The Delegate and the President: Contrasting Diaries on Martial Law

September 23 marks the 41st anniversary of the proclamation of martial law by President Marcos, although Marcos himself insisted on September 21. The Philippine Diary Project has two diaries that give contrasting views on martial law. The first is the diary of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the second, the diary of Constitutional Convention delegate Augusto Caesar Espiritu. The options for Marcos …

Thursday, November 30, 1972

On the day of the signing of the Constitution, the headline of the Daily Express was “FM tells the Military: I want Free, Open Discussions on Charter Provision.” What lie! What double-talk! Hitler seems to be alive again! But many people were somewhat comforted by these pronouncements of President Marcos. Being allowed to open the window of freedom somewhat after …

Wednesday, November 29, 1972

Headline at the Express: “Delegates Approve Final Charter Draft. Signing Tomorrow.” The paper repeated its report yesterday that the delegates approved the charter draft without any dissenting vote. But this was a patent lie. How could such a deliberate misleading of the people be done by the Express? The Bulletin Today headlined “New Charter Draft Passed.” In both papers, on …

Tuesday, November 28, 1972

The Daily Express said today, in an article written by Primitivo Mijares, that the draft Constitution was approved last night without any dissenting vote. But this was a blatant lie. I had voted “No”; so did quite a number of others. It is not without reason that my friend Tibo Mijares has jokingly called himself “the Goebbels of Marcos.” There …

Monday, November 27, 1972

The headline of the Daily Express today was “Second Reading Vote Today on Draft of Proposed Constitution.” The subheading is “Charter Reflect Spirit of New Society.” I had a brief chat with Johnny Remulla and Jun Davide. “There is no more oppposition in Cavite,” Johnny declared triumphantly. “Governor Bocalan is in the stockade while Senator (Tatang) Montano is out of …

Sunday, November 26, 1972

We had session this morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. I missed church to go directly to Quezon City Hall. Instead of a speech in opposition, I briefly said that the Constitution, as it was being presented, could stand some improvement so that it may compare favorably with other modern Constitutions in the world. But for the moment, the …

Saturday, November 25, 1972

A few of us met at Pepe Calderon’s house for our small prayer meeting. This was necessary because of the kind of dilemmas that we have been facing. Moreover, it is really true that in spite of our supposed religiosity, most of us, perhaps, if not all of us, have not really allowed God to illumine our minds in this …

Friday, November 24, 1972

Ikeng Corpuz was actually sponsoring the Constitution when I entered. Ikeng was talking about his having worked for several days on the Constitution. Ikeng came up to me later with the complaint that I have abandoned them during the discussion of the economic provisions. I replied that this is a useless exercise. Noli Santos later on commented that the problem …

Thursday, November 23, 1972

Our dwindling group went to the house of Pepe Calderon at noontime to assess the situation. There, Cecing Calderon (Pepe’s brother) told us that according to Toto de la Cruz, we should be around on Monday because Monday will be the second reading on the Constitution. This is the most crucial voting, the decisive one. The third reading will only …