February 4, 1971
Ordered the withdrawal of all Metrocom units from the four cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan after the mayors formally assumed their legal role of being primarily responsible for the maintenance of peace and order in their respective jurisdictions and after their report that their cities had returned to normalcy except for some incidents prominent among which are those of UP, Ateneo, UE and Sto. Tomas.
Almost all I talk to and those who have transmitted their suggestions to me feel that S.P. Lopez, the UP President should be changed as he has become ineffective.
In the MOPC Meet the Press program recorded yesterday, I had said that the incidents in the university areas did not yet warrant the imposition of martial law but that if there is massive sabotage, terrorism and breakdown of law and order, it would be time to consider it.
I also reiterated that I did not want to be a strong man or dictator; that I was retiring from public life in 1973 and that Mrs. Marcos was not a candidate.
The correspondent of Agence France was leading to admit that in a crisis such as we are facing, a strong man is needed and takes over the situation and the government. But I parried it with “If you are suggesting that I take over the government, the answer is NO!”
One of the striking results of the UP incident is that the local police are incapable of taking over the university campuses. The military has to prepare the operations plans for such a move and implement it.
I must ask Gen. Espino to include this in OPLAN MISMI.
There are serious proposals to close the schools for the semester. But I do not believe that it is time to do it.
Tonight Sen. Tañada called me up that the members of the faculty of the UP (Dean Cortez of Law, Miss Dayrit, head of the UP Library, Prof. Castillo of Chemistry, wife of retired Col. Castillo, Mrs. Hidalgo of the Library and Mr. Dayrit, brother of Ms. Dayrit of the Library) feel that the situation has worsened in the UP after the withdrawal of the Metrocom and the QCPD.
There are more barricades and they are higher. The Arts and Science Building is completely without chairs or any furniture. They have been thrown out and burned or wood used as barricades. The barricaded Chemistry building is also in danger and it is full of equipment. This is also true of the Library.
Some students are barricading themselves in the Engineering building.
The Board of Regents is meeting tomorrow at 7:00 AM, then will inspect the buildings and decide as to what to do.