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January 3, 1942

Looting continues unabated. War brings out the noble and the degrading in man. Saw three Japanese soldiers talking with two women with painted faces in a street-corner.

Thousands of people mobbed our warehouses. The bodega on Batangas street was completely looted. Asked Chief Torres and Mayor Nolasco for police protection, but they had none to offer.

After consultation with Sec. Vargas, it was decided that I take up the problem to the Japanese authorities. I called up Consul General Nihro, but he was not in his office. Vice-Consul Itoh attended me instead. I made the following representations, having nothing but the people’s welfare in mind. Firstly, the people must be assured of their rice supply; otherwise there will be riots, bloodshed, deaths. Secondly, NARIC warehouses must be provided with military protection. Thirdly, sales must be authorized in Pureza, Evangelista, Batangas, and Azcarraga. All these selling points must be well protected. Fourth, NARIC trucks must not be confiscated. Rice distribution must not be hampered in markets, sari-sari stores, schools and NARIC warehouses.

Mr. Itoh was courteous, understanding and helpful. I think he realizes the seriousness of the food situation. We went to the Manila Hotel to look for the Army’s quartermaster. Finally, found the supply officer at the Army and Navy Club. The Japanese commander said he would study my propositions tomorrow, Sunday, and he promised to give his decision on Monday.

A government official’s job is a thankless one. I’d like to leave my work right now, stay home, sit on my sofa, and read books. That’ll free me from a lot of headaches, gossip and a strained health.

There are bombers again. I can hear their drone. It must be another raid on Bataan. I wonder if my son is still alive. I keep telling myself there is nothing more glorious than the death of a soldier in the battlefield. My eldest brother Joaquin died in the war of 1898.

Thinking of the eternal sleep keeps me from sleeping.