Sept. 1, 1972
Awarded the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu to the Indonesian Minister of State for Defense and Security Vice/Asst. Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Indonesia — Gen. Maraden Panggabean. He looks like a capable soldier and helped us well as cooperated with him in various battles specially against the Dutch and the communists.
He says Indonesia is peaceful but for the 1,000 Chinese communist subversives in Sarawak. He laughingly referred to the 10,000 communist prisoners in Pulo Buro (Island of Buro –as in Tagalo Pulo means Island — and itik
is also means duck). A critical article was written a few months ago of the treatment of the 10,000 political prisoners that are supposed to include some of Indonesia’s best thinkers, intellectuals, writers and philosophers who must eke out a living by farming the island in what was described as a marginal back breaking type of activity.
Then conferred with Sen. Daniel Inouye after his field trips inspecting the calamity areas.
He confided to me that he did not merely come to see the damage caused by the calamity but also to see the general situation.
And he will carry the message that the U.S. should pay more attention to the Philippines.
He also remarked that Amb. Byroade has the same thinking as I have on the communist threat; that we should seek the help of friends like Speaker Carl Albert and Mike Mansfield although the latter is against the extension of military aid.
When he asked me what kind of hardware we need for our armed forces, I explained to him that we are actually buying our small arms from the U.S.; that we do not intend to mount a defense against aggression but against subversion and we would give priority to helicopters, mortars and recoil less rifles, and that we are not asking for additional military funds but to participate in the surplus from Vietnam.
He answered that he would do everything to have us classified in the same priority as Thailand.
He asked me what is going to happen. He explained that he has been told there are four options: 1. Extension of my term 2. a parliamentary form of government 3. I run for reelection 4. Martial law.
I immediately countered that I do not need martial law to win an election and that in the present situation anybody I supported would come out; that I would not agree to allowing the First Lady to run since it would be unfair to her. “We are too old in this game to need martial law to get votes,” and he smiled with understanding.
“However,” I explained, “do not misunderstand me. If the communists sow terror in Manila, if they bomb and burn, kill and kidnap, if they use the Vietcong tactics, then I will not hesitate to proclaim martial law.”
“What I would prefer would be an extension. But I would accept it only if the political opposition agrees to it. If they do not I will not agree to it.”
“I would then try to be a Prime Minister.
“But I would first wipe out the communists before the next President or Prime Minister [takes] over so he has a chance. I used [ ] to build up my replacement. None of those now are fit to lead the country. Aquino, Diokno are demagogues and are communist. They would immediately set up a communist regime. Roxas is a weakling. He would not risk his life to protect out freedoms. Puyat is an oligarch. He has too many investments to protect.”
“What we need is somebody who is trusted by the Armed Forces, is a liberal thinker, will fight communism and will risk not only his life but everything in this fight.”
“For I cannot believe that Red China can be trusted. She will try to show now she is house-broken but she will help the revolutionaries and communists in the Asian countries. She is going to try and establish an Asian hegemony or a sphere of influence.”
When we talked of what I emphasized was urgently needed –reforms, and explained that I would like to have the private commercial corporations give the fringe benefits doled out by welfare states after taxing the big corporations, he called attention to the fact that Japan does this. The corporation is a big family. All the officers and employees are given the benefits that would go to recipients in a welfare state and when the workers go on strike, they were a red arm band but keep on working so that they do not prejudice themselves.
Sen. Inouye will be a great help to the Philippines.
Imelda is busy decorating the Big Antique.
She tells me, San Juan, without the houses is eerie at night –with the big trees. Something out of Wuthering Heights! She was there last night.