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March 7, 1942

Reign of terror.

Shades of the Inquisition, the “Red-purge,” Jan Valtin’s “Out of the Night.”

Sison has disappeared. He fled to the mountains. The Japanese Military Police is looking for him.

Stories have crept out of Fort Santiago. Men are being tortured. Several have died because of the “water-cure.” Blows, lashings, chains, hysterical screams.

Tanco ate with me. Related the manner of his investigation. “I spoke out the truth,” he stated. He was nervous, agitated. I don’t blame him. Tanco told me he admitted to the Military Police that he saw a copy of U.S. News through Pagulayan.

Stories of men tied upside down for days, without food nor water. Stories of men under whose finger nails sharp sticks were inserted. Stories of men clubbed with bats on the back, the shoulders and then the head.

Found this note on my desk. It speaks for itself.

March 7, 1942

7:40 a.m.

My dear Doctor,

I am going to Fort Santiago this morning, as per Mr. Nakashima’s instructions yesterday, with a clear conscience, as I know that I have not done anything inimical to the interest of the Army of Occupation. In fact, I have done my bit in suppressing not only among my fellow-employees but among my friends outside any talk not only against the Japanese but also about war in all its controversial aspects. This is not to say that there has been much talk against the Japanese in our office; far from it. But I have tried to help guard against any undesirable rumors of whatever nature. Some even insinuated that I am pro-Japan.

I am grateful, doctor, and deeply so, for your kind words for me in front of Mr. Nakashima yesterday. I shall treasure your generous commendation. Whatever happens, doctor, I trust I can always count on your magnanimous help to me and all of us, your men in the office. If worse comes to worst in my particular case today, I shall pray God that you may not, as in the past, neglect your servant. I have tried to be worthy of your confidence, and you know it, Sir. Now that I am in the cross-roads of my life, I will continue to hold on to your bigheartedness. I have (and my family has too) always prayed for my immediate chief, Mr. Pagu, for his safety. May God hear my prayers, the prayers of all his friends including yours, Doctor, even in the dark future, I shall also be praying for you.


Ferrer was allowed to return home late in the afternoon. There were several contusions on his body and he had a black eye.

Read the Bushido. Impressed by one of its tenets: kindness and fair treatment towards the enemy. It emphasizes chivalry.

Every time a Japanese manhandles a Filipino, anti-Japanese hatred increases. Fort Santiago is the most powerful propaganda arm of the United States.