the Supply Office, said that the matter had been the subject of a conversation in said office among the Americans and themselves. They are all agreed that such a cablegram was received and that war prisoners could be no other than us. If we are not released or taken to Manila, then the word “war” must have been misinterpreted or erroneously codified. It might have been “Insular”.

Let us sleep and hope for a brighter next day.

* * * * *

The Pacifican newspaper states who will be considered war criminals. They are those who sold war materials; those who actually aided the military operations of the enemy; and those who otherwise gave aid to the enemy. We do not come under any of these classifications.


August 18, 1945, Saturday

9:00 p.m. Since 8:00 p.m., a musical program has been going on to celebrate the birthday of Mr. F. C. de la Rama. In the midst of the intense celebration, Mr. Reyes, who with two other internees had been working in the radio office of the Army under Lt. Fernandez of the Signal Corps, suddenly broke into the crowd with a piece of paper in his hand. He beckoned aside Messrs. Paredes and De la Rama, and whispered to them that a radiogram had been decoded by them indicating that we would be released. He was looking for Chief Yulo who was not present at the party. When he went inside the quarters to look for Yulo, a few who were no longer interested in the program followed him. The radiogram as read by Chief Yulo went something like this: “Magic White. SS Mactan arriving tomorrow. Prepare war prisoners to be released.”

Great excitement! Everybody talking all at once! Pandemonium broke out, but everyone was prevailed upon to calm down as the news must be kept secret or confidential. Employees in the radio room are strictly prohibited from divulging contents of messages. The people could not contain themselves, however; they could not suppress their jubilation. But it was done as a part of the birthday celebration for Mr. de la Rama. The celebration became very boisterous and lively. The singers and poets became more inspired. De la Rama was requested to say a few words. He delivered a speech reminiscent of the Moriones meetings in Tondo. He was lavishly applauded. It was interpreted as a bid for election. It is known that he intends to present his candidacy for a district in Laguna. Some remarked that with his Tagalog oratory and his money he could be elected. He said something else which we appreciate very much. He counselled those in the B class to be united among themselves and with us, and to follow the leadership of the Filipino leaders with us. This seems to have impressed the crowd. The party ended with a grand rush for the cigarettes and cakes freely distributed by Mr. De la Rama.

After the program there were all kinds of comments. I stated that our release can be expected to come soon inasmuch as MacArthur clearly stated that we would be detained for the duration of the war as a measure of military security. Now that the war is ended, no further military security is involved.

It was also customary to recall past events to confirm, interpret or clarify the present event. It was recalled that while Col. Gilfilan was having an inspection this morning, he asked, “When do you want to leave?” This question was then taken as a joke. Now we believe that it was done in all seriousness as the Colonel already knew that we would soon be leaving.

We were so excited that very few of us were able to sleep that night. In the first class quarters, talk continued. I could have slept as I generally sleep well, but I purposely kept myself awake to hear a very important and interesting conversation — a conversation that may affect the future course of politics in the Philippines.

Yulo proposes that we be united, that we organize ourselves, and that we form a ticket for the next general election composed of Paredes for President and Alunan for Vice President. The others will run for the Senate or the House, preferably the latter. He said that he had already decided to retire from politics, but he was now determined to run because the leaders in Manila are hopelessly divided. If this ticket triumphs, our full vindication will have been realized. He thinks this ticket will be very strong. Osmeña and Roxas were both “pros” so that their forces would be divided. The people of Pres. Quezon are still intact and have not made their inclination known. They will rally behind the banner of this ticket. Doña Aurora de Quezon will be a very big factor in Philippine politics and she will undoubtedly support this ticket. Alunan and himself (Yulo) were rivals — if they got together there will be almost a unanimous vote in Negros. Paredes controls more votes in Ilocandia than Quirino who may be the vice presidential candidate in the Roxas ticket. A big percentage of the population is being accused of collaboration and this group will support the ticket. As to the platform, Paredes will draw in the radicals, whereas Alunan will attract the conservatives. Yulo and Alunan can count on the assistance of the Americans and other foreigners who also can wield powerful influence in the Philippines on account of their financial hold on Philippine economic life. Yulo reiterated that if this ticket is not launched and the leaders in Manila continue to be divided, he will retire from politics completely.

