April 10 is the anniversary of the capture of Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos by the Japanese in Cebu. He was executed by them in Mindanao on May 2, 1942.
The Philippines Free Press Blog has two articles on Abad Santos (who is on the 1000 Peso bill with two other martyrs of World War II: Josefa Llanes Escoda and Gen. Vicente Lim. All three were executed by the Japanese): Last decision, by Teodoro M. Locsin, and A problem in Philippine history, readers’ responses to Locsin’s article, written when Manuel Roxas was still alive: there was confusion concerning conflicting claims as to who had been left behind with the powers to act on the president’s behalf. A Masonic website offers further documentation to prove Abad Santos was indeed appointed Acting President for the unoccupied areas. Roxas was briefly appointed Executive Secretary and enumerated in a a special Executive Order listing the order of succession in wartime. My column on Thursday will be about Abad Santos.
Jose Abad Santos being sworn in as Chief Justice, at the Social Hall (today’s Heroes Hall), Malacañan Palace, December 24, 1941, shortly before the Commonwealth government evacuated to Corregidor. From left to right: Gen. Basilio Valdes (some of whose diary entries I recently reproduced), Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army; Quezon; Executive Secretary Jorge Vargas; Jose P. Laurel; Jose Abad Santos; Benigno S. Aquino, Sr.; Manila Mayor Juan Posadas.
This blog will be on vacation until Easter.
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