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March 23, 1942

The Army formally took over the NARIC this morning. This is what I said:

The work of the NARIC heretofore has been to stabilize prices both to producers and consumers. Notwithstanding forecasts of failure by many of the best business minds of the country, this corporation has been successful from the beginning of its operations, as compared with results obtained from similar institutions in other countries.

We have been ordered verbally by the Japanese authorities to control and regulate the harvest and distribution. It is undoubtedly a colossal task. We have been requested to cooperate towards that end and our adviser-supervisor Mr. Yoshio Noya, has asked us to muster up determination, because this is the policy of the block economy of Japan. Under these circumstances and upon orders as you have just heard, it behooves each and everyone of us to work and cooperate along this policy to the end that we may assure the country its main staple food—rice.

As to the present harvest, time is running short. To save the harvest from spoiling, I earnestly reiterate what I have repeatedly urged upon the authorities: to provide immediately these four indispensable needs: (1) police protection; (2) fuel for trucks, threshers and mills; (3) sacks; (4) financing.

We are appreciative for this visit of the High Command and we hope it will be fruitful to all concerned.

Today’s shocking headline: “QUEZON REPORTED DEAD IN ILOILO.”