The reaction to Yulo’s plan was very favorable. Paredes and Alunan agreed that Yulo himself be the candidate. Alunan wanted to show that he is no less gallant than Yulo. Yulo, however, cut short all talk about his candidacy. Paredes was not displeased as he harbored ambition to be Chief Executive of the Philippines some day. Alunan also is not irrevocably opposed.

The entire group in the officer class, except two or three, is very enthusiastic. One of those who remains silent is Sen. Recto — he avoids the issue by just smiling. He continues to be a sphinx notwithstanding efforts to pump him. It may be that he also has political ambitions, although he insists that his intention is to quit politics and devote his time to his big law practice. Madrigal and Sabido not only are lukewarm, but have insinuated disconformity. This is probably due to the fact that they are too closely attached to Osmeña. They intimated that Paredes should be the vice president in Osmeña’s ticket.

Among the enlisted class, there is greater enthusiasm. Paredes has won their admiration with his virile attitude toward the Americans. They are proud of him because he has no inferiority complex towards the whites like many others, and he champions their rights and petitions even if his own privileges are endangered. There are some who show opposition, but they are very few. They are composed of professional non-conformists or “contrabidas” — always saying “yes” when everyone says “no”, and vice-versa, and those who for purely personal reasons hold a grudge against Paredes.

We got up early the next morning, all sleepy but full of hope.


August 2, 1945, Thursday

We began a Novena to San Judas Tadeo, my wife’s favorite saint. She used to go to the Cathedral to pray before the saint. Paredes is the leader. He also has been going to confession. We were wondering whether he had left the Masonry in which he was an ex-grand Master and one of the most prominent.

It was reported that Cummings, when he was Attorney General, rendered the opinion that collaborators would lose their citizenship. The best legal talents are here in this camp and they all said that they could not understand how Cummings could render such an opinion.

We received another version of the instructions of Pres. Quezon. It was in the form of a cablegram to Col. Nakar, Commander of the USAFFE forces in Northern Luzon, which reads as follows:

For Gov. Quirino and Gov. Visayas, Masaya, Isabela. In reply your telephone re instructions to you in case occupation your province by Japanese, you must remain in your post to maintain peace and order and protect civilian population until Japanese take over government authority. In case you asked by Japanese to continue performing functions you should use discretion considering best interests your people but should be sure no personal or official aid and comfort to enemy especially its military activities. Municipal police should continue maintaining peace and order until relieved by Japanese but Constabulary should immediately join nearest Philippine Army detachment. In case you withdraw to hills or mountains keep in touch with Voice of Freedom, or another station in occupied territory or K.G.E.I. San Francisco for possible further contact with Commonwealth Government. Quezon.

The telegram was dated Washington, April 18, 1942.

Above is substantially the same as other instructions given, which I have previously mentioned.

This day the Lieutenant came with an American who was looking for me. I became rather nervous. It turned out that he was Mr. L. C. Ashmore of the C.I.C. I thought he came to investigate me. He introduced himself and he seemed to be very nice. He said that the Manila office had sent him a letter to ask me certain questions on Imports and Exports during the Japanese occupation and also certain business practices of the Japanese. He gave me an outline of what he wanted. I immediately prepared a memorandum on the different matters contained in his memorandum and, on August 15th when he came back, I handed it to him. I kept copies of his memorandum and mine.

On account of the Luz’s illness, we have been recalling his many acts. Zulueta recounts that one afternoon, Luz called Alunan and himself, and with Luz’s forefinger on his lips to indicate that they should make no noise, he led them to a corner. Luz said he had very important news and Alunan and Zulueta became very anxious to know what they were. Suddenly he stood up and sang “Pregunta a Las Estrellas.”

