February 20, 1970 Thursday

20Feb1970_1-(1215am) 20Feb1970 (10pm)

PAGE 88

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

 

February 20, 1970

Thursday

 

 

12:15 AM

 

I have asked Gens Yan and Ileto to advance and accelerate preparations in the event that the Maoists accelerate their schedule. Another violent demonstration like last night and according to our intelligence the next targets for sabotage are the public utilities and the big establishments, and I may have to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Ambassador Byroade filed a strong protest for the vandalism, arson and destruction in the U.S. Embassy last night. I have asked Mayor Villegas to explain his inaction.

Gen. Ordoñez of the Metrocom suffered head wounds last night.

I asked Ernesto Rufino, Vicente Rufino and Carlos Palanca to withdraw advertisements from the Manila Times which was openly supporting revolution and the communist cause. They agreed to do so.

I have convinced Maceda to stay in PACD and he still acted like a spoiled brat. I had to tell him that his employees were talking of his bringing women to the Executive Secretary’s office at night and that he was getting too arrogant.

Gen. Rancudo has put up a SSB for direct communications between my office and the 5th Fighter Wing.

The headline in the Bulletin has caused consternation among some senators as the secret orders if anything untoward happens to me has alarmed them of the military taking over. But this only if all the civilian government leaders are liquidated which is far-fetched.


PAGE 89

Office of the President

of the Philippines

Malacañang

 

 

February 20, 1970

Friday

 

 

10:00 PM

 

The report of the IMF and the solution acceptable to them has come in with Gov. Licaros. It is a multiple rate – a floating rate for all imports; all earnings of principal exports of copra, logs, sugar and copper concentrate to be surrendered to the Central Bank at the legal rate of ₱3.90 to the dollar except for 20% which will be allowed to be retained by the exporter and sold at the floating or free rate. Imports of luxuries and travel should be restricted. This will be an industrial development scheme. All the lesser exports will benefit and will be encouraged.

It should be approved by our Monetary Board by now, effective tomorrow, Saturday, morning at 6:00 AM to coincide with the approval of the IMF Executive Board in Washington. We must watch prices.

Met with Byroade and Jim Rafferty to offer my personal apologies. Those crazy Americans for a time thought that I had deflected the rallies from Malacañang to the U.S. Embassy to get them involved. Ridiculous!

But Romulo is getting senile. That note of his in answer to the stiff protest of the Americans was off the beam. It speaks of there being valid ground for the attacks against the Americans and the Americans to ponder on the solution of the problems between the two countries. I have to replace Romulo soon. This is not the way to treat a wounded ally.

More and more people are demanding sterner measures against the demonstrators. The Chamber of Filipino Retailers and small merchants demand protection for life and property.

Met with the Moslem student leaders with their demands – specially Zamboanga and Basilan.

 

January 1, 1942

Bataan

41st division, C.P.

 

Dead tired. Streets jammed from Bulacan to Bataan. Absolutely no traffic order. Roads filled with dust that covered entire body, entered ears, nose, eyes, lungs. Tanks were rattling up and down the road like lost monsters. Trucks loaded with food and ammunition were moving on, not knowing where to go. Haggard, weary troops retreating from southern front straggled on, looking for their officers. Men were shouting at one another to move out of the way so that their cars could pass. Trucks that stalled were dumped on the roadside. Gasoline cans were littered on the road for everybody’s use. American MP’s assigned to direct traffic lay drunk on the fields beside the main road singing “God Bless America.” The general told me as our car wormed its way to San Fernando: “If the Japs spot this convoy we are all goners.” Neither the general nor I could find our division in the assembly area. The night was very dark but I kept shouting for the names of the company commanders but there was no answer. Men of other divisions were in our area. Troops came to me asking where to go. Some belonged to the 71st, others to the 91st, others with the 1st regular. It was a chaotic retreat but the Japs were apparently asleep. The general then decided to leave me in San Fernando while he looked for the troops in Bacolor.

I stood under the monument at the plaza in front of San Fernando’s church, at the foot of the bridge. From afar there was a red glare that filled the skies in the direction of Manila that gave me the impression that the entire city was afire. Troops, tanks, cars, jeeps, trucks, cannons, trawlers passed by me. Some were asking where to go and I said I didn’t know and that I was also looking for my unit. Hours passed and there were no more tanks, no more troops, no more traffic. San Fernando was like a ghost city. I was all alone except for several Americans who were trying to fix their motorcycle under the starlight. In a deserted store, I could hear several drunk soldiers singing “Happy days are here again.” From the direction of Arayat came the distinct, metallic boom-boom-boom of Jap artillery. One of the Americans fixing the motorcycle asked: “Is that Porac or Arayat?” Another said: “Don’t worry bud, that’s our artillery.” They finally got their motor fixed and they asked me to join them. “We can squeeze you between us,” they said. I thanked them and explained I had to wait for the general. I was really tempted to join them but I was afraid the general might look for me. I must admit that I was getting very worried, if not afraid. I looked around for a hiding place and I kept fingering my .45 and six bullets. I must have cursed the general a thousand times and I kept telling myself: “What a way of spending New Year.” Then from a distance, I saw the hooded light of a car. It was the general and he said he almost forgot me. “We are going to Bataan,” he said. “Everybody is going there,” he explained. I was very tired and I fell asleep in the car and when I woke up, we were in Bataan and it was morning and there we were parked between two huge U.S. trucks in a dusty road, because there was another traffic jam and two tough-looking American drivers were arguing about who had the right of way.

