Excerpt from a speech delivered on October 19, 1956

(From a Speech delivered by Col. Joseph R. McMicking at a Banquet given by the Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. And the Tacloban Lions Club in honor of the City and Municipality Mayors in Convention in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines on October 19, 1956.)

The plans for the landings in the Philippines were grouped together under the code word “King”. King One was Sarangani Bay, King Two and Three – Leyte Gulf, Four Mindoro, Five – Lingayen, Six – Nasugbu, Seven – Subic. To undertake King One, Biak had to be taken because Biak would be the airfield for land based planes supporting the Sarangani landing. Sarangani had to be taken to provide the fighter cover for Leyte. By that same token, Mindoro was within fighter range of Central Luzon and Lingayen. This planning started energetically about March, 1944 on the dual assumption that the war in Europe would still be on, and that full support would be given by the forces under Admiral Nimitz of the Central Pacific. It was possible to go ahead with these plans because Finschaven, Hollandia and Wadki had been successfully occupied.

In late June 1944, I went to Washington to find out if the Philippine Government- in-Exile was as far along in its civil planning for the Philippine operations, as we were on the military side. A little prodding here and there, the polishing of the proclamations of the President, some of the details regarding transfer from military to civil government, the availability of money and coinage (for instance, should there be more subsidiary silver coins percentage-wise than existed before the war? The answer to that was, “Yes”, we should double the percentage), the establishment of the PCAU units to feed the civil population. In what amounts should this food be provided? Should we use California rice which is very glutinous, or use Chilean rice because it was more palatable to the Filipinos?

The second week of July, I went up to Saranac Lake and called on the President. There I found delightful Doña Aurora, General Valdes, Fr. Ortiz, and Manuel Nieto, who is now the Philippine Ambassador to Madrid. Mr. Quezon was in bed, but his mind was working brilliantly as usual, and he was in rare good form. Reminiscing about old times, of school days with my father and my father-in-law. A couple of Martini cocktails before dinner, loosening his tongue to tell about his running battles with Secretary Harold Ickes. His dream and plans, what he would do when he returned to these shores with the Army of Liberation. These were two very happy, impressive days for me. I left President Quezon, bringing with me to Brisbane and Hollandia the different signed papers of what had been developed. Then, less than two weeks later, we received the shocking news of the death of this patriot, this giant of a Filipino who had labored all his life for his people. His great heart had burst. He now lived in history.

The reins of the government passed quickly to the hands of Don Sergio Osmeña, gallant, distinguished, experienced, able. He and his staff, which included General Valdes and General Romulo, came to Hollandia in mid-September for the final phases of the planning of King One.

Joseph McMicking
Author: Joseph McMicking
(1908-1990) Businessman; CEO of Ayala y Compañia; member of the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Australia; appointed by the Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon on April 20, 1942, as disbursing officer of the Philippine government and developed complex policies on guerrilla currency exchange. He became an emissary to the Philippine Commonwealth Government-in-Exile in Washington, D.C., to help plan the civilian relief and reconstruction of post WWII Philippines.

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