Shortly after his arrival, he asked that we hold a special prayer for the soul of his mother as it was the anniversary of her death. He prepared a prayer which he said with full devotion. But his prayer was that Madrigal give his millions to our cause.

The next day he called us all to a meeting. He said he had very important news to transmit. Since we did not know him very well then, we were very eager to hear what he had to say. After a long preliminary which kept us more anxious, he broke down and began to cry. He announced that he was suffering from malaria and he hoped that we would not mind if he stayed with us. In chorus, we told him that we had no objection.


July 18, 1945 Wednesday

Life here is very monotonous. We see the same things and do the same things over and over again. We try to occupy our time, to entertain ourselves. We go to church every Sunday and pray the Rosary in a body in the evening. We have learned to do manual work such as sweeping and cleaning our premises. We have learned to sew, to wash clothes, to make our bed and to do other household odd jobs. We exercise regularly, and in my case, on Sundays when we are allowed to go to the town plaza for recreation, I play baseball. Every Monday, we are allowed to see moving picture shows, and in our quarters we hold programs to entertain ourselves composed of singing, boxing, poetry recitation, magic, etc.

Each of us has his special activity. Chief Yulo likes to meditate and brood over our situation. Speaker Paredes spends his time taking up matters with the prison officials as our spokesman, talking to the enlisted class, playing solitaire, reading, writing and entertaining himself with local girls who pity us so much that they try their best to console us. Recto has returned to his old love — writing poetry. He also reads extensively. He furnishes us with a lot of entertainment with his orations and amusing jokes. He also plays card games. Alunan takes it easy and spends his time reading and taking care of his health. Paez reads and plays “a holoy”. Zulueta has a carpentry shop and a kitchen. He spends a good portion of his time preparing a meal and eating it with gusto. Sabido enjoys making predictions which, unfortunately for us, never come true, ponders on economic problems, reads and plays a little card. Justice Bocobo reads and writes much and prays. Madrigal takes a lot of reducing exercises and is continually planning for the future development of our country. Sanvictores is the exercise booster and reads considerably. Luz entertains us with his jokes and interesting conversations. Gen. Francisco is suffering because of the injustice done to him and to forget, he reads constantly. Sebastian has the most diversified activities; he reads, writes, sings, exercises and plays cards. He has also been the most helpful to his companions. Abello reads much, and, as an experienced secretary and being the Benjamin, he is the jack-of-all-trades in the party, helping in everything. Sison keeps himself very busy by taking care of the beautification of our premises. He is also our spiritual head, conducting all our prayers. Bayan takes care of all engineering work and plays chess. His teeth are giving him a lot of worry. Lavides has no specific hobby; he likes to do whatever could be of help. Aquino watches over the games played by others, sometimes taking part himself and pondering on what this is all about. Urquico is pitied by all of us as he is always sick. The most interesting activity is that Paredes. Some young girls, in their eagerness to cheer us up, have been sending food and letters. Don Quintin takes pains answering their letters which are very entertaining, although devoid of all romantic expressions. We could see in them their deep sympathy for our unfortunate situation. They ask us to write in their autograph books. I wrote the following: “July 15, 1945. Unknown to you, but deep in his heart is engraved a sincere feeling of gratitude for the sympathy bestowed upon us who suffer terribly for having served our motherland.”

I recall those days during the luncheon meetings of the Ministers. Instead of discussing the specific tasks assigned by the Japanese, we would while away the time by sending notes to one another across the table. These notes expressed the nationalistic sentiments of each one of us. They were written in Spanish, Tagalog and English. I wish now that I had conserved these notes which could help very much in our defense. I liked the notes written by Claro M. Recto best. Recto would scribble a nationalistic poem in a matter of minutes, revealing what was in his heart and mind. I too scribbled a lot of notes and poems.

