From the diaries of Ferdinand E. Marcos

Monday Sunday, September 23, marks the 35th anniversary of martial law. Touched by an Angel recounts what it was like to be a teen during the martial law years. For me, September 23 comes a few days after my dad’s death anniversary (September 18), and so I tend to be pensive around this time of year, anyway: the two dates inspired this essay.

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My last two columns on September 17 and September 20 dealt with Marcos in retrospect. Two newspapermen arrested by Marcos recount their experiences.

First, Juan Mercado in Pale ink and memory:

And we of the grey hair, bifocals and arthritic knees — what do we remember? Singing “Bayan Ko” or cracking a joke about the “New Society” invited a beating or detention, oftentimes both. We also relearned what Japanese Kempetai brutality taught earlier: political jokes are serious business.

We hurt so much then, so we laughed. Remember the joke about emaciated and fat dogs lining up for US visas? “Martial Law is obviously good for you,” the scrawny mutt told the obese mongrel. “So why do you want a visa?” he asked. The reply: “I want to bark.”

Jokes against “Big Brother,” George Orwell wrote, are “tiny revolutions.” Wit and humor have always been rapiers against dictators. They were then thrust into Bagong Lipunan camp followers: Fabian Ver, Estelito Mendoza, Juan Ponce Enrile, Eduardo Cojuangco, even a minor functionary in San Juan named Mayor Joseph Estrada.

And then Amando Doronila in Proclamation 1081:

The date of its announcement was falsified. So, when President Ferdinand Marcos appeared on TV at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 23, Saturday, to announce the proclamation of martial law in his stentorian baritone, the announcement was anti-climactic. The proclamation was dated Sept. 21, Thursday.

Arrest orders of targets, including opposition figures and newspapermen, were served beginning at midnight of Sept. 22, Friday, straddling Sept. 23. In the first round of arrests, I received a phone call at home in Blue Ridge, Quezon City, from a close friend who said, “Martial law has been declared. Secretary [of Defense Juan Ponce] Enrile has been ambushed.”

I told myself, “This it.” I immediately rang the graveyard shift editor at the Chronicle. No one answered. I switched on radio and TV. They were all dead…

From midnight of Friday, the first wave of arrests was carried out. Troops descended on all newspapers, padlocked them and nailed the proclamation dated Sept. 21. Marcos trumped Aquino and shocked the country with superb use of the element of surprise by manipulating the dates of the proclamation.

Doronila also quotes from the Marcos diaries. These were hand-written diaries written with an eye for posterity by Marcos, usually on Palace stationery. I have copies of some of them, given to me one day by a colleague some years ago, and I thought the best commemoration would be to reproduce extracts from those diaries (I normally only recommend books I’ve read, but you may be interested in “Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos As Revealed in His Secret Diaries” (William C. Rempel, which I haven’t read but seen in the bookstores).

January 2, 1971, Saturday, 10:00 pm

…And when I watch the supposedly patriotic men, in their selfish and egoistic ways, wreck our republic, I almost lose my objectivity and dispassionate attitude as anger boils within me and eggs me to immediately put into effect the plan to establish martial law. This I must avoid.

For I will not declare martial law unless there is anarchy or the beginnings of it which prevents the functioning of courts and other government offices, even if the constitution authorizes me to do so when there is “imminent danger of invasion, insurrection or rebellion -and there is actually rebellion going on now.

The silent conspiracy against our republic is joined in by well-meaning men who use the inequities of our society and despair that they can ever be rectified except by radicalism and violence. For there are many valid grounds of grievance as the rich and powerful disregard or are insenstive to the dreams or even the frustrations and pains that torture the masses of our people.

So I must be deliberate, prudent, and wise.

Jan. 2, 1971 Sundat (Jan. 3, 1971 3 am)

…Gen. Yan called up to say he was not informed of the retirement of the generals. He seemed to be sulking. I reminded him that we had been talking about retirement of all generals by Jan/ 13, 1971…

Jan. 3, 1971 Sunday

…I had a light lunch of docon and paltat.

