January 4, 1970
Ex-Pres. Macapagal who is visiting in Singapore says that he is shocked by the news that there is supposed to be a secret agreement for the Sabah claim to be relinquished by the Philippines after the resumption of diplomatic relations.
There is no such agreement. I used Mr. Moon Park and Mr. Chang Ming Thieu as emissaries to Prime Minister Tungku Abdul Rahman and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Ragak so that they would agree to the resumption of diplomatic relations. The Tungku had insisted on such relinquishment of the claim and a recognition formally of the sovereignty of Malaysia over Sabah, but I refused and they formally agreed that after diplomatic relations our two peoples should get used to each other travelling in our respective countries before we spoke of these matters. The Filipinos should now go to Sabah and invest there.
VP Agnew in Thailand and Taipeh has said that I asked him whether America was slowly withdrawing from Asia and he had answered in the negative. I asked Pres. Nixon the same thing. He was more vague, although when he reached the U.S. he did say what Agnew is saying now.
What I want to know is what bases they are going to keep in Asia and what troops where, and under what arrangements
Agnew is quoted as saying he had told me that he had made me understand and that he told me
that, of course, the number and location would change with the need.
He told me nothing of the kind.
On the last day of his stay here, Jan. 1st, when I talked to him about the U.S. helping us on our present balance of payments problem, he was evasive. I did not press the point.
Either he has no power to commit the U.S. or he is still feeling his way around.
During the conference at 11:30 AM if Dec. 31st when I met all the special envoys of 44 governments who attended my inauguration, the only matter on which there was some vestige of promise of help was on studies of typhoons and their control. Amb. Byroade is supposed to follow this up.
I impressed on VP Agnew that we in Asia could not make any plans on our security if we did not know their plans but that however even in such state of ignorance we in the Philippines are moving to prepare to defend ourselves on our own.
He invited me to come to the U.S. after September 1970 – preferably not while the other heads of state are in the U.S. on the UN anniversary. I made no commitment on the exact date but did promise to go.
Pres. Nixon and VP Agnew strike me as very evasive about helping the Philippines now although they are supporting us in the IMF and IBRD in our efforts to get dollar loans.
I am skeptical about the wisdom of a trip to the U.S.
I have told Sec. Romulo repeatedly that there should be no further talks of the U.S. military bases in the Phil and our wish to remove them as we will use this as the “ultimate weapon” in the trading that may be needed to obtain recognition of our special preferences in the American market. For if our quota on sugar is not extended by the Sugar Act’s extension this year or by treaty in the replacement of the Laurel-Langley agreement, then the sugar industry is wrecked and our economy may be disastrously affected.
So I have told VP Agnew that before the formal negotiations on trade and security start we should have an understanding as to what terms such negotiations would arrive at. I said that I would like Amb. Byroade to be able to sit down with me on this.
Rod Reyes, editor of the Manila Chronicle, has just told Kits Tatad that they are planning to serialize the libelous book of Chit Navarro on Imelda.
We have to watch the Lopezes and Montelibano. They are still sore for my veto of their franchise to operate a telephone and telecommunications company anywhere in the Philippines and the NuVue – a cable television company that would select programs from any of the television companies (without permission from the latter) to be flashed to their subscribers by cable. Both were illegal and unconstitutional but they took offense at the veto.
They are the worst oligarchs in the country.
I must stop them from using the government for their own purposes.
Piding Montelibano is working on the reclamation project of Republic Real Estate – pending adjudication in the courts.
Iñing Lopez strongly urged that I appoint Piding as Secretary of Finance, as if the position were vacant. This was a repetition of the recommendation in 1965.
Peace and order must be immediately attended to.
I must work out the programs for exports and tourism.
Then I must appoint the replacement of Gov. Calalang as Governor of the Central Bank. The IMF consultative group arrives in Jan. 10th.
There are more than 100 CFI vacancies, 7 Court of Appeals, one in the Supreme Court and another vacancy coming up in February.
The Armed Forces has too many hold-overs who should be retired.
We must change the strategy in Central Luzon against the Huks. We must restudy the use of civilians either as agents or informers.
There are three basic problems that I am personally attending to:
- Peace and Order
- Balance of Payments
- Land Reform
Exports and Tourism come under the 2nd and Central Luzon under the 1st.