Tuesday, November 14, 1972

The Daily Express reported this morning that a move to change the name of the Philippines to the “Republic of Maharlika” is snowballing among the 166-man body of the Special Committee of the Constitutional Convention.

Of course, it is not true that it is snowballing; most delegates have never heard of this move. Nevertheless, I have a strange feeling about this. This feeling of uneasiness has been heightened by my reading of Don Carlos by the great German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller. I even saw the play in Munich. Don Carlos was the “incompetent” son of Felipe II. Why should this country be named after an undistinguished King of Spain? They were the Spanish branches of the Habsburg line in Vienna. We were indirectly a part of the Habsburg Empire—of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nations, with Vienna as the capital, which existed from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

I do not know whose brainchild this is. I am sure it must have come from Malacañang. But who in Malacañang started this? I would suspect that a nationalist like Adrian Cristobal, or, even, possibly also Blas Ople, might be behind this. In any case, it might be a good idea. Indeed, some 30 of us rather eccentric personalities—I must admit—were promoting the adoption of a new name for the country—Rizalia—in the Convention. Our real leader here is Don Salvador Araneta with people like Justice Paredes very actively involved. As might be expected, there has been a resistance to this on the part of student activists, on the ground that our national hero, Rizal, was an elitist. Many activists would rather promote the status of Bonifacio, having come from the masses. They would downgrade Rizal.

I remember that even the annual Rizal lecture two years ago by Renato Constantino at Fort Santiago dwelt on this. In any case “Maharlika” is a beautiful word except that Marcos has prostituted it. It now symbolizes not only Marcos’ guerrilla outfit during the war but his authoritarian rule as well.

Greg Tingson, an evangelist, is proud of the fact that there are daily invocations in the Convention. He says there is divine guidance prayed for everyday.

However, I feel funny about these daily invocations. Is the righteousness of a nation to be gauged by the number of invocations? If so, we are a very righteous people! But why does God seem to be answering our prayers the wrong way? Could it be that He has gotten tired of seeing us perform the daily prayers recited by rote by a people who do not have the faith of even a mustard seed?

I feel that the ultimate fruit of our religiosity should lie in Christian discipleship, in fighting injustice and oppression of all kinds, in working for human liberation.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good,” the prophet Micah has written. “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

One provision that is a distinct improvement in the Malacañang version of the Constitution is the restoration, to some extent, of Pilipino as the official language of the country, together with English. The wordings are quite intricate but, nevertheless, it is a compromise which, at least, puts the national language on a status equal to that of English.

Pinsan Manolo Cruz said last week that this is his special contribution to the Steering Council. If this were true, he has rendered service to the cause of our national pride. I love English and I’m sure it will stay as an official language here, but I would have been very much ashamed if the Constitution should say that the official language of the Constitution is English only.

I went to the session hall this afternoon only to find again the same situation that has existed since Thursday of last week. There is no session. The Steering Council is not yet through with its revision.

This is getting to be an impossible situation. No one seems to know what is happening. Tio Pindong Calderon is a member of the Steering Council but he could not find the other members of the Council. Presumably they are meeting in some hiding place. This means he may not be in the inner circle of the Steering Council.

I asked Dr. Leido of Mindoro what he knew and he said that he was also in the dark.

Later, Vic Guzman joined us and told us that he had visited the delegates at the Camp Crame stockade last Sunday. He said they were all okay, except that Tito Guingona was complaining that they have already been cleared by the military, so why wasn’t the Convention doing something to free them?

This is a valid question. Why doesn’t President Macapagal do something about these delegates? After all, he is the president of the Convention and these are his people!

Dr. Leido opined that it is because President Macapagal belongs to the minority party. Although he is quite unhappy about this situation, he does not relish the idea of having to see President Marcos.

But I countered that under the circumstances it is his obligation, morally if nothing else, as president of the Convention, to take some initiatives. Are we just going to abandon any delegate who may be taken in?

