October 25, 1972

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1.

9:40 PM

Oct. 25, 1972

Wednesday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

145,000 guns have been surrendered as of this noon. 70,000 of this came from III PC Zone, 30,000 of which is good foreign make.

We lost three men in Lanao del Sur when an armored car was ambushed 20 kms northeast of Marawi. The men are now cleaning up the areas outside that city.

So we need the APC’s but the one at Balabayan cannot be moved because of mechanical trouble and there does not seem to be any trailers or prime movers.

Our maintenance must be improved.

Have ordered the arrest of the more highranking Customs men headed by Dizon because the extortion syndicate is still active. Mel Varono who claims relationship to me is still included among those to be apprehended tonight.

Cebu will be reorganized and the notorious smugglers detained.

 

2.

Oct. 25th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I have appointed Commodore Romulo Espaldon as my representative and as Acting Supervisor of the Bureau of Customs in accordance with the policy that officers in the civil government that are critical and affect the security of the state be placed under direct supervision.

Sept. 29, 1972, Friday

Marcos Diaries 1972_156 Marcos Diaries 1972_157

(1)

12:25 PM

Sept. 29, 1972

Friday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Sec. Vicente Abad Santos on the removal of judges: He is against the outright dismissal of civil service employees.

But I have decided to amend the civil service rules so as to add two new categories of punishment without going through a final hearing in addition to dismissal by an investigator. These are removal of those against whom charges are pending in which the evidence of guilt is strong and those that are notoriously undesirable so that it can be taken judicial notice of.

CIR judges have been removed except Judge Veloso and Paredes.

All Public Service Commissioners except Asst. Com. de Guzman also reorganized out.

I have asked Dr. Genaro de Bega to request Judges Wilfrido Angeles of Quezon City, Vivencio Ruiz of Makati, Herminio Mariano of Pasig to resign.

And I have dismissed 200 Customs men and 190 BIR men.

 

(2)

Sept. 29th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Kokoy reports that the International Press has become favorable.

Increased the allowances of the officers and men of the AFP.

Provided ₱13 million for the equipment of three new PA battalions.

Imelda is working on the commissary for the AFP.

Prices have gone down except sugar which is not available.

Tony Roxas Chua, the principal sugar trader has been arrested with others for price fixing.

Am writing Pres. Nixon on the reasons for Martial Law.

Sept. 28, 1972, Thursday

Marcos Diaries 1972_155 Marcos Diaries 1972_156

 

(1)

12:55 PM

Sept. 28, 1972

Thursday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

The legitimate use of force on chosen targets is the incontestable secret of the reform movement.

Restrained force will bring about the New Society.

And the Reformation is coming about without any obstacle.

Gerry Roxas wanted to be invited to meet with me. But the Liberal leaders all want to join up now that martial law is a success.

For that matter, everyone now wants to be identified with the Reform Movement.

Freddie Elizalde who has been a critic has come (brought by Adrian Cristobal) to offer a plan of indoctrination of the masses.

But we already have such a plan. And this must be indoctrination by participation –inflexible justice and actual involvement.

The reasons for change can be articulated later.

 

(2)

Sept. 28th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I have asked Armand Fabella to organize a Think Tank.

Then I will organize a group of men to follow up projects.

Johnny Gatbonton and T.S.J. George of Far East Review interviewed me at 1100-1:20 am.

We do not want another Vietnam nor another mainland China. If the Communists did not succeed in its plot to overthrow the Republic, the economy would have collapsed anyway because of the paralyzation of the government and business.

Received the lists of the Customs and BIR men to be dismissed tomorrow. Prepared the request for the judges to resign.

I am preparing the Educational Reform Act.

October will be the critical month. The Communists and criminals may be able to regroup.

We have to attend to criminality (keep it down) and food prices, repair the roads up to October.

Sep. 27, 1972, Wednesday

Marcos Diaries 1972_151 Marcos Diaries 1972_152 Marcos Diaries 1972_153

(1)

1:30 AM Sept 28th

Sept. 27, 1972

Wednesday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Met the Bishops Councils Executive Committee of Mons. Gavola, Alberto, Mon Diu and Fr.                . They promised to help in the reform program and wanted to publish a resolution.

They confidently gave me information on a Carlos Selles who is supposedly being paid to assassinate me. He is supposed to be a Panamanian like a Negro and has suddenly become affluent as he is opening deposit accounts in different banks.

Gen. Ver has traced his residence in Pasay and we will apprehend him for questioning.

Sec. Abad Santos has prepared a plan to ask the judges to voluntarily resign.

And we will do the same in the Bureau of Customs and the BIR, LTC, CIR and other offices.