Was in Gabu and taking off by 12:35 and in Nichols Airbase at 1:45 pm where Imelda and the children were waiting for me with pospas which I ate in the car. My tummy shows some [illegible] so I take something every two or three hours. It is most probably due to the tension arising out of the plan for the proclamation of martial law…

We must refashion this society.

We must wage our own revolution.

The concept of ownership must be changed so the small people have a chance. All the crooks in government must be booted out. The media must be geared to development and progress, not to destruction and retrogression.

Jan. 4, 1971 Monday 10:00 pm

…Today (this morning 11:00 am up to lunch at 2:00 pm) in a conference with Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sec. Alex Melchor and Gen. Yan, I ordered the setting up of a Special War Center, an Internal Security Agency, a Psy-War Branch all under the DND as well as the creation of a new command, the Metropolitan Command, that will cover the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, the Pasig Task Force and the PGB under Col. Ver.

I ordered the transfer of Gen. Fidel Ramos from the 3rd Brigade to the 2nd PC Zone vice Gen. Zosimo Paredes whom I am retiring. Col. Palacios the CO of the 1st Brigade goes to the 3rd Brigade vice Gen. Ramos.

The Special War Center personnel may also be placed as a component unit of the command of Col. Ver’s, as Metropolitan Command CO. It integrates all the special forces of the major services, the special forces and rangers of the Army and Constabulary, the air commanders of the Air Force and the Navy’s marines and other teams. They will be retrained under chosen officers for special missions.

As I plan it, in the event of violence in the city, the Metrocom under Gen. Ordonez will seek to hold back the mass of rioters with his 1,400 men. If theyt are unequal to the task or special task forces are necessary, the Metropolitan Command comes in. If still unable to contain the violence, then the entire Internal Security Forces under Maj. Gen. Romeo Espino, Vice-Chief of Staff under whom both Gen. Ordonez and Col. Ver will be subordinated comes into the metropolitan area.

In the meantime outside of the NBI-Metrocom teams that will be fielded, Col. Ver will have special teams to arrest target personnel or take target areas. This will assure performance in the event that NBI and Metrocom are committed prematurely to the routine of maintaining order.

I have ordered the PC and 1st Infantry Division at Fort Magsaysay as well as the 51st Engineer Brigade brought up to full strength.

The P3 million needed for the procurement of 3,000 Armalites for the PC, I have ordered to be released and the guns delivered not later than the end of February.

The engineers should be ready to take over the public utilties like Nawasa, Meralco, PLDT, Butel, PNR, PAL, Air Manila, Fairways, land transport as well as shipping.

But the media which according to Sec. Melchor Ambassador Byroade calls a serious threat to security, calls for a separate operation. We have to take them over immediately.

The Psy-War Branch should use them for the purposes of the military administration.

The framework of government and present officials should be kept and all laws except those I suspend kept in force unless changed by edict by me.

But a new plan of government and society must be worked out…

While private property will be recognized and respected, they should be run for the state. Their profits should go to a fund for investment and development…

All able-bodied men must be put to work. There must be total exploitation of natural resources.

This must be a complete revolution.

Jan. 8, 197110:40 pm

…I am also working on the political philosophy that should be able to rally all the classes of our people in the event of a take-over.

And classifying the records that have to be duplicated and stored in a place other than Malacanang.

Jan. 9, 1971 Saturday, 11:00 pm

Bongbong left by Qantas via Hongkong, New Delhi, Teheran, Athen and London.

I talked to him, and his sisters, Imelda and Kokoy about the possibility of his mother and two sisters joining him if there should be trouble here; that whether I am there beside them or not they (the children) should value education and get a doctorate degree because even if we should lose our fortune and position here in the Philippines, then they could work their own way in the world; that if for any reason we should be separated and I should not be able to guide them after normalcy returns to the world or the Philippines as the case may be, they should return to the Philippines where their roots are; that I would prefer them marrying Filipinos…

Jan. 11, 1971 10:15 pm

…Tonight they have started to stone even private cars. It is expected that it will be worse tomorrow….

