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January 2, 1971 Saturday


10:00 PM

January 2, 1971

Today’s newspapers all cry for some reforms in the Armed Forces. As I wrote yesterday, this is an opportunity to strengthen the military organization in motivation, orientation and morale.

Gen. Yan reported by telephone about an hour ago that Lt. Victor Corpus and some companions was sighted in Quezon City. The taxi driver who reported it guided the investigators to the houses they were headed for. These houses are now under surveillance. If this is true then the press release of Jose Maria Sison alias Amado Guerrero, Chairman of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) to the effect that Corpus has been welcomed in the field (presumably in Central Luzon) by Commander Dante, is false.

For Jose Maria Sison is crowing about the Corpus raid and has arrogantly announced that there will be more revolutionary activities in 1971. He not only issued a press release for the CPP, he also issued a press release for Corpus, as usual berating U.S imperialism and the “running dogs of the Marcos administration.”

When I was interviewed after the golf game I commented on the crowing and bragging of Jose Maria Sison that “He who laughs last laughs best.” I was then asked later in the afternoon whether this confirmed the story that Lt. Corpus was actually an agent of the AFP on a mission to penetrate the NPA. I said, “Would that not be great if it
were true.” Hana Brown of Far East Broadcasting commented, “To say so would be the kiss of death.”

For the media have practically glorified Corpus – specially Manila Times and Taliba. And Manila Times, specially, has printed statements from the CP as if they (Chino Roces and his cronies) were part of the CPP.

From the vantage point of future plans I cannot but feel a little self-righteous as I witness the spectacle of petty men tearing to pieces the source of their liberty they so easily abuse and the tolerance of which they do not appreciate.

And when I watch the supposedly patriotic men, in their selfish and egoistic ways, wreck our republic, I almost lose my objectivity and dispassionate attitude as anger boils within me and eggs me to immediately put into effect the plan to establish martial law. This I must avoid.

For I will not declare martial law unless there is anarchy or the beginnings of it which prevents the functioning of courts and other government offices, even if the constitution authorizes me to do so when there is “imminent danger of invasion, insurrection or rebellion -and there is actually rebellion going on now.

The silent conspiracy against our republic is joined in by well-meaning men who use the inequities of our society and despair that they can ever be rectified except by radicalism and violence. For there are many valid grounds of grievance as the rich and powerful disregard or are insenstive to the dreams or even the frustrations and pains that torture the masses of our people.

So I must be deliberate, prudent, and wise.

Today’s Manila Chronicle attacked me viciously on everything and for everything. Its editorials and columnists concentrated on calling me names and blaming me for all the ills of the country. Granada’s and Balein’s spite was particularly insulting and biting. For that matter the whole newspaper has been dedicated to me for the past several months but has been specially bitter this last month.

And it is a public secret that Mr. Eugenio Lopez dictates not only policy but the line of attack.

Since I raised the tariff duty of crude oil, I have been their favorite. For the Lopezes own the great majority of Meralco and Meralco pays about forty percent of the crude oil duties as this is the percentage of their consumption. Since we estimate that the increased tariff of crude oil will bring in about P40 million, then Meralco will have to pay an additional P16 million a year.

This is why I am the pet boy of Manila Chronicle. I must remember to keep my rating.