February 12, 1970, Thursday

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Office of the President

of the Philippines


February 12, 1970


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


Office of the President

of the Philippines


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.

27 December 1944

We were waked very early this morning, long before daybreak, and marched about a quarter of a mile to a pier where we were forced to jump about 20 feet into Jap Landing Boats which were riding heavy swells in Lingayen Gulf. We were then taken and placed on a Japanese transport, about 1000 men on 1 ship*, whose name I have not been able to ascertain, and about 250 on another. We were in the center hold, half of us on the upper deck of the hold and the remainder in the lower hold. It wasn’t too crowded and as the hatch is very large the air is not too bad. Unfortunately, the upper deck on which my detail has been placed was used for the transportation of horses and the Japanese in their usual custom didn’t bother or would not allow us to remove any of the refuse which remained in this vessel’s hold, after evidently a long trip. The flies are terrible. I will say, that shortly after we came aboard, we were fed probably the best food we have had since we left Cabanatuan. Although the quantity is quite small, it is well cooked and seasoned. About 4 ounces of tea or soup is all of the liquid we are allowed. We were fed again late in the afternoon immediately after the vessels got under way.

[The document containing the entries from December 13, 1944 continues further until April 30, 1945, but the Philippine portion concludes with this entry]

*Enoura Maru

December 18, 1944

The alarm sounded yesterday, but the skies of Manila were clear of planes. The raids were made over Clark Field and Legazpi. However, we were kept alert by the raid today from 8:00 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon. In the morning a plane was shot down and the pilot parachuted down. A short raid was made in the afternoon over Manila Bay. Official sources said that Clark Field was raided anew, simultaneously with Aparri, Cebu and Leyte, although the press reported very light damage.

A new reporter wrote: “Our first impulse upon learning about the destructive attacks of the immense enemy forces was to be thankful we are spared from the air attack. At least for this year.” But we knew that the American Fleet was still afloat and continues to inch in, entering by the Lingayen Gulf from where it pounds on the coastal defenses.

February 27, 1942 

Flew a couple hours in evening. Recon to Subic Bay and Lingayen Gulf, not bad and I feel a lot better about the whole thing. Trying to send wires to Jean and the folks. Ears plugged up.

Ordered on a reconnaissance of Lingayen Gulf, Burns took off at 5:05 pm from Bataan Field and squadron mate Johnny McCown from Cabcaben Field. They flew their missions without incident. 

December 23, 1941

The war reveals the parasite, the non-essential man self-confessed. He who does not produce is regarded, with suddenly clear eyes, as an enemy. In peacetime he often occupies an honored position, being then only a thief who lives lawfully on what his neighbor makes.

The war leaves us with only human values to go by. It is not very comfortable. It either shows a man or shows him up. Out of this new revelation may come a new society, a true society, a society of man.

There are economic problems because there are rich men and poor men. There are wars because there are economic problems. Let us, simply, eliminate the rich men?

From Washington, D.C. came the following communique, issued by the war department:

“Philippine theater: Heavy fighting is in progress in Lingayen Gulf, 150 miles north of Manila, where the Japanese are attempting a landing in force.

“Under a strong naval and air escort a fleet of about 80 troop ships appeared off the west coast of Luzon. Soon afterward a large number of about 150-man barges entered Lingayen Gulf, attempting a landing in the vicinity of Agoo (La Union) Some of them succeeded in getting ashore.

“The Japanese force is estimated at from 80,000 to 100,000, from six to eight divisions. The attempted invasion is being met with fierce resistance by American and Filipino troops.

“Fighting is continuing near Davao on the island of Mindanao.

“There is nothing to report from other areas.”

Reports filtering into the city from the front told how the Lingayen beaches were piled high with Japanese dead, the water filled with the bobbing heads of Japanese soldiers whose boats had been sunk. The enemy, nevertheless, continued to gain.

Air-raid alarm this afternoon, catching the city on its way back from lunch to work. I was in a bookstore when the alarm came. I found a chair and a copy of Peter Arno’s usually very amusing cartoons. I was not amused, though I tried hard to be. The necessity of maintaining a decent serenity during a raid leaves a man not quite up to the enjoyment of even the most Rabelaisian humor.

“They can’t do this to me,” said a wounded one from Murphy, indicating what, in fact, they had done.

In an invasion the invaders are always grim, earnest and “proceed according to plan.” The invaded, bewildered at the beginning by the sudden onslaught of the enemy who had so recently been talking amity and peace, minimize by whimsy and humor the offs against them and set up a wall of lightheartedness between themselves and the desperate character of their situation. It is no longer fashionable to believe in heroes. Even as men conduct themselves unmistakably as such, they perversely refuse to acknowledge it. They die with their boots and a quip on.

They refuse to honor the enemy by taking him –at least in their speech– seriously. This is more than a case of whistling in the dark –the practice of adolescence. This, they vaguely feel, is the proper attitude to be adopted by the host toward an uninvited guest. Impolite and distant.

December 22, 1941 

Japs raided at breakfast today, something new. Large landing party at Lingayen. Navy must be asleep or not strong enough to keep them out. Or maybe some plan.

The main Japanese invasion force landed at Lingayen Gulf, only 70 miles north of Clark Field. In the remaining P-40Es of the 24th Pursuit Group, pilots of the 17th Pursuit took off from Clark and strafed the troop-laden Japanese transports, followed later, relay-fashion, by the 20th Pursuit. Unknown to Burns, the Asiatic Fleet had been withdrawn south to the Dutch East Indies except for its 29 submarines. Five were ordered to Lingayen to contest the invasion ships but only one entered the shallow Gulf and actually attacked the transports.