We will keep watching for the need of the use of emergency powers….

Jan. 12, 1971 1:55 pm

…Freddie Elizalde showed me a copy of an editorial which Chino Roces wanted to be pooled by all the newspapers castigating me and asking for my resignatio and that of the cabinet. For good measure the editorial included the Vice-President. It was opposed by Freddie and Ugarte. And Teddy Locsin opposed the demand for resignation.

What a ridiculous spectacle Chino Roces is making of himself. He is supposed to have said that I engineered the drivers strike and am leading to a declaration of martial law as there will be violence tomorrow and in the days to come, and he predicted that at least ten men would be killed tomorrow…

…The timetable is being pushed too fast by the leftists. It may be earlier than we think.

Jan. 13, 1971 1:00 am

The congressmen close to me, Cong. Cojuangco, Frisco San Juan, Ali Dimaporo, Jose Aspiras, Navarro, Lucas Canton, Roque Ablan all proposed for the use of my emergency powers. “We cannot understand why you are so patient. Do not wait until we are completely debilitated and the people is against us. It will be too late. One swift blow and we remove the cancer from our society,” they all said.

I could only aswer that it may be sooner than we think…

Jan. 20, 1971 Wednesday 9:30 pm

…The Liberals have taken out a full page advertisement on martial law declaring they would not attend sessions if martial law is declared.

I have had to reiterate my stand that martial law is the last recourse -that I would resort to it only of there is massive sabotage, terrorism, assassination and a violent grab for control of government…

Jan. 23, 1971 Saturday :25 pm

…I met Andy Soriano and Sebastian Ugarte of the Herald this morning. I explained that the fight against the oligarchs was not against bigness but against the use of bigness to oppress our people and intimidate the public officials for more financial gain.

He seemed relieved but still worried about anarchy. I had to assure him when I called him back alone that if the situation deteriorates, I may have to use my extraordinary powers like declaring martial law. Her seemed relieved and said, “you would be surprised at the number of people who would welcome it.”

Jan. 25, 1971 Monday 11:15 pm

This is the turning point. The congressional opening and State of the Nation address ceremonies were peaceful.

And the whole nation heaved a sigh of relief. For many had left for the provinces and for abroad to avoid the imagined dangers of a revolution.

Chino Roces, Manglapus, the radicals who have been predicting the start of a revolution today must be disappointed.

Jan. 27, 1971 Wednesday 11:00 pm

…I met with the egalitarian intellectuals of the UP tonight, Cesar Majul, Ruben Santos, Bonifacio and Almonte.

They are all enthusiastic about the Democratic Revolution. Now we have to reduce the theory and ideal into practical programs to be implemented…

Jan. 28, 1971 Thursday 9:30 pm

Met about 25 of the leading businessmen of the country in a merienda hosted by Andy Soriano at his Forbes Park home this afternoor at 4:00-6:00 pm.

I informed that the the communists or subversives were slowly sapping the vitality of our country; that the communists are presently in no position to start a rebellion or a revolution but in two years or three there would probable be a need for a revolution, the communists would nearly take over -or the military.

But my democratic revolution offers an alternative or option. So I asked that it be supported to abort a communist take-over.

Bert Villanueva said they were all for my objectives but what were the specifics…

Don Manolo Elizalde started the exchange of views after my opening statement to the effect that it was not my intention to go after any particular businessman or corporation…

Jan. 30, 1971 Saturday 10:00 pm

…The City Mayors came to pledge their total and complete support for the Democratic Revolution.

The governors have done likewise.

The local officials are now enthusiastic and prepared to openly fight communism.

Feb. 1, 1971 Monday (I write this as I await some callers across the river)

“there is bound to be an inevitable confrontation between the communists and our democacy in the military front,” I have always said…

…The communists gamble that the Republic will be too weak by then as they will have sapped our vitality…

…I have also said that if we do not now take measures of self-preservation, this will come about.

