A total of 9,000 males are included in the first draft for compulsory labor in Jap airfields, port installations and other military establishments. The names of those forced to serve have been sent to neighborhood presidents who will in turn forward the names to neighborhood leaders who will then inform the draftees to appear in a certain place at a certain time until an Army truck brings them to their working places. Stiff penalties ranging from heavy fines to many years of imprisonment and even death will be imposed on those who evade the labor conscription. Meanwhile Tribune editorial claims it is an honor to help in the defense of one’s country and that Filipino youths should be proud Japs are willing to make them work side by side with them.
Some people are asking: “Why doesn’t President Laurel complain? Why does he permit this forced labor? Didn’t he promise that he would not allow conscription? Is this not conscription? Of course, it is not military conscription but it is labor conscription and is that not worse? Under military conscription, you are at least armed but under labor conscription, you have nothing but spades and hoe’s and you work in veritable targets.”
Malacañang however is very silent. Instead Laurel gave a dinner party honoring T. Yamashita, new commander-in-chief. Yamashita pledged “to defend Philippines even at cost of my own life.” Tribune stated that Filipino leaders (puppets) were impressed at the energy of new-commander-in-chief.
Meanwhile guerrilla activities in Luzon have been intensified. There are strong rumors that a submarine landed several officers from Leyte with orders from Gen. MacArthur to give final instructions to guerrilla troops. It is also believed that guerrilla bands are being united at present under one leader for unity of command and to make efforts more effective.
Listeners over Voice of Freedom are worried because Brig. Gen. Carlos Romulo has not spoken for the last three days despite previous announcements by Voice of Freedom that the general will speak daily for the Commonwealth Government. “Has he been hurt? Is he sick? Or Maybe he returned to the States? Or is he in some battleship on way to Luzon?” nobody knows, many guess, everybody is worried. Japs are happy because he used to say a lot of things that was embarrassing for them. From Baguio however comes the news that Mrs. Sergio Osmeña, wife of President Osmeña, has disappeared with daughter. People are wondering if the Japs have taken her or if she is hiding with guerrillas or if she is now on a submarine to Leyte. People too are asking if Sergio Osmeña Jr. who has been collaborating with Japs is with Mrs. Osmeña. Guerrillas were after Serging’s neck because he was a shame to country and to his father but they have not taken drastic action against him “in deference to his father.” Reports from Pagsanjan also reveal that Mrs. Carlos Romulo and children have also disappeared. It is known definitely however that the Romulo family is at present hiding with Luzon guerrillas. One son of the general, Carlos Jr. is an officer of the underground forces.
Servants from Bay View Hotel state that “there is an American aviator, a tall fellow, in the seventh floor”. The American aviator parachuted when his plane was hit by an AA shell. The aviator said that he had been in Europe with the bombers raiding Berlin.
Lichauco house was taken by Navy. Helped them pack their things and carried several bundles to their new house. Lichauco was given two days to vacate premises or said the Navy “We will move right in with you”. Lichauco hurriedly packed his things because he has three beautiful daughters and he didn’t want Japs to live with them. People are asking: “What is the Jap Navy doing here, taking houses, instead of going out to sea?”
Just finished reading Philippine Review, a Jap controlled magazine. It claims that balance of war in Europe is in favor of Axis. It gave no reasons. I didn’t expect to find any.