 

(2)

Sept. 27th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I was interviewed by John Nance and Gil Santos of AP.

Traced the study of martial law to the writing of the book “Today’s Revolution -Democracy” and my revolution from the top or the center.

How the present peaceful revolution is a legal exercise of force to attain revolutionary objectives.

The setting and justification of a proclamation of martial law -the awakening to the threat in the Dagojo, Palawan landings, the rise in uncontrolled criminality both petty and syndicated, the paralyzation of government and business in the wake of the bombings, ambushes and the kidnappings –then the review of the captured documents and their reassessment showing that all that was happening had been planned a long time ago although the criminals were taking advantage of the confusion.

And the fundamental requisite of peace and order and reform for a New Society to be created out of the chaos and helplessness that governed everyone.

(3)

Sept. 27th (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Joe de Venecia suggests a meeting with Gerry Roxas so that the Liberals may cooperate on the reforms. He suggested I invite Gerry to a conference tomorrow. But this may involve a compromise of our strong no-exception stance.

So I have not accepted the suggestion.

Everybody is saying how swiftly the peaceful revolution was accomplished. John Nance told Imelda “You did not expect it to be so neatly done.”

Will it be said by history that the communist threat was just a legal justification for a legal use of force?

Then let it also be said that it was a constitutional revolution –And that it was necessary to reform society — to convert a “sick society” into the “New Society.”

February 20, 1950

In office here all day. To dinner at Delgado’s (Delgado’s Bros. Arrastre Contractors). Mrs. Delgado very pretty, mother of 4. I held the 9 month old baby boy, and he laughed and gurgled. Jacinto, Commissioner of Customs, Handry (Free Press), McKelsey, and several Filipinos there. Very good buffet supper with a chicken pie the size of a motor car wheel, salad, ham and mangoes for dessert […]. Had long talk with Jacinto, who is very worried about the future of his country. He asked how we can expect the people to be honest when they know that the highest officials are crooked. Since the war, the morale of the whole country has sunk to the very lowest depths. The military forces are worse than the Huks in their oppression of the peasants; no wonder the people in the barrios protect the “dissidents”. In the Customs, corruption is brazen; Customs officers go around to importers’ offices and shops and demand bribes (This happened in Shanghai after the war.) Jacinto blamed the Chinese for much of the corruption in high places, because they have, as he said, the “money bags” and don’t hesitant to open them in influential quarters. He cited one Chinese who brought in millions of dollars worth of American cigarettes without import license, put them in bond, and then (by bribery) got release as “advance quota.” He was supposed to have paid out $1,000,000 in squeeze, but he cleared much more than that. Jacinto begged me to have E.C.A. send out a man to help him with investigations and enforcement work. I told him frankly that I didn’t think it would be of much use until the government raises Customs pay to a subsistence level.

February 16, 1950

Interview with President Quirino. (Introduced by Selden Chapin, US Chargé d’ Affaires). He was very cordial, and gave me an opening to preach my little sermon on politics and corruption in the Customs. I remarked that the disease is easy to diagnose but hard to cure, but added that, if (1) political influence could be eliminated from the Customs personnel and (2) Customs employees paid a living wage, the Philippines could have just as good a Customs Service as any country. He made one very discouraging but very Oriental, comment to the effect that, even if the Customs staff were paid more, they’d keep on squeezing. If this opinion (which is not correct of the pre-war Chinese Customs Service) is widely held, I doubt whether any permanent improvement can be made in the Customs here. Malacañang Palace is a handsome building, and I couldn’t help thinking of some of the able American Governors-General who occupied it in the old days. Most of the honest Filipinos would welcome the return of American control. To wack wack Golf Club, where Prof. Dalupan gave a luncheon for the E.C.A. staff. Worked on memorandum suggesting an enforcement division in the Bureau of Customs.

February 15, 1950

Had conference with Jacinto, Milleres and Foster Knight at custom House. Jacinto had appeared before Budget Committees of House of Representatives this morning, and had told them that the Commissioner of Customs should be ex officio Collector of the port of Manila. He did not mention my alternative plan, i.e., complete separation of Commissioner and Collector. In view of the position he took, I said it would be a waste of time for me to draw up details of this alternative plan. Jacinto and Milleres both said that my plan might be the better in normal circumstances but, with the present set-up in the Custom House, the Commissioner must be the ex officio Collector in order to check malpractice by the present Deputy Commissioner and ex officio Collector Melicio Fabros!! And he must maintain his office in the Custom House in order to watch Fabros and company. A pretty nasty situation.