My democratic revolution will rally the great majority of our people around our republic…

So if there is going to be an inevitable collision, then perhaps we should induce it now while communists are weak and disorganized.

April 17, 1972

…Frank Starr implicates Col. Lino Aragon Angara, nephew of the late Pres. Quezon, in a plot to assassinate me on July 17, 1972.

The sworn statement of Starr which is hereto attached is apparently credible and has the marks of authenticity.

What is disturbing is the supposed statement of Angara “Marcos will be killed xxx And when he is dead the Vice President will become President and then our group takes over control of the Philippines.”

Starr says he told me (Angara) of his contacts often with the Hon. Vice President Fernando Lopez and this report is made in sincere interest to [illegible] maneuver and shape or form to breed distrust between the President and Vice President of the RP. But in fairness to the Truth, and facts statements must be made accordingly.

“I spoke to him (Angara) on at least 7 telephone calls and he said he had gone down to meet the Vice President Lopez in his home province.”

This is not the first time that the Lopezes have conspired against my life. Since 1969 they have so at least three times.

The old plot of Eleuterio Adevoso under Osmena was connected to the Lopezes.

And the Lopez financial and propaganda support for the NPA through Heny Lopez and the ABS-CBN included as one of the objectives my assassination. Thru Commander Melody of the NPA was assigned to this mission. Commander Melody confessed this.

On the Adevoso plot, our asset within the conspiracy, Joe, revealed that the Osmena and Lopez camps were involved.

Then when on January 1970, Lopez and I parted ways, Serging Osmena suggested to Ining Lopez my assassination and this idea was picked up and being implemented.

Chino Roces had in 1979 repeatedly voiced his demand that I be liquidated as this was the only way for them (the activists) to take over.

And Roces and Ining Lopez have joined in partnership against us.

They have also joined hands to blacken my character. Thus they contrived the Dovie Boehms case. The funds sent to her in California have been traced as coming from the Lopez camp.

They escalating demonstrations, mobs and riots, all supported by the Lopezes.

And now the Lopezes have joined up with Roxas and his father-in-law, Amading Araneta.

But apparently they are desperate and may be planning assassination to prevent my declaring Martial Law!

May 8, 1972 Monday 11:25 pm

… After the meeting I directed Sec. Ponce Enrile, the Chief of Staff, Gen. Espino, Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Ileto, PC Chief, Gen. Ramos, PA Chief, Gen. Zagala, Air Force Chief, Gen. Rancudo, 1st PC Zone Commander, Gen. Tomas Diaz, IV PC Zone Commander, Gen. Encarnacion, Asst. Chief of Staff, J-2, Col. Paz, to update the contingency plans and the list of target personalities in the event of the use of emergency powers.

I directed Sec. Ponce Enrile to finalize all documentation for the contingency plans, including the orders and implementation.

May 12, 1972 Friday 12:30 pm

The entire country continues to speculate on my visit to the brothers Lopez. The comments all seem favorable, specially after my statement that I have reestablished my friendship with the Lopezes for national unity in view of the national interest.

The opposition is still in a state of shock while the Nacionalistas are jubilant.

Gerry Roxas and Ninoy Aquino are meeting with Ining Lopez on Sunday but Kokoy has been told not to be concerned as Ining will make no commitments. And that whatever obstacles to the rapprochement will be overcome.

The general impression is that I have just accomplished a political coup! As Gerry Roxas is supposed to have said: “Titiklopin na yata tayo.”

June 4, 1972 Sunday 11:00 pm

I have just answered a letter og Concon President Macapagal wherein he asks whether I or Imelda are running for President in 1972. I wrote him through Kits Tatad that neither Imelda or I intend to run -I because I am disqualified by the constitution from a third term and Imelda because she has no intention to do so.

