Thursday, May 7, 1942

After breakfast I left for Norala where I held a meeting with the settlers of the poblacion. The Overseer, Assistant Overseer and the Barrio Lieutenants were also present. I apprised them of the war conditions in the Philippines. Some inquired as to whether the Japanese would be able to conquer all the Phil-American forces in the Philippines. I told them about the latest developments of the war, stating that Corregidor had fallen and that present indications show that before long the Japanese will have completely occupied the Philippine Archipelago. However I told them not to despair because I felt sure that in the long run American would win. In the meanwhile, I said, if our Army surrenders and the Japanese come to assume actual occupation, all we can do is surrender also. At this meeting I also informed them of the fact that the Administration would no longer be able to send them more than 100 pavanes of rice or corn. Further, salt making in Lagao has been suspended since the Japanese attack at Dadiangas and therefore the Administration would no longer be in a position to supply therm with this prime necessity every 3rd week. Therefore, I counselled, it was necessary for the Overseers and the settlers to work out together a system of dealing a group of settlers from Norala to go to Lagao and make their own salt. I suggested that the settlers appointed be bachelors. I inquired from those present for volunteers to go to Lagao and many unhesitatingly raised their hands, on condition, they said, that while they would be away their farm lots and home lots would be taken cared of. I next talked to them about our more immediate menace: the Moro outlaws. I told them about the many reliable information received from Tacurong, Lambayong, Tinumiguis, and Buluan about more depredations among homeseekers there. Also about the incident of Barrio 1 of Marbel, where a settler who evacuated to his farm lot was robbed and killed by the Moros. Some settlers informed me that they had also received information that in Daguma and other places north of North Ala the Moros were banding together with a view to driving all the Christian Filipinos from Tacurong, Buluan, and Tinumiguis out of their respective farms. They requested that I send them more firearms. On this question I told the Overseer, his Assistants, the barrio lieutenants, and the settlers present that my previous long experience with the Moros in Lanao show them to be great bluffers at most, and that if the Christians show lack of courage they will find the Moros actually attacking them, but if they show that they are just as willing to fight as the Moros, they will find that the latter will cowardly back out from their threats. I told them of my experience in Lanao and Jolo where a few companies of PC soldiers were able to maintain law and order because they showed that they were not afraid to face the Moros in a square fight. I instructed Supervising Overseer Larrabaster and Overseer Nograles to organize a vigilant ronda system in every barrio whereby any Moro who approaches the place either ai daytime or at night should be halted and if found armed, disarmed. I directed all those present to sharpen their bolos and make spears out of boho so that they will be just as well armed as any invading Moro. I told the gathering that those among them who are afraid to fight may ask permission from the Overseer and Assistant Overseer to leave the settlement. All those present viva voce expressed their will to fight to the last.

Before leaving Norala, I talked over one more matter with Supervising Overseer Larrabaster and Overseer Nograles, which is that of establishing a very reliable courier system whereby all news about Moro depredations and outlawry would be sent to me in Banga so that I may be able to take necessary steps to help them if they are not able themselves to control the local situation.

Inspire of all this menacing reports that reach the settlers in Norala I was pleased to note that their farms activities are as unsolved as ever and that the crops they have planted are growing well. Once again I councilled [counseled] them to wage an intensive campaign against the locusts.

In the evening I stayed up to listen to a 10:40 broadcast from KZRH Radio Manila by Lieut. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright of the terms of the his surrender. These terms, as broadcasted included the complete capitulation of all Phil-American forces in the Philippines, including the Visayas and Mindanao forces. Upon hearing this, I immediately called Mr. Morrow, my assistant manager, into conference. We decided that with the lessening of the menace from Japanese air activity and the increase of the Moro menace it was advisable to recall all settlers who had evacuated to their farm lots, especially those in Tupi, Marbel, and Polomolok, very few of whom were left in their barrio houses.

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