Right now I’m here in Gen. Vicente Lim’s command post. My general and Lim are good pals. This C.P. is well-hidden on the side of a dried stream. The men have dug themselves inside the banks so that they are relatively safe from bombs and shells.

Gen. Lim is in good spirits. His belly is considerably thinner and his face is tanned. When we arrived, he said: “Don’t worry, in a week the convoy will be here.” He compared war to boxing. “They’ve won the first round,” he said, “but the war’s not over yet.” He gave us quite a good breakfast: coffee and carabao meat. Ernesto Santos and Vidal Tan, both friends of mine, are his aides.

From the conversation during breakfast, I gathered that all troops from the North and South fronts have been ordered to retreat to Bataan. This hilly spot of land, this bottle-neck will be USAFFE’s “last stand.” The principle of retreating to a favorable terrain and there engaging the enemy is going to be the strategy. The other half of the grand game will be up to the United States. Out here in Bataan, we will hold to the last ditch; the U.S. Navy on the other hand will rush the reinforcements.

Just a few minutes ago, the air was filled with the roar of many planes. Gen. Lim looked up and said “They’re ours.” Gatas Santos, his senior aide, was skeptical and his doubts were soon confirmed by the barking of AA guns. In a few seconds, the beautiful formation was broken up. More AA fire. Smoke oozed out of one plane, its wings wavered, it fell out of line and a silvery veil trailed its earthward descent. That is the first real action picture I’ve seen of a plane going down. I hope I see more.

Nice bunch out here in the 41st. Lorrie Tan said Teddy Arvisu is here too as staff sergeant. Montemayor and Henry Powers are also with this unit. Powers is in “No Man’s Land” as head of a scouting patrol. Estanislao Feria is assistant G-2 in Lim’s staff and Rufino is chief quartermaster.

The view is beautiful. Very many talls trees that give a lot of shelter. Beyond are grassy plains and little hillocks. Behind are old wooden barracks and a small training camp but Lim’s troops are not using the garrisons, In front is a flat terrain with call cogon and many clumps of bamboo and tall trees here and there. To the left of the 41st is Gen. Capinpin’s 21st which has behaved very well in the face of strong enemy thrusts in Lingayen. Johnny Fernandez, my classmate, is Capinpin’s aide. Johnny has always loved military life. Now I guess he is going to get a full dose of it.

Nice weather here. Cool January breeze. Can hear many birds chirping on the treetops. Must stop writing now. Now I think the general is going to our sector.

 

Later

 

Bataan

51st div. C.P.

 

Arranged division maps. Acquainted myself with operational plans. Noted down all field orders of General.

En route to Shanghai, December 9, 1931, Wednesday

Up at 9 and after walking and reading, joined the Rufinos and Morenos (newlyweds) for a champagne party in Suite C with result that I got dizzy and had to lie down till lunchtime.

After lunch, a little reading, then a nap till 5:30, a walk and dress for dinner preceded by a cocktail party in Osmeña’s suite. (Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Peters et al) (4 parts crème de cacao, 4 parts cream, 3 gin).

After dinner, movies and bridge.

En route to Shanghai, December 9, 1931, Wednesday

Up at 9 and after walking and reading, joined the Rufinos and Morenos (newlyweds) for a champagne party in Suite C with result that I got dizzy and had to lie down till lunchtime.

After lunch, a little reading, then a nap till 5:30, a walk and dress for dinner preceded by a cocktail party in Osmeña’s suite. (Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Peters et al) (4 parts crème de cacao, 4 parts cream, 3 gin).
After dinner, movies and bridge.

December 5, 1931

Concurrent resolution has 12 of Phil Leg[islature] creating a committee composed of the presiding officers of both houses and the majority and minority leaders of the same, to wit, Roxas, Quezon, Osmena, Sabido, Montinola and Tirona to petition Congress for early independence as well as permit Philippine views on any matters pending in Washington. The Committee decided to take Kalaw[1] and myself to assist them and the Acting Governor Butte[2] readily gave us our assignments at the request of Roxas and Osmeña [pursuant] to section 100 of Admin Code.

The mission sailed for S.F. on the President Coolidge’s maiden trip. Our party composed of Roxas, Osmeña, Montinola and daughter Gloria, Tirona & Mrs. T with 3 children, Kalaw, Mrs. Kalaw and a friend, Miss  ?, Lichauco, Jose Fernandez – stenographer.

A very big crowd was on the pier to see the mission off, and I probably shook hands with a hundred men whose faces I knew but whose names I did not recall. Among my fellow companions on shipboard are four newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. E. Rufino, and Mr. & Mrs. R. Moreno. However, many young girls were at the pier also.

After the ship cleared the breakwater, Fernandez and I dropped off to bed so exhausted were we from last minute preparations.

[1] Maximo Kalaw (May 19, 1891 – March 23, 1955) became associate editor of Manila Times, and secretary in the office of Manuel L. Quezon. He was representative of 3rd District of Batangas to the Philippine Legislature.  Among his writings are “The Case for the  Filipinos” published in 1916 and “The Philipppine Question, an Analysis” in 1931

[2] George Charles Butte was appointed Vice Governor-General of Philippines by President Coolidge on Dec. 30, 1930 and was acting Governor 1931-32