While we were discussing this, Virgie (an employee of the Con-Con) came to tell us that Mangontawar Guro was “picked up” by the military yesterday at the session hall. The alleged charge is gunrunning.

We got rattled.

I mentioned that according to Francis Zosa, the delegates in the stockades have not been allowed to vote. Dr. Leido was surprised. He said that, according to the terms of the resolution, there was no expiry date given for those absent to vote. Vic Guzman urged us to do something—possibly oust the members of the three-man committee?

Even Dr. Leido, who is an old Nacionalista and a supporter in many ways of Malacanang, thought that the disqualification of delegates in the stockades from voting was bad. “We should sink or swim together,” he said.

Later, I asked Monet Tirol what he knew about when the Con-Con would meet in plenary. He said he is not in the know either, but there are good chances that by tomorrow the Steering Council might be able to meet to finish its new draft.

I asked him what he knew about the spreading rumor that the delegates might be ex-officio members of the Convention together with the incumbent senators and congressmen. He replied that the Steering Council had a meeting with the leaders of Congress and that Senator Puyat had proposed that the present senators and congressmen be made members of the interim Assembly with the Convention delegates as ex-officio members. He thought that Puyat was apparently also interested in being the Speaker of the interim Assembly.

Thursday, October 12, 1972

On the way to the session hall this afternoon, I met Roseller Lim.

Nakuha na si Guingona,” Ller said grimly.

In the session hall, I sat beside Dr. Pinggoy and we talked about George. He said that actually George was taken in Capiz but was released after one week. He confirmed that the military had captured a subversive book from George. It was entitled The Ecumenical Revolution.

I did not attend the Sponsorship Council meeting any more because I know what was going to be taken up, namely, the assignments in the subcouncil groupings. I have already been informed that I am chairman of the first grouping on economic and fiscal policies and that Joe Concepcion and George Viterbo are my vice-chairmen.

It seems that we might yet finish the draft of the new Constitution earlier than we had previously anticipated. There is now a sense of urgency to finish it. Besides, the opposition has now been somewhat decimated in the Convention. It looks like by the end of December or, at the latest, end of January, the new Constitution will be ready for submission to the Filipino people. The question is when the plebiscite will be held.

In the evening, we went to Hotel Intercontinental to visit Ely Chiongbian Johnston. I had previously made an arrangement with Emil Ong that we were going to meet at the lobby of the hotel. Later, Pabling Trillana, Dancing Alfelor and Amado (Ding) Tolentino decided to join us. Still later, (Aying) Yniguez came along. When I arrived at the hotel lobby, they were all there already. They were chatting with Sen. Sonny Osmeña.

Sonny was insisting that he has it from reliable authority that he is not in the list. In any case, he said, he is not in hiding, and so far, he has not been bothered.

I corrected Sonny—almost impulsively, “You are wrong, Sonny. You and I were both in the list; in fact, our names followed each other. Fortunately for us, this is just the second list.”

Sonny Osmeña’s jaw fell.

Just then, the famous Teodoro (Doroy) Valencia—the super-columnist—appeared. Without provocation, he proclaimed in his soprano voice the latest of his achievements. Newsman Amando (Doro) Doronila would be released soon—on Doroy’s guarantee. Apparently, Doro Doronila was picked up at the Intercontinental Hotel on the very day he had arrived from Mongolia.

Doroy also boasted that it was because he has guaranteed Renato (Tato) Constantino that Tato has not been taken into custody. He added that he was turning three former Politburo men to Camp Crame this morning. And he is also responsible (to some extent) for the release of Flora Lansang.

I do not know how much one can believe Doroy. But he does command some influence in the community. Indeed, he is the most influential of our political columnists. I have disagreed with many of his obnoxiously rightist views many times. At the same time, however, I must admit that occasionally, I conciously massage his colossal ego because I cannot help but praise him for doing a great job of taking care of his kingdom—Rizal Park.