Inside the stockade there are now very few incidents. All are doing their best not to mar our reputation. There are some exceptions. Someone was placed in the isolation cell for one day for having stolen some clothes. Two men were placed in isolation for a week for having foolishly tried to escape. Another was almost similarly punished for defying an order to work. He was excused, however, as he showed that he really had hurt himself while working the previous day. He yelled at the Lieutenant, but one good trait of an American is that he does not hesitate to admit that he is wrong.


July 4, 1945 Wednesday

Great day for the United States. It is Independence Day, marking the birth, of the American nation. She is justly called the cradle of liberty — the repository not only of the democratic rule, or government by the people, but she also adopted principles and ideals to guarantee the rights of men.

But what a paradox, what an irony — the Philippines is still under the Stars and Stripes. She should not have stayed here so long. We have been deported and imprisoned. We have been forcibly taken from our homes and separated from our dear ones. We have been humiliated and made to suffer. We have been treated like hardened criminals, muted with persons accused of treason and other serious crimes. In other words, we have been deprived of our liberty. And all these without any trial, without proper investigation, without even informing us of the charges against us. Oh, liberty, justice, where art thou?

It is said that the most serious charge against us is for having signed the two “manifestos” — both beseeching the people to keep peace and order and to help in the reconstruction of the Philippines. I shall discuss the first document in connection with my statement as to why I accepted a government position under the Japanese regime. As to the second “manifesto”, I signed it together with many others, not voluntarily and willingly for, as a matter of fact, it was imposed upon us, but without any regret. Under the circumstances, it was a good and justified step. We wanted our people to keep peace and order while they were defenseless and at the mercy of the Japanese. We wanted to save as many Filipino lives as possible. The peaceful citizens who lived outside cities and towns were suffering terribly because of the criminal and unscrupulous elements who took advantage of the disorder to prey upon them. Food production and transportation of foodstuffs were being interrupted or at least made difficult. Many in the cities died of malnutrition. The poor and those belonging to the middle class suffered terribly for lack of food or because food prices were beyond their means. Under the circumstances, what could we do but urge that peace and order be maintained.

Although it is July 4th, a holiday in the United States and in the Philippines, many of the enlisted class are being made to work at the new camp. They are hurrying up the work to be able to finish it as soon as possible. We are now too crowded in these quarters and we understand many more are coming. We may be happier here because it is in the center of the populated portion of the colony, but if we shall be crowded, we would prefer to be transferred to the new site. The work at the new camp now is done by rotation unlike before when it was done by volunteers. This seems to be a better arrangement because attendance was never assured — sometimes there were many and at times very few; some persons work there everyday, others do not work at all. There were complaints about the food, about being guarded too strictly, that they cannot take any rest, that they are being made to work in the rain. Proper complaints were filed and the authorities seemed to be inclined to hear them out. Food now is more abundant and the treatment better. But we must admit that at times the treatment accorded is well justified. Some men abuse the liberty given them and, instead of working during working hours, they would go fishing, or gather fruits, or talk to colonists. The motto should be “Work hard during working hours; any deviation from this rule is cheating.”

Aurelio Alvero was ordered today to go to the new camp to work. He refused on the ground that he is suffering from rheumatism. He was told that unless he complied he will be put in the “bartolina” which has just been finished. The “bartolina” is only about one and half meters by two meters in size and there is no ventilation except a small opening. It must be hell to be in there, especially when it is hot and with bread and water only for subsistence. Alvero says he does not mind being placed in the “bartolina”. I think what should be done is to have Alvero examined, and if his claim is true, he must not be compelled to work. Alvero said that he was afraid to get wet in the rain which will worsen his condition. He will be willing to do any other kind of work.

