January 11, 1971
Open house for the diplomatic corps and the public officials at 9:00 AM.
Then a meeting of the legislative leaders and the cabinet on the legislative program, the state of the nation address, the monetary policy, and diplomatic relations with Russia.
I asked the leaders of both houses to first meet on a legislative program and then see me but they agreed on a development tax (tax on foreign exchange purchases) and a restructuring and simplification of tariff.
We agreed that I would not include any constitutional reforms in the State of the Nation Address.
They agreed to the steps taken to stimulate economic activity by non-inflationary methods. Gov. Licaros explained that there can be no fear of excessive expenditure and borrowing by the government as claimed by Sen. Pres. Puyat and Speaker Laurel because there are legal constraints.
On relations with Russia, we decided to meet in bipartisan caucus with the Chief Justice invited before the 18th. Sen. Pres. Puyat will call the Liberals and set the date.
They agreed that we must give priority to the agricultural recovery program for which ₱35 million has been allocated.
I met Atty. Lupino Lazaro, the leader of the bigger faction of Pasang-Mazda that is striking as he asked to see me on an urgent matter. He revealed to me that some men claiming to be NPA had offered guns to some of the Drivers Association Presidents of Bulacan – that one man had accepted four Armalites and twelve hand grenades. These men were allegedly brought to a house in Apalit – a house allegedly full of guns.
One of the drivers presidents was going to be picked up this afternoon at 4:00 PM to be brought to Tabang then to Bahay Pare.
When I informed Gen. Yan of this for transmittal Gen. Tanabe, he recalled that Gen. Tanabe had disarmed the civilian guards of the mayor of Apalit.
I directed the relief of Commodore Lavadia of the National Defense College for fermenting insubordination among his staff asking them to get any lecturer with or without the clearance of J-2 and not to fear Gen. Yan or Malacañang as if there is no academic freedom he will close the college.
I transmitted the information that the locos Sur local police had been infiltrated by NPA (probably Vigan through Chavit Singson’s uncle, Mayor Singson).
An Aniceto Ramos reports that Lt. Victor Castro has been sighted in San Guillermo, Isabela, then Jones on the way to Palawan where there is allegedly a training ground.
Then a former CIS agent Majusay claims one of our agents, a Francisco Zabala, was with the Castro raiding party and that Castro was brought down from Baguio to Tarlac by the helicopter of Sen. Aquino, then in the senator’s car to Manila, and in the smuggler Delfin Tan’s fast kumpit “Erlinda” from Manila to Brookes Pt., Palawan. They are supposed to go (he has 12 armed men with him to Balabac, then to Borneo then to China.
These reports may be misleading as Lt. Castro was definitely located in Quezon City sometime in the 4th of January. A Lt. Vila was brought by Lt. Ferronil and a hippie-looking young man to the Kamias Road area, he (Vila who is a classmate of Corpus as well as Ferronil of class 1967) being blindfolded. When his blindfold was removed, they were in a house of Castro, Jose Maria Sison, Macahiya and others. Corpus claimed he left the AFP because he was discriminated against (not allowed to take the Intelligence Course) the Floring Crisologo incident when he was berated openly for saying that the only solution to the peace and order program in locos Sur would be the killing of Floring Crisologo, and his cavalier treatment in the PMA.
Vila revealed the meeting with Corpus to Gen. Ordoñez as he could not sleep with the secret. But Lt. Ferronil was not informed of the revelation and when he was asked he denied the meeting with Corpus.
But the assessment is that Vila is telling the truth. A Lt. Enriquez and Lt. Sibal are also vocally in favor of the action taken by Corpus and may be in touch with him
I have asked the Price Control Council to bring down the Villegas rate or increase of 2 centavos per liter of standard gasoline to 1 centavo. I asked Atty. Lupino Lazaro to move for reconsideration of the decision of the Price Control Council to uphold the Villegas rate and to thus have the credit of this victory for the drivers. He has agreed. The arrangements are being made with USec. Bung Tanco.
But the striking drivers and the students supporting them (among them the Kabataan Makabayan and Father Blanco’s SKIT) are going to march around the city and start violence.
Tonight they have started to stone even private cars. It is expected that it will be worse tomorrow.
But the Metrocom, reinforced by three companies, are ready for any eventuality.
This is probably the beginning of the intensified activities of the KM’s and NPAs and CPP for 1971.
We will keep watching for the need of the use of emergency powers.
I have a report of Customs anomalies which have been confirmed. I attach it.
So I must expedite the Customs reorganization.
Activists, radicals, rioters, demonstrators and the IMB’s and PA’s do not now constitute a serious threat to our society. This is the sober judgment that I arrive at after long and serious study.
Even if the government were to help them mount a rebellion, they would still be nothing but harassing groups incapable of taking over government.
But they pose in the minds of businessmen and prospective investors a fear of rebellion and a consequent insecurity of investment and economic activity. This fear must be dissipated.