Shortly before we entered the elevator, Adrian Cristobal, a special assistant of Marcos, came by. Adrian is a great writer, just like his brilliant buddy, Blas Ople. I consider him a friend. In fact, when he was appointed secretary of labor, shortly after the inauguration of the Con-Con, he had invited me to his oath-taking in Malacañang. Innocently, I did go to the Palace. Upon seeing me there, the “First Lady,” Imelda, pleasantly greeted me with the words: “Aba, nandito pala ang mga radikal.” “Mabuti naman na paminsan-minsan ay na-dadalaw kayo ng mga radikal, I retorted, also pleasantly. It was then I discovered that the conjugal dictatorship had considered me a radical, and by inference, an enemy of the Marcos regime.

I wanted to test my suspicion that Adrian is the ghost writer of the very well-written book Today’s Revolution: Democracy, officially authored by the “First Gentleman.”

I complimented him on the quality of the book he had written. “It’s really good.”

He did not hide his pleasure on hearing this. “Only I can contradict the assumptions in that book,” he beamed.

We proceeded to Ely’s suite.

Aying Yniguez, son of the powerful Congressman Yniguez who is a close friend of Marcos, was the main character in the meeting. He said that he has been with President Marcos quite a number of times, and that at one session, he had told the President:

“Sir, I am a communist but I am a pro-Marcos communist.”

He said that Marcos is a kind man—very human—and that is the reason why Aying does not really mind being derisively called a Marcos “tuta.

Aying feels that Cong. Roquito Ablan, who is in the stockade, is going to be very deeply involved and his prospects are not very bright. In the case of Sen. Ninoy Aquino, he said, he might be able to save himself because of his popularity.

Speculate, speculate, speculate. This is all we can do now.

“The President is leading a leftist revolution, with the rightists being utilized by him to support his leftist revolution. If the President fails, the offshoot would be a military takeover.”

Aying claims that he is a trade unionist (he is supposed to be a labor leader in Leyte), and very anti-military in his orientation.

He feels that the CIA was not initially behind the proclamation of martial law. It was only recently that they supported it. He was actually at Malacanang with his father, Congressman Yniguez, when the top CIA man in Manila went to see the President.

“I know that the CIA is operating in the Philippines, but you did not give me even the courtesy of letting me know about it,” President Marcos was supposed to have ungraciously told the CIA group, as he unceremoniously dismissed them: “Good day, gentlemen.”

Gerry Johnston, the American husband of Delegate Ely Chiongbian, felt differently. He thinks that all the major changes in the political and military sections of the American Embassy tend to show that the Embassy knew all along that this was going to happen. And this Ambassador Byroade, he said, is coincidentally the same man who was involved in some operations in Vietnam.

How strange it was to hear this from Gerry!

My own gut feeling is that a certain amount of American complicity has surely attended the imposition of martial law. Marcos would not have dared take such a drastic move without American approval, express or implied. From President Johnson, who had coaxed Marcos into sending a Filipino engineer batallion to Vietnam, winning for him a state visit to Washington and a glowing endorsement by Johnson as his “right arm in Asia,” to President Nixon, who had openly shown his support for Marcos by sending California Gov. Ronald Reagan to Manila when Marcos ran for reelection three years ago, there have been indications that the U.S. was prepared, from the start, to accept the imposition of martial law because it was upset over the growing demonstrations in Manila and its (wrong) perception was that the Con-Con was taking a strong anti-American stance.

American business in the Philippines was, of course, anything but unsympathetic.

Aying also confided to us that, according to Bebet Duavit, President Marcos supports wholeheartedly the transitory provision of the new Constitution (a rather great understatement!).

Aying then asked my help in getting a unanimous vote.

“But Aying, I might be out of the country when this happens,” I demurred.

Aying was not convinced. “You will still be here because this thing will be taken up next week already. You cannot possibly be out of the country then—even if you wanted to.”