* * * * *

In connection with Romulo again, after the nomination for candidates for Senator in 1941, Romulo, who was an intimate friend of mine, showed coolness towards me. I attributed it to the fact that I was nominated and he was not. His resentment was absolutely unjustified. We all worked for him and we were able to get a big majority in the convention promise support for Romulo. Although Pres. Quezon always said that he wished the convention to act freely, the fact was that he controlled the nominations. He was the one who prepared the list of candidates and the names in his list were the ones nominated in the convention. When we submitted the name of Romulo, the President flatly refused for two reasons: he belonged to the same organization (Philippines Herald) as Don Vicente Madrigal. As Madrigal had already been chosen, Romulo could not be a candidate. The other reason was that he was not supported by a majority of the delegation from his own province, Tarlac. How could he expect other provinces to support him when his own province would not even vote for him? But there was a clear majority in favor of Romulo in the convention. It was probably influenced by the Free Press poll in which he got first place among an array of big men. Because of this, I had been calling him “Senator”. When later I was nominated and he was not, I noticed that he changed, probably believing that if I had not been included he would have been nominated. But it was all in accordance with the desire of President Quezon.

I was not a candidate at the beginning. Having been in politics for many years, having held high positions and dispensed many favors, there were many who wanted me to be a candidate. During the Free Press Contest, many approached me to ask my permission to include my name among the candidates. I objected strongly. I was through with politics. I had good reasons not to return to politics. I was in the government service from 1910 to 1922, in politics from 1922 to 1933, and a member of the Cabinet (Secretary of Public Works and Communications and as Secretary of Finance) from 1933 to 1939. In 1938-39, I was Financial Adviser to the President and member of the Economic Mission to America (Mr. Osmeña was Chairman). Having been repeatedly entrusted with power by our people and having held many of the highest positions in government, I felt satisfied. The only positions higher than the highest I have held are that of President and Vice President. Although many persons have talked to me about these positions, and modesty aside, I feel I can do the work to the satisfaction of the people especially in view of my record as an executive, I nevertheless have never had the ambition to occupy a position higher than those I have held. On the other hand, I felt that I had served my people sufficiently and I should devote the rest of my years building myself economically to insure the welfare of my family, consisting of a wife and ten children.

It is true that I made a lot of money from 1939 to 1941 when I was connected with Marsman enterprises as Vice President and Director of their many companies. But I had not yet saved enough to insure the future of my family. My whole plan that November of 1941 when nominations for senator were being considered, was to continue in business with Marsman & Co. I felt that my plans would be impossible to realize if I ever entered politics again. When I left the government I was deeply indebted — about ₱115,000. This was the result of politics, of having stayed too long in the government where one cannot possibly have made money unless he was dishonest; unless he violated the public trust and took advantage of his position to enrich himself. Under these circumstances, why would I want to reenter politics by allowing myself to be nominated as Senator, which at the time meant sure election, not only because I was well known all over the Philippines, but also because of the so-called block voting? (Block voting is that system by which a vote for the ticket of a party is vote for all the candidates of the party.)

How and why was I nominated? I was busy working in my office on the 4th floor of the Marsman building at Port Area. I tried to forget politics and I believe I had succeeded — never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that I would enter politics again. My determination was strengthened by the fact that my wife and children who had suffered troubles and deprivation because of politics were strongly against it.

It was in the latter part of October, or the beginning of November, when I was called by Pres. Quezon to Malacañan. I thought he was going to talk about the elevator for his new house that Mr. Marsman had given him. I went to see him immediately. I was surprised when he came right out and told me that he wanted me to be one of the candidates for Senator. It was totally unexpected. The papers mentioned many names in connection with the nomination, and I was not included. It was because they understood very well that I was tired of politics — that I hated it. I was satisfied with my work at Marsman & Co.; I was paid well — enough to insure the welfare of my family.

I was speechless for many seconds. Finally, I was able to answer the President that I would like to be excused as I had decided to quit politics for good. He asked me to think about it and to come back after two days.

I did not have to think about it; I was decided not to be a candidate. I nevertheless consulted with my wife and children. Tears streamed down my wife’s face. She knew what it meant. She suffered much because politics had ruined us financially. Furthermore, when I was in politics, she had no rest. Any time of the day or night, she was molested by my constituents. She could not refuse to see them because they were men who had worked and sacrificed much, even spending their own money, to further my candidacy. It would have been the height of ingratitude not to attend to them and be gracious. Remembering all these, her answer was a definite no, for which I was glad as it was in accordance with my conviction.

