Three officers, a Colonel, a Lieutenant Colonel, and Major arrived. We thought that they came to investigate our respective cases. We soon learned that they were here to inspect our quarters. They went all around and seemed to be satisfied with the sanitary conditions. The Major, however, began asking questions. We did not know his purpose. He asked me whether we were comfortable. I answered that for a prisoner, we were comfortable. He asked next whether we were happy. I of course had to answer him in the negative.
From the very beginning I was not happy as I do not like the implications of my detention. It implies treason to my country. This is far from the truth. I served my country and my people and no other country or people. There is also the implication that I was an anti-American. Given any antecedents and my connection, I can not possibly be anti-American. Finally, there is the implication that we constitute a menace to war security. Would I help the Japanese, especially after the death of my daughter at their hands? Considering these injustices, I cannot possibly be happy.
At 11 this morning, we were surprised to see Don Vicente Madrigal, the millionaire, coming. Everybody was glad to see him as we were all hungry for news from Manila. He said he was arrested two days previously, detained at Quezon City, and later brought by plane via Leyte. He told us about the destruction of Manila and the killing of countless Filipinos, including some very prominent people, by the Japanese, by American bombing and shelling, and the street fighting between the Americans and the Japanese. Asked about the attitude of the people towards us, he said that not only was there no bitterness, but that the public reaction was favorable. He also said that his feelings towards the present government is not that of enthusiasm. The head, Mr. Tomas Confesor, is dividing our people by going after those who held any kind of important position under the Japanese. Many reacted angrily to this. For instance, Macario Peralta, the head of the guerrillas in Panay, said that Confesor was not a hero as he did nothing but hide in the mountains.
Don Vicente Madrigal said that Gen. MacArthur seems to be in favor of the holding of sessions of the Philippine Congress. He furnished facilities to bring to Manila the Senators and Representatives. President Osmeña, however, answering an inquiry, wired against the sessions, saying that the policy with reference to the collaborationists must first be defined. To do otherwise may imperil our independence, the progress of rehabilitation and also the commercial treaties that we may want to enter into.
Madrigal also informed us that the economic condition in Manila is not satisfactory. Money was scarce and so were commodities. This was a surprise to me. I am sure it will be a disappointment to many who thought that upon the arrival of the Americans, money and commodities would be plentiful.
Asked about the cause of our detention, he answered that he had good reasons to believe that it was the result of pressure on the part of Filipinos who are now in power, like Confesor. I commented that such an attitude was regrettable. The financial and economic problems are very serious and all the Filipinos are needed in the solution of those problems. I made it clear, however, that in so far as I was concerned, I do not want to hold any more positions in the government.