Next week? This is hard to believe. The transitory provision would be taken up next week? Marcos would like a grateful nation to crown him next week? Certainly not! This should be taken up, if at all, next year!

It will be next year, I convinced myself before I went to bed.

October 1, 1972

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11:30 PM

Oct. 1, 1972

Sunday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Guns, Gangsters, and the reduction of the Meralco rates –these are the news that have gone big in the United States.

17,000 guns captured and surrendered is a massive number indeed which has struck the attention of the world that is preoccupied with terrorism.

So too with gangsterism since it is a risk to take a stroll in Central Park or Rock Creek Park even in the daytime.

And the move to dismantle the hold of the oligarchs on our economy and thus our society and government –starting out with the Lopezes’ Meralco.

So we must continue the raids on the NPA safehouses for the explosives and arms we know they have.

And the heroin laboratories.

2

Oct. 1st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I issued the decrees on meat prices and on undeclared income.

And called in my information production group including Blas Ople, Romy Diaz as well as Kits Tatad and the operating officers, the Dept of Education with its 270,000 public school teachers and 70,000 private school teachers, Dept of Agriculture with the APC, ACA, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Lands, Bureau of Forestry etc., the Dept. of Health and its Rural Health Units, the Dept of Local Govts and Community Development, for the organization of an information campaign that must reach every man, woman and child in the country.

Conferred with Jess Tanchangco on the rice problem. Directed him to clean up the RCA.

 

February 12, 1970, Thursday

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February 12, 1970

Thursday

12:00 PM

Against predictions of violence, the Plaza Miranda rally turned out to be peaceful. Some of the leaders shouted for the crowd to go to Malacañang but the crowd would not follow.

But the KM and SDK violated their word and went through with the rally in Plaza Miranda when they had said that they would not leave the campuses. Some 40 trucks came from Angeles City. The men in them did not look like students and they were the ones crying out for blood.

The northern congressmen, senators and governors came to the palace with completely armed men. I dissuaded them from infiltrating the demonstration and inflicting harm on them.

For a time I secretly hoped that the demonstrators would attack the palace so that we could employ the total solution. But it would be bloody and messy.

Anyway I told the northern political leaders that the situation may develop into a revolutionary situation during my administration and that we should prepare for a military confrontation with the communists. The North should be developed as a last bastion, just in case. We must now cache arms and ammo there, prepare Laoag for jet landings, Lingayen Gulf for our navy and organize provincial strike forces, at the rate first of at least 100 men each province.

But we must win the hearts and minds of our

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people. So, I argued, we must all be ready to sacrifice our personal interests for the common good. They agreed to this but begged that the men who had sacrificed in the political battles be not forgotten.

We had dinner and a movie. Blas Ople was there for dinner. And so was Emong Salvador, my old Maharlika comrade. Blas is an enigma. Many of the leaders distrust him. Even Col. Ver feels that he is actually one of the communist leaders and that all the attacks in the media against me and the administration may have been his brainchild. But it is best he is in the palace when there is a crisis. Then we can neutralize him or use him.

As of now I am convinced we have to wage a tedious legal, propaganda and economic battle against the communists. So this afternoon I asked the military leaders, Ponce Enrile, Yan, Garcia, and Ramos to prepare for this. There must be an assessment of the voluminous documents captured from the Ma-Maos – for legal action. The intelligence agencies must be sharpened to the sophisticated finesse of the intellectuals and urban communists. For this the NICA and NBI must be reorganized. And we must fund the various anti-subversion and anti-insurgency teams.

If they want a revolution, I will give them one in the economic field. Drastic, dramatic and effective like the rechanneling of the excess money into agro-industrial projects in the farms and resettlement centers.

I met with Vicente Araneta to listen to his priming plan. Assigned Usec. Roman Ong Jr. to study it.

February 9, 1970, Monday

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February 9, 1970

Monday

9:40 PM

I write this as I wait for a visitor who will inform us of all the conspiracy going on behind the Liberal Party. Osmeña has just delivered a privilege speech in the Senate denying his connection with the demonstrators and the riots and rehashing his charges about the elections.

