April 29, 1945

The Headquarters of General MacArthur announced today the entry of his troops in Baguio, after wiping out the Japanese defenses. It took the liberators four months at the cost of a great number of men and materials to scale the mountain, blow up machine gun nests, seal thousands of caves and exterminate their defenders, and take possession of this city. Like mountain cats, the remaining Japanese continue fighting in the eastern slopes and from the top of Mt. Sto. Tomas which overlook the zigzag. An important nucleus of resistance is the Cagayan Valley. The two Ilocos regions, La Union and part of the Mountain Province, have been liberated by guerilla forces.

Thousands of residents of this summer city had been infiltrating through Japanese defenses until they reached American lines, guided by Igorots who are as loyal as they were experts in avoiding Japanese attention, in climbing rocks and jumping over precipices. Many had died in the bombings of Baguio, others succumbed to the hardship of two months of wanderings in caves and mountains or a week on the road until they reached Tubao where they were picked up by American troops.

Recto, Alunan, Paredes, Sison and De las Alas, the ex-ministers of the short-lived Republic had been captured and detained. Manuel Roxas was liberated. Laurel, Osías and Aquino fled to Japan. We could not tell whether on their own volition or forced by Yamashita. Part of those liberated had been brought to Manila and many of them are quartered in the University of Santo Tomas. They had lost their homes in Baguio and their old houses in Manila had been destroyed.

The Army in Baguio did not commit the same systematic abuses and massacre as what was planned and executed in Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Tayabas and in other provinces. Either they did not receive the order or they simply failed to implement it. Of course, it was easier for the victims to evade their henchmen and elude their herodian plans in the thicknesses and ruggedness of the mountains. However, at the last hour, the wriggling tail of the dying dragon killed numerous groups of unsuspecting persons, the incapacitated, the helpless who could not save themselves in time. Hundreds, or perhaps thousands of innocent lives were sacrificed.

A number of Japanese civilians and soldiers have passed over to the American lines. Among them are Mr. Yokoyama, the Japanese consul in Baguio; Mr. Okano, the head of the Religious Section of the Army and a good Catholic who had given not a few favors to the American prisoners and to the members of religious congregations; Mr. Matsuda, a professor of Nippongo, and somebody else whose surrender or capture we are not sure about.

August 5, 1943

In big headlines, the press reported the capture of Col. Hugh Straughn who was allegedly the guerrilla commander in Central Luzon and to whom was partly attributed the rampant lawlessness in Zambales and Tayabas. The captive read on radio some very humiliating statements about his actuations and miserable life in the mountains, appealing to his followers to turn to the fold of Japanese magnanimity. According to the news, seventy terrorists fell into the hands of the military police among whom were those who made an attempt on the life of Commissioner Laurel.

However, both the guerrillas and the gangsters—the police classifies them under the same category—are roaming about unarrested in Laguna, Tayabas and Rizal. In Manila, the police has cordoned a block of houses in Raon St. and arrested several hundreds of persons. A number of them, with USAFFE cards, have fallen into the hands of the police.

It isn’t seldom that streetcars are stopped, the passengers ordered to get down and searched. In other cases, the police post themselves in strategic places, accosting and searching pedestrians and passers-by.

Commuters from the Visayas report that the situation there is getting worse. The Japanese dominate only six or seven towns in Panay. Hence, the guerrillas encamped in the rest of the province remain unmolested. Hardly was there a town which was not destroyed, and a church or a school which was not left standing.

The granting of Burmese independence is alluded to by pro-Japanese opinion makers as an indication of an early Philippine emancipation. But the more the pro-Japanese propaganda is intensified, the greater the distrust in Philippine Independence and the more active the guerrilla movements become.

The Filipinos have many speculations regarding Japan’s motives for wanting to grant them a speedy independence. They suspect that the whole business is not a matter of altruism but of expediency and self-interest. The hurried concession could be attributed to the imminent danger of an American attack on Japan in this part of the Pacific front much earlier than Japan had calculated. The Filipino suppose that one of the purposes of this concession is to make the Philippines declare war against the United States both by reason of her independence and because of the American bombings on Philippine soil. They know Japan enough to infer that Japan is intending to utilize American attacks on an independent nation as a propaganda against American imperialism.