To dinner at Bing Escoda’s. She lives with two aunts — one single and one married — in a lovely house in Quezon City. Other guests were Mr. and Mrs. Hendry (he was born in China; she is part Filipina and very lovely); Mr. and Mrs. Ford Wilkins; Mr. Escoda (Bing’s uncle; Press Officer of House of Representatives); Mr. Roy, Chairman of the Banking Committee of the House of Representatives; and 2 other attractive Filipino couples. We had a delicious Filipino dinner — a whole pig, and Spanish rice and several other dishes. Excellent conversation. One of the guests was
formerly Philippine Cultural Attaché at the Legation in Buenos Aires. While in Rome last year, he called on Santayana, who was living in a hospital, cared for by English nuns. Santayana is 90-odd years old, but (except for deafness) in command of all his faculties. Mr. Escoda drove home with me, and we talked a long time in the hotel. I asked him about the Huks, and he said that the government had made progress against them recently. He said that he thought they would not be eliminated for 30 years; after the Americans took the Philippines in 1900, the rebels had only about 500 old-fashioned rifles, but it took the American army 5 years to suppress them. The Huks have 200,000 rifles, and plenty of machine-guns. Mr. Escoda said that the Huks live off the country, and are often cruel to the peasants, but that the Constabulary have treated the peasants even worse than the Huks! The Huks take one of his chickens; the Constabulary take two. Escoda referred to the US “surplus” scandal and said that a good many American Army officers made a lot of illegal money. One of his friends — a small saloon-keeper — was approached by an American officer who drove a truck-load of silk piece goods up to his shop and offered them to him for US $200. The saloon-keeper had only a few pesos at the time, but a wealthy Chinese came along, examined that silk, and a offered the officer $300. The officer said: “For $300 you have the silk and the truck.” The Chinese sold the silk for over US $100,000.

(At Lion’s Club lunch yesterday, the Sec. of Finance was dragged into the discussion. An awkward question was asked, and he said: “I feel like the fish in the market, who
remarked ‘If I’d kept my mouth shut, I wouldn’t be here.’” Ford Wilkins next to whom I was sitting, said that the original motto under the stuffed fish was:

“My address would still be Pacific South If I’d only remembered to close my mouth”.

Second line would be better thus:

“If I hadn’t opened my big, old mouth.”

February 14, 1950

To lunch at Lion’s Club as guest of Pio Pedrosa, Secretary of Finance. 9-10 had conference with Pedrosa, Jacinto, Jastram and Knight. Handed my memorandum re relationship between Commissioner of Customs and Collector of the Port of Manila to the Secretary. We had general discussion of the two alternatives I proposed, and the Secretary asked me to work out details of the two proposed, which he can submit to the Legislature. In the course of our talk, it was made shockingly clear how much the Customs is involved in politics. The present Deputy Commissioner and ex officio Collector at Manila (Fabros) has far more power than his nominal superior (Jacinto), and has placed relatives in several of the key posts in the Customs. He has very powerful political connections, and is, I fear, a thorough-going rascal.

The discussion at the Lion’s Club was about the desirability of creating a free-port, or foreign trade zone at Manila, and I have seldom heard more uninformed and half-baked ideas. It was a nice affair, however. The service clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.) seem to be very popular in the Philippines. There must have been 150-200 men at today’s lunch. Called on Col. Soriano, president of Philippine Air Lines, San Miguel Brewery, etc. – one of the world’s rich men, I’m told. He was once a Spaniard, then a
Filipino, and is now an American citizen. We had half an hour’s talk about the Customs. Like everybody else, he says get politics out of the Customs and pay the staff a living wage. With Foster Knight, inspected the two principal piers with Delgado, the Arrestre contractor. The storage sheds are very capacious and well-built, and the stacking and handling of cargo are very well done. Lift-trucks and other mechanized equipment was in full use. Delgado took over the Arrestre contract last month, and his predecessor company did everything possible to sabotage the property and equipment. A very disgraceful performance. I had following to dinner here: Dr. and Mrs. Ray Moyer; Jim Ivy; Doris Bebb; Mrs. Pedigo. We had amusing time watching the dancing (it was Valentine’s Night). Many of the young Filipino couples were dancing the ?, which consists chiefly of facing each other 2 feet
apart and wiggling their behinds. Most of them kept very sober faces, and seemed to be taking their pleasures sadly.

February 12, 1950

To Custom House. Finished two memorandums. Had 1 hour talk with Muni, head of Allied Warehouses (Customs brokers, etc.) and learned a lot about the Customs, and very little good. Dined at Liu’s. (She was peggy Auyang Pauline’s daughter). Chinese food, semi “pien fan”, and good. K and Mrs. Huang; Mr. & Mrs. Picasso, and 2 other Chinese couples there. A very gay and pleasant group. All have far too much money, but they are intelligent, friendly and entertaining.