Office of the President
of the Philippines
[Marginal note: Also met with Cong. Montano at 11:30 AM. Asked him to stop his fellow Liberals from the crazy idea of a coup d’etat.]
January 27, 1970
12:10 PM —
Imelda left for Leyte to attend the installation of the Bishop of Palo. Have just called her up by phone patch. She says Ulot is so beautiful, the Papal Nuncio says it is more beautiful than Napoli. The moon is out. It is a three quarter fading moon.
Met with all the Chiefs of Police in the Metropolitan area, the Metrocom Chief & his staff, the PC chief and his staff and the NBI chief. Asked Col. Tamayo and Barbers to report on the rioting yesterday. I requested that the charges against the students be dropped; charges against non-students can continue; that a critique be made of the conduct of the men in uniform; that steps be taken to prevent any injuries to demonstrators in the future as there are reports of individual cases of policemen using more force than necessary. The MPD Chief explained that in the melee and the mob action, it was difficult to say what are the proper limits to the use of force to meet force. They asked for additional equipment as the policemen have to buy their own helmets and baton. About 19 policemen were injured.
As reported by Ignacio Lacsina, his NUTC men in the rally saw Roger Arienda and his men start the rioting by throwing the coffin, the stuffed crocodile and stones at my car. I have asked Col. Ver to get their affidavits.
I also met at 10:45 with Ambassador Byroade whom I quietly confronted with the story the Liberals are spreading openly that the American Embassy is supporting an attempt at a coup d’etat. He claims they only listened to the need for a coup. I told him of Patterson’s suggestion to blow up the bridges to isolate Malacañang. He seemed stunned and said he was greatly concerned and would do something about it. He said as long as he & Nixon were in position we would not be fighting Americans.
[Marginal note: I am a little relieved by his apparent willingness to cooperate with me.]