Villalon testifying before the Senate-House Joint Committee should blast this claim to pieces. Col. Jimmy Barbers has asked for an opportunity to present him next Wednesday at 9:00 AM.

Went out of the Palace (for the first time since Jan. 30, 1970) to attend the 31st Anniversary of the Phil. Navy set at 9:00 AM. Stayed until 11:00 AM. Commissioned the new 25-know 87 ft. patrol craft made in Singapore. Our Navy will duplicate it. We have a 100 ft. ferro-cement fishing boat in the making.

Was gratified to see the people waving at me and clapping their hands. The public sympathy has returned to us since the attack on the Palace on Jan. 30th.

Apparently the crisis is over – unless the Feb. 12th rallies turn into violent riots, God forbid.

The whole family was in Scout uniform at the 5:00 o’clock investiture of Imelda and the opening ceremonies of the preparation for the 50th Anniversary of Scouting in 1973.

Conferred with the two Cardinals, Santos and Rosales, on the Jesuits and bishops propagating radical ideas – like Father Ortiz, Murphy (Tom) and Blanco as well as the seven bishops who sent the open letter.

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Now even the student leaders are divided. They seem to be in a state of confusion. Tonight 25 students from the UP have seen the First Lady. Uncivil, arrogant but uninformed, naïve and confused.

I see the KM and Labor leaders with Blas Ople tomorrow at 5:00 PM.

But the NUSP is following the script of making demands which I am supposed to grant – to strengthen their hand. And they are supposed to picket Malacañang tomorrow.

Even if the demonstrations should turn violent because the latest intelligence is that Commander Dante is supposed to be collecting hand guns in Concepcion and supposedly in the province of Tarlac, for use in Manila, it would still be favorable to us for the people are against violence – specially if it is against Malacañang Palace.

We must recast the plans for a total solution of the communist problem. We must prepare for a long, tedious legal fight with the military stepping up the drive in Central Luzon and harassing raids in Novaliches, Caloocan and Parañaque where the HMBs and the Mao’s hold in when they escape from the PC raids in Central Luzon.

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Gov. Licaros sent a message through Bobby Benedicto who is agreed to going out on leave from the Presidency of the PNB, that his mission is a complete success.

We will get the third tranche of $27.5 million $40 m from out gold $40 from the Federal Reserve Bank and $120 million from the consortium of banks plus a five year extension of our debts. If we can get $100 m from Japan, we will have all we need.

Now all I am asking for is to be allowed to start working.

Friday, February 6, 1970

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Friday

February 6, 1970

1:10 AM

Poor Banjo Raval (Gen. Vicente Raval) the Chief of PC. He is one of the most loyal of the officers in the Armed Forces. I have asked him to seek relief as PC Chief. Instead of Gen. Eduardo Garcia, I may have to put Gen. Tanabe temporarily.

I intend to make a sweeping reorganization of the cabinet, financing institutions and the tax collecting offices. So I meet with the Development Council tomorrow to chart the program on social legislation. This will include price and rent control, special funds for peace and order and for land reform. Housing and resettlement must receive priority attention.

Have met with Labor Leader Ignacio Lacsina (NATU), Peasant leader Felixberto Olalia (Masaka) and Kabataan Makabayan leader Carlos del Rosario brought in be Sec. Blas Ople. They have asked a more nationalistic policy. I told them that it has saddened me to be driven to the refuge of anti-communism and pro-Americanism. I offered them the opportunity to obtain loans from the Eastern European Socialist countries; retirement of Gen. Raval and the disbandment of the “monkees” as well as the prosecution of Col. Tomas Diaz and his men for the alleged kidnapping of Alabado. They promised in turn to call off the Feb. 12th rally and to meet with me on Tuesday Feb. 10th at 5:00 PM at the State Dining Room.