Perhaps no small community has ever seen such divergence in social position, in worldly possessions, education and political beliefs and principles. We have people who dominated Manila society and men who have never seen the halls of Manila society. We have the worst criminals and men who cannot break the most innocent act against the law. We have the richest men in the Philippines and men of the poorest class. We have doctors of law and first order literary men, and men who are illiterate. We have men who are communists and men who are typical representatives of the capitalistic class. We have men opposed to independence and men who will sacrifice their lives for the independence of their country. We have a man who has no par in the Philippines—Dr. Moncado who controlled the most powerful Filipino organization in America and who founded a sort of religious sect in Lanao. With such divergence it would seem that there would be conflicts and rivalries among us. But such is not the case. Each person looks at the other as a friend. There is harmony and understanding. Probably our common fate is uniting us.
There are two persons I am very interested in knowing. One of them is Dr. Hilario Camino Moncado. He is known all over the Philippines because he was the president of the Filipino Association to which almost all the Filipino laborers or Filipino working class in America is affiliated. He has lived in America for many years so that he knows America and the Americans better than any of us. I had a talk with him and I got the impression that he is against independence. His reasons are not clear, but he said something which if true is worth mentioning in a diary like this. He said that America will never give up the Philiipines, as they will use this country not only as a commercial base, but also as military bases. He said that America is preparing for a showdown with Russia and for this purpose, she will need the Philippines. I reminded him that the American people will not stand for that as they are against militarism. He answered that America and the Americans have this attitude and they will not hesitate in using the Philippines for preparing for another war. I, of course, do not agree with him. I feel that I also know the Americans because I have been with them for five years, the latest being only in 1938-39. I was present when Congress almost unanimously disapproved a big outlay for the fortification of Guam. I still believe that the Americans are not militarists and that they will not do anything in the Orient that may involve them in future wars.
I also reminded Dr. Moncado that under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, we will attain our independence on July 4, 1946. Moncado assured me that the Tydings-McDuffie Act will be revoked or modified so as to postpone the granting of independence for a number of years. I remarked that if we do not get our independence now we will never get it.
But I want to discuss the practical side. How could independence be postponed? Under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, postponement will require the approval of the Filipino people. Moncado is sure of the approval and when I asked him why he was so dead sure, he stated that Wall Street will intervene as this country is a good commercial base. He said with the influence of Wall Street, we Filipinos will have to approve postponement. Of course the insinuation is clear. Wall Street will flood the Philippines with money and use it to get the votes of the Filipinos. I also cannot agree with him. I am afraid he is out of touch with the public sentiment in the Philippines and the psychology of the Filipinos. My opinion is that the moment Wall Street interferes with Philippine affairs, whatever cause it may support will be a lost one. There will be a very strong reaction against the use of money to influence us. I want to admit, however, that Dr. Moncado is not alone in that belief. Alunan and Zulueta also believe that the Filipino people will vote for postponement, not because of the influence of Wall Street, but because the Philippines having been almost completely destroyed as a result of the war, the Filipino people will well understand that we will need America for our rehabilitation.
I cannot agree with their views and predictions. I think the Filipino people will vote against postponement of independence. I also doubt if America will be in a position to be of much help as she herself will find difficulty raising taxes and paying amortizations of her national debt. Furthermore, unless we become a part of America, she will not be interested in helping the Philippines as evidenced by the attitude of Tydings. It seems that the sacrifices made by the Filipinos, including the martyrdom of thousands upon thousands will not be sufficient to deserve the help of America. Finally, I am not convinced that we would necessarily need the help of America for our rehabilitation. It will all depend upon what kind of an economic state we wish to have. If we want our industries and agriculture to be developed in a large scale as in the past, to have many millionaires or rich men with palatial homes and many automobiles, then we must solicit the assistance of America.
But that is not my ideal setup. I wish there were more millionaires and rich men but I am not very interested in helping them. They may be able to solve their problems without any assistance. My ideal economic state is where there is no poor, where people have enough to feed themselves properly, to educate their children, and still have a little money for enjoyment. This is the ideal state; this is the condition that will free us from discontent and revolution. With such a modest program, we will not need the help of financiers with their millions. We need only funds to develop our idle lands which are abundant and fertile, to rid these areas of malaria and other diseases, to build roads to make them accessible to other towns, to subdivide them into farms and secure title for each holding, to amply finance the farmers who choose to colonize these areas during the first year or years of their colonization. Do not be miserly with them. The failure of colonies in the past has been due to the fact that the support of the government was timid and only half-way. The prospective colonist was dumped in Mindanao, and upon arrival they did not know where to go to seek help. They encountered all kinds of difficulties: malaria, lack of transportation facilities, lawsuits involving titles to the land they had cleared, etc.
What we need is a modest program by which we can uplift the masses; by which each family will be a small land proprietor. In this way, discontent and revolution cannot breed. The conservatism in Batangas where radical movements had not progressed is due to the fact that almost everybody is a land holder. With the masses happy and contented we can still build up a united and strong nation.
The other personality is Mr. Luis Taruc. He was reputed to be a Communist or Socialist. He had the reputation of being very radical. He was known to be against any government and to be ready to kill if necessary to propagate his ideals. In fact, some killings in Pampanga like that of Tapia had been attributed to him. Now he is detained here, not because he collaborated with the Japanese as the fact was that the Communists never fought with the Japanese, but because he refused to disarm his followers. I asked him what he is now. He answered that he is still a Socialist, but for the present he is abandoning socialism. He organized the United Front, the purpose of which is to work for social reforms in favor of the small men and, above all, for the independence of the Philippines. He thinks the Filipino people will vote against postponement. Regarding independence, they will accept no compromise. They will fight anybody, including Americans, if they are Imperialists. They are ready and willing to join or have an understanding with any political party or group whose platform is immediate independence. They would even submit to the leadership of others on this question. He is accompanied here by the assistant leader of their organization, Mr. Casto Alejandrino, who is also reputed as a dangerous radical. I found both of them very reasonable and very patriotic. With men like them, there is no fear of a revolution against a government which is honest and just and not run by special interest groups nor by corrupt officials who take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves—a government whose only aim and purpose is the upliftment of the masses who are undoubtedly entitled to happiness. Without discontented elements there can be no revolution.