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January 7, 1971 Thursday


Actually I write this at 8:00 PM,
Saturday, Jan. 9th as on Thursday
evening I was ill with a severe cold
which they treated me with Decolgen
resulting in some painful spasms of
the esophagus and which drove me
to bed.

January 7, 1971

Bongbong took down the outline I dictated in bed hereto attached.

Dr. Dits Zagala took an electrocardiography and found my heart very sound. That removed all the worries of Imelda and my doctors inasmuch as several of my friends have come down with heart attacks lately. It is the tension of these days.

And I have been working hard lately, although I have been feeling heavy and slothful because of an incipient cold that turned severe after golf in Pangarap where it was terribly cold.

The morning I spent on the cabinet meeting, a study of the government reorganization plan, and the educational survey submitted by Sec. Corpus.

But before that I placated Tony Raquiza who has been issuing press releases demanding the resignation of Sec. Ponce Enrile. He told me that Ponce Enrile had humiliated him and treated him like a job-seeker when he sought to talk to him about the call to active duty of a certain Tomas.

I directed Gov. Licaros to reestablish arbitrage in the sale of stocks of domestic corporations so that we can raise funds abroad.

In the cabinet meeting we reviewed the stabilization efforts of the past year when we succeeded in converting a $300 deficit into a $35 surplus.

And the agricultural recovery program because of the sudden increase of the prices of fruits, vegetables, poultry, eggs and pork. We are spending P35 million on this immediately.

The budget took much of our time as we went over what Com. Sychangco referred to as a “flexible budget.” It looks like we will spend a total of P4.1 billion, P200 million more than last year.

We have decided to make a study of the need of all government corporations and their assets. It started with the recommendation of OEC Administrators to liquidate the Manila Hotel and Cepoc. Sec. Ponce Enrile who was a corporation lawyer before he joined government opined that it would take years to do so. We should sell the assetsinstead.

Apparently all the cabinet members agree on the continuing study of the recommendation to establish diplomatic relations with Russia and other socialist countries except Red China.

After the cabinet meeting which ended at about 1:00 PM. I authorized Sec. Virata to guarantee the new loan of the IISMI at an increased rate of interest which seems unfair as the Export-Import Bank is taking advantage of our difficult situation.

I also directed Sec. Virata to insist upon the Marinduque Corporation to which was given the right to exploit Parcel Il of the Surigao Nickel Mines, the condition

Imelda told me at lunch about the ecumenical funeral of Dean Conrado Benitez. Rather long but impressive.

In the afternoon (about 4:00 PM) after half an hour trying to sleep I attended the Taek-Won-Do-Sikaran-Karate graduation exercises of Task Force Pasig but mostly of my security men. Very impressive. They have been training for five months.

Bongbong could not participate as he is still recuperating from his flu and tonsillitis. But he received his Brown Belt and certificate.

At about the end I was presented with the reconstructed Ruben I (the original keel was discovered and the boat rebuilt on it as well as the crew members and the owner.

This was the boat I used to go to Mindanao from Pagbilao, Quezon (then Tayabas) to contact Col. Ferlig in 1943.

A lump was in my throat as I looked at the boat and it brought in a flood of memories of the guerrilla days when we were all willing to give up comfort, love, life and even honor itself for people and country,

I knew then that I must risk comfort, the future, love, family and even life and honor itself for a people and country the strength of which was being eroded slowly but systematically by their ill-wishers.

But I must be just as cool, deliberate but bold and daring as we were during those dark days of the war.

There was no other course. God had made it so.

So after that I asked Congs. Navarro and Ali Dimaporo to prepare their younger men for training under the concept of citizen military training so that Mindanao could be contained by native troops (even reservists) if trouble started in Luzon.

I then mapped out with Ronnie Velasco the ₱600 million rural electrification program.

I then hurried to the Palace to meet the two factions of the jeepney drivers – one faction headed by Oscar Lazaro helped by Pelagio Villegas and the other by Atty. Lupino Lazaro, Oscar’s first cousin and who was the lawyer of their drivers’ union the Pasang-Masda until they had a falling out.

Oscar and Villegas are willing to stop the jeepney and bus drivers’ strike while Oscar’s cousin, Atty. Lupino Lazaro insists on the strike claiming he cannot stop it anymore.

I felt that they should test their strength and there was no way of bringing down the increase by Villegas of 2 centavos for standard gasoline.