Written at 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 8, 1972 at the Makati
Medical Center Room 904
where Imelda stays and where
December 7, 1972
We are all still in a state of benumbed shock and dismay. The nightmare is still in our minds and hearts.
I was at the 5th hole of Pangarap Golf Course at about 4:50 p.m. playing with Francis (Pat) Parker of Janesco, Frankie Teodoro, Ricky Cu Unjieng and Rudy Cuenca, I have revealed the Pergola after my second shot with a 3 wood when Fortune and her children came running out of the Pangarap crying out in sobs that “Imelda had been stabbed in Nayon Pilipino” and that it had been clearly shown over TV which she had been watching. Our communications confirmed it (I always have a hand carried PT 400 (Motorola) beside me even on the golf course with a fine mile range in open terrain given us by the American OBI (Office of Investigation U.S. Air Force) in 1966 after the training of my security.
After ordering the place at the Nayon Pilipino where the attack occurred to be sequestered and to apprehend all the participants (in the attack), I ran (golf shoes and all) to the garage with the security to take my car (the armored Binok) rushed to Makati Medical Center where they had brought Imelda by helicopter.
We were delayed by the afternoon traffic jams but with the Metrocom car ahead we managed to get to the operating room of the hospital in ten minutes. She was on the operating table with ugly lacerations in both arms still oozing blood and her right fingers so deep that I could see the bone and the cartilage of the middle finger severed. The tendon of the right forearm was obviously cut. It was a white protrusion in the bloody muscles that were being cleaned.
My feeling was that I had felt in battle during the war — cold, deep, unabating fury. My mind was clear as I ticked off the things I had to do, the man who could be responsible.
At the back of my mind I kept blaming myself for not having gone with her as I had jokingly told her when I woke up from my nap at 3:30 p.m. that I should go along even if I am not in the program — for I woke up to her dressing up for the occasion. But she had in equal levity observed that she could take care of herself. Little did I know that she would bravely take care of herself in the next several hours and thus save her life.
For that is the verdict of everybody who saw the attack on her directly or on TV. The video tape was shown almost every five minutes even KBS. The capitals of the world asked for a reply over satellite which I agreed to provided that the background of previous threats as well as the fact that the First Lady is safe be given.
For the first question I asked over our communications while in my car on the way to the hospital was what wounds she had suffered. The only answer we could get was there was blood in the front part of her terno. But I knew by sixth sense she was not fatally stabbed.
But in the hospital I was assured that she had no body wounds.
While the assailant — a Carlitos Dimalig geodetic engineer of Calaca, Batangas, working in Davao may have been close in the attack I believe he was only an instrument of vengeance or assassination. The operation took from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with Dr. Yap directing surgery, Dr. Innocentes tendon repair and Dr. Neri (hand and plastic surgery) attending to the repair of the right hand.
Drs. Mario Hufana, Don Magsino were first, Dr. Fores, Estrellado, de Jesus and Manahan were the first to attend to the left arm, Dr. Fores actually doing surgery. Our Surgeon Dr. Ruiz accompanied Dr. Casanova in the helicopter. They administered first and Dr. Mercado started anesthesiologist and followed by Dr. Paz and Remedio Luntay of course Dra. Disini was immediately there. Dits Zagala was among the first to receive her in the hospital. Dr. Mely Garcia, clinical pathologist of the Vets Memorial was there as well as allergist Dra. Cua Lim.
Dr. Bob Chase, an expert on plastic surgery and injuries of the hand of Stanford Hospital is arriving tomorrow – sent by President Nixon.
Imelda saved herself as there were no security men or aide-de-camp on the front of the stage beside her by kicking at her assailant, stepping backwards and parrying the bolo – thrust with her hands, thus her wounds in the arms and hands.
But the assailant was actually stopped by a running jump kick over the First Lady who was on the floor, by TSgt. Julio Jaymalin Phil. Marines, who was knocked down losing balance after hitting the assassin and while he (Jaymalin) was sprawled on the floor, he turned to lie on his back and as the assassin slashed four times at the people around him, Jaymalin shot him twice which knocked him down.
TSgt. Clemente Tadena, PA, shot him first before that did not seem to hurt him seriously. After Jaymalin had knocked him down with two shots, PO2 Bagnos Magno, Phil. Navy AOU (Underwater Operation Unit). He dove without lungs to 70 feet in Fuga and Barit Isiand to retrieve the things of Ising and the photographer Roxas, when their boat turned turtle gave him the coup de garce with shot in the head as he (the assassin) tried to grab his bolo and rise.
Carlito Dimaila of Calaca, Batangas, the assassin was reported to have asked his sister “How is it to kill a President”.
So he must have been after me.
But Imelda parried the first stab with her hands as she fell down. This must have been the stab that cut her dress in front of the sternum and her left arm.
Mrs. Pepita Aquino, wife of Highway Com. Baltazar Aquino tried to pull at the assassin as he lunged a second time. And Imelda fell, kicking at the assassin. On TV replay you could see her vellow shoes which were lost when she ran to the back of the stage and to the helicopter, kicking at the assassin as he kept backing at Imelda.
Incidentally, he hit on the last blow at Imelda, Linda Robles, secretary of the National Beautification and Cleanliness Contest.
Sec. Juan Manuel and Under Sec. Albarracin also grabbed and push at the assassin to keep him off Imelda after she had fallen until Jaymalin jumped at him.
Then Jose Aspiras grabbed him from behind. That is how he was wounded in the back of the head requiring nine stitches. He fell on his back and he would have been killed if Jaymalin had not shot the assassin from his lying position.
Gapol, UnSec. Collantes and Tadena helped the Firat Lady to the helicopter.
It was miraculous how Imelda escaped a body wound. The stabs (two to three times) were all aimed at her chest. And the two slashes from overhead were strong enough to have cut her neck or slashed her abdomen.
Today, Friday, Father Donelan said Thanksgiving Mass at 10:30 A.M. at the Makati Medical Center Chapel. He gave a touching sermon. The Waray girl at the office bragged “Imelda acted courageously like a Warray.” The Ilocano girl said God saved her. And Father Donelan quoted the Warray girl who said Cod helped her. “God helps those who help themselves,” he reminded.
We were a little delayed as I received the call of Imee. She was no longer crying like she as well as well Irene, Bongbong were the first time I called the children at about 6:00 p.m. Thursday while Imelda was at the operating room.