I asked him to do me the honor of furnishing me the original of his letter which he sent to media, so that I could answer him in more detail. And that he should exercise the leadership that is sadly lacking in the convention.

Apparently Pres. Macapagal has decided to lay the blame on me for the failures of the convention.

Typical traitor and coward!

But from my point of view the Concon has become useless. Anything they will approve now will be rejected by the people in a plebiscite.

Sept. 7, 1972 Thursday 9:10 pm:

… This afternoon I spent in finishing all papers needed for a possible proclamation of martial law, just in case it is necessary to do so.

Sept. 8, 1972:

… Sen. Aquino is, of course, playing a double game. He was in danger from the Maoists, as reported by him to Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile…

So I believe he negotiated in a meeting with Jose Maria Sison and is protected from that side.

But now he is convinced he is also in danger, from the government. So he goes through the motions of giving information to the Secretary of National Defense to get protection from government.

And I believe that he will, however, help the Moaists more than the government.

Sept. 9, 1972, Saturday, 12:35 pm:

…Sec. Ponce Enrile and I finished the material for any possible proclamation of martial law…

Sept. 10, 1972, Sunday, 12:30 pm:

It is now my birthday. I am 55. And I feel more physically and mentally robust than in the past decade and have acquired valuable experience to boot.

Energy and wisdom ‘the philosopher’s heaven.

Sep. 13, Wednesday, at 11:00 pm:

…So I met with Johnny Ponce Enrile, Gen. Tom Diaz, Col. Montoya, Col. Romy Gatan, and Danding Cojuangco this evening at Pangarap and we agreed to set the 21st of this month as the deadline.

In the meantime Sen. Aquino in a privilege speech, today, claims we have an OPLAN Sagitarrius, which allegedly includes placing Greater Manila under PC Control preparatory to proclaiming martial law.

This is nothing but the contingency plan for the coordination of the local police forces and the Armed Forces in case of insurgency.

It is ridiculous to ascribe it to the plan of martial law since it referts to calling out the troops to quell a disorder.

But of course the media will give it all kind of meaning.

But, again, perhaps it is best that the political opposition start a debate that will get the people used to the idea of emergency powers.

Sept. 14, 1972, Thursday, at 11:50 pm:

After golf, at 9:00 amat my room at Pangarap while taking breakfast, I told the SND, C of S, Major Service Commanders (Gen. Ramos, PC, Gen. Zagala, PA, Romando, PAF and Commodore Ruiz, PN) Gen. Ver and Gen. Paranis that I intend to declare martial law to liquidate the communist apparatus, reform our government and society, then have the Concon ratify our acts and the people can confirm it by plebiscite and return to constitutional processes; but that I needed at least one year and two months; that this would be a legitimate exercise of my emergency powers under the constitution as clarified by the Habeas Corpus case by the Supreme Court last January; that we need to cure the ills of our society by radical means (I mentioned corruption, tax evasion, criminality, smuggling, lack of discipline, unequal opportunities) so we must keep our moves clean and submerge self-interest.

I asked for any objection to the plan and there was none except for the observation of Gen. Ramos that the closing of the media should be done by a civilian minister supported by the military, and Gen. Gen. Romando who wanted missions definitely assigned to each branch of the service.

Sep. 17, 1972 Sunday 10:00 pm (At “The Big Antique” or “Ang Maharlika”)

We escaped the loneliness of the palace for this old Antillan house now known as Ang Maharlika, the State Guest House several blocks from the palace. It has been restored beautifully by Imelda and is a symbol of Philippine culture in the last century. Almost all our antique valuables have been transferred here.

The departure of our children has made the palace a ghostly unbearable place.

I took a long nap (4:30-7:30 pm) in the room of Bongbong which has the worst bed [illegible] and the lumpiest mattress.