I returned to Malacañan and told the President of my decision. The President was surprised; he could not understand why I was going to forego and opportunity to be a Senator without having to work or spend for it. He argued with me, stating that I should seize the opportunity, that I could still continue in business, and that I should not turn down any opportunity by which I could serve my country.

I answered him that I had already served my country perhaps as much as any other Filipino (almost 30 years of continuous public service). He then explained the reasons why he wanted me to be a candidate. He said that the Senate was recreated to imprint more seriousness in the legislative business; that the single chamber system was a failure — many bad laws and poorly prepared laws have been passed by the present Assembly; that with every election the radical elements increase and, after a few more elections, they may get control of the Assembly; and that the Assembly is being infiltrated more and more by irresponsible persons. He proposes to insure with the recreation of the Senate that only good laws will be approved. For this reason, he wanted the members of the New Senate all to be serious and responsible, men who are well known for their accomplishments, men in whom the people will have full trust and confidence. This is the reason why he had included me. I naturally felt very flattered. Nevertheless, I repeated my negative answer. I told him that I had already considered the matter from all angles. He left me in disgust.

I went back to my office happy and contented. I thought the matter was closed. Before that day, I had not consulted anybody in the Marsman Company. After the second conference with Pres. Quezon, I decided to consult with Mr. Benjamin Ohnick, Vice President of Marsman & Co. and the ranking man in the organization since Mr. Marsman was in the United States. Mr. Ohnick was inclined to advise me to accept, but did not want to assume full responsibility. He decided to consult Mr. Marsman since the latter was the one who got me into the organization. He sent a telegram to Mr. Marsman. Mr. Marsman answered advising me to accept. He said that under the circumstances, I could not decline. I was rather embarrassed. I regretted having consulted Mr. Marsman and Mr. Ohnick since I had already declined and the President seemed to have dropped the whole matter. I decided to forget the whole thing.

But a week after my second conference, Pres. Quezon called me again. He curtly told me thus. “I want you to be a candidate.” I answered, “Mr. President, you should have commenced that way. You know that I cannot refuse or disappoint you. When I left the government, I pledged to you that you could call on me at any time. You wished to convince me by argument, and I had given this matter serious thought. Now that you want me to be a candidate, it is decided. I accept,” I noticed that he was very pleased. I left rather depressed.

Two days afterwards, I received a letter from him. He said that he had given further thought to the matter and he was of the opinion that I could not be a candidate without resigning my positions with Marsman & Co. I also studied this angle and I also came to the conclusion that there is an incompatibility between the office of Senator and my positions of Director of Marsman & Co., Vice President of the affiliated companies like the Marsman Building Corporation, Marsman Trading Corporation, Cardinal Insurance Co., Insular Drug, and President of the Coco Grove (a mining company). I was also director of many other affiliated companies like the lumber company, etc. Some of these companies get government contracts and there is a prohibition in the Constitution against members of Congress being interested directly or indirectly in government contracts. But I could not disappoint President Quezon and, on the other hand, the matter had already gone too far for me to withdraw since everybody already knew that I was a candidate.

I told Mr. Ohnick about the new incident. He told me to resign, as indicated by Mr. Quezon, after my election. He said that later, he would make other arrangements that would not violate any laws since he understood very well that I could not afford to give up my income from Marsman entirely as the compensation of a senator could not support my family. I so advised President Quezon.

I was nominated formally by the Convention and elected as Senator. Although I hardly campaigned, I occupied sixth place in a roster of 24. Later, Mr. Ohnik told me that the plan was to appoint me later as adviser or attorney for the corporation which does not fall under the prohibition. In fact, many Senators and Representatives occupy those positions in various companies. But I shall divorce myself from all executive positions.

Those are the facts about my nomination. As may be seen, my candidacy had nothing to do with the non-nomination of Romulo.