And after an early simple dinner of sardines and pancit, I was able to browse in the library where to my delight I discovered the books I have been wanting to read for some time including Fitzimmons,The Kennedy Doctrine, Sorensen’s The Kennedy Legacy, The Dirty Wars edited by Donald Johnson (some of the principles and lessons are outmoded), Days of Fire by Samuel Katz (The Secret History of the Irguny Zrai Sanmi and The Making of Israel, Chou-en-lai by Kai-Yu, Room 39 by Donald Macfaddan (The room of the British Intelligence in WWII), the History of the World in the 20th Century by Watt, Spencer and Brown.

I have invited the Liberal Party leaders (at least ten of their hierarchy) to come to the palace on Sept. 19th to be informed of what we have on the negotiations and agreements between the Maoists and the Liberals.

The Liberal head, Sen. G. Roxas, issued a demand for us to point out the Liberal negotiating with the Communists, knowing full well that I refer to Sen. Aquino, his opponent for leadership in the party and wanting to disqualify Aquino by his own action.

But the Liberals should not get out that easily.

For some of the other leaders have been dealing with the Communists -Mitra, Yap, Felipe, Dy, Pendatun, Lucman, etc.

Antonio Zumel, news editor of the Bulletin had an explanation of his Trade Asia activities in today’s papers. He adopts an aggressive stance of hurt innocence!

I received the report on the 7,400 case of dynamite apprehended in the del Pan bridge by the OOSAC under Maj. Cruz, son of Maj. Gen. Pelagio Cruz, the ASAC chief. I ordered the dynamite impounded notwithstanding the claim of [illegible] for it.

The Air Manila plane was apparently bombed at 4:40 am yesterday by a grenade in a valise with incendiary bombs over Romblon, prepared to ditch because of the right engine being out of commission from the grenade blast but was able to limp up to Roxas City where it landed at about 5:00 am in the dark with nothing but its landing lights to guide it. Capt. Samonte, the captain of the plane did a good job and was lucky.

I have checked on the plans of the delegations I am sending to the IMF, the UN and other international conferences.

Sep. 18, 1972, Monday, at 12:50 pm:

…We finalized the plans for the proclamation of martial law at 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm with the SND, the Chief of Staff, major service commanders, J-2, Gen. Paz, 1st PC Zone Commander, Gen. Diaz and Metrocom commander, Co. Montoya, with Gen. Ver in attendance.

They all agreed the earlier we do it the better because the media is waging a propaganda campaign that distorts and twists the facts…

So after the bombing of the Concon, we agreed on the 21st without any postponement.

We finalized the target personalities, the assignments, and the procedures.

Sept. 19, 1972, Tuesday:

Released the report of Sec. Ponce Enrile of Sept. 8, 1972 where he reported that Sen. Aquino had met with Jose Maria Sison of the Communist Party and had talked about a link-up of the Liberal Party and the Communist Party…

.So since I invited Sen. Pres. Puyat, Speaker Villareal… I explained to the media which was covering us that when I invited the leaders of the Liberal Party I had wanted a private conference where we could, as Filipinos and for the welfare of our people, agree that neither party (Nacionalista or Liberal) would “link-up” with the Communist Party but their refusal to attend indicated that the Liberals were in on the deal to “link-up” with the Communists through Sen. Aquino…

Sept.. 20, 1972, 10:40 pm:

…This afternoon General Staff with the SND and the Chiefs of the major services came to see us to submit the Assessment of Public Order wherein they recommend the use of “other forms of countering subversion/insurgency should be considered.” This means they recommend the use of Emergency Powers including Martial Law, formally.

Sept. 21, 1972, Thursday (Sept. 22nd at 1:45 am.)

Delayed by the hurried visit of Joe Aspiras and Nating Barbers who came from the Northern bloc of congressmen and senators who want to know if there is going to be Martial Law in 48 hours as predicted by Ninoy Aquino.

Of course Imelda and I denied it.

But Johnny Ponce Enrile, Gen. Paz, Gen. Nanadiego, Kits Tatad and I with Piciong Tagmani doing the typing finished all the papers (the proclamation and the orders) today at 8:00 pm.

[U.S.] Amb. Byroade came to see me at 11:15 pm and was apparently interested to know whether there would be Martial Law. He seemed to favor it when I explained it is intended to primarily reform our society and eliminate the communist threat. But he suggested that a proclamation before the American elections may be used by MacGovern, the Democratic presidential candidate, as proof of the failure of the foreign policy of the present president.

Sept. 22, 1972, Friday, 9:55 p.m.:

Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed near Wack-Wack at about 8:000 pm tonight. It was a good thing he was riding in his security car as a protective measure…

This makes the martial law proclamation a necessity.

Sept. 23, 1972, Saturday, 12:20 pm:

Things moved according to plan although out of the total 200 target personalities in the plan only 52 have been arrested, including the three senators, Aquino, Diokno and Mitra and Chino Roces and Teddy Locsin.

At 7:15 pm I finally appeared on a nationwide TV and Radio broadcast to announce the proclamation of martial law, the general orders and instruction…

I was supposed to broadcast at 12:00 p.m. but technical difficulties prevented it. We had closed all TV stations. We have to clear KBS which broadcast it live. VOP and PBS broadcast it by radio nationwide.

Sep. 24, 1972, Sunday, (1:25 am Sept. 25):

Diokno, Chino Roces, Max Soliven etc. have filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court.

I asked Justices Claudo Teehangkee, Antonio Barredo, Felix Macasiar and Felix Antonio to see us. They insisted that the government should submit to the Supreme Court for the Court to review the constitutionality of the proclamation of martial law, Proclamation No. 1081.

So I told them in the presence of Secs. Ponce Enrile and Vicente Abad Santo as well as Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza that if necessary I would formally declare the establishment of a revolutionary government so that I can formally disregard the actions of the Supreme Court.

They insisted that we retain a color of constitutionality for everything that we do.

But I feel that they are still image-building and do not understand that a new day has dawned. While they claim to be for a reformed society, they are not too motivated but are too bound by technical legalism.

Sep. 25, 1972, Monday, 12:15 pm:

…The public reaction throughout the Philippines is a welcome to martial law because of the smooth, peaceful reestablishment of peace and order and the hope of a reformed society. In fact most everyone now says, this should have been done earlier…

…It is indeed gratifying that everyone now finds or discovers I am some kind of a hero!

There is nothing as successful as success!

Jan. 13, 1973 Saturday

…I also conferred with the Speaker and House Majority Floor Leader (Villareal and Veloso) informing them of my plan to push through a new constitution that may be different from the draft by the Concon. It would be unicameral with a definite period for an interim government; that we would have to retain powers to prevent a constitutional crisis but by virtue of the will and decision of the people, that we would have to adopt a unicameral legislature, that we would want on the morning of the 17th to make a final decision.

And Delegate Duavit that we would have to prepare a new constitution more acceptable to the people, perhaps writing several drafts or alternative proposals and asking the citizens assemblies to choose one…

Jan. 23, 1973 Tuesday (Written at 12:00 pm Jan. 24th as I stayed up to 2:30 am with Justices Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra, Sec. Ponce Enrile and Abad Santos and Mendoza)

…Prepared our position with Sec. Abad Santos and Ponce Enrile and Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza, on the Ramon Gonzales petition of prohibition and injunction against Decree 1102 on the ratification of the new constitution. This has caused us worry as it might push us to a revolutionary government…

Jan. 24, 1973 Wednesday 12:15 pm

Had as usual only 6 hours sleep and seem to be tense because of the possible constitutional crisis that may come out of an adverse Supreme Court decision on the petition against the ratification of the new constitution.

So I worked up to 12:00 am on the presentation of the problems we are facing and the absolute necessity of referring the matter to the citizens assemblies as well as the possible approaches and solutions.

Then worked on the orders implementing the New Constitution.

As I tentatively meet the members of the Supreme Court on Saturday or Monday evening. The Chief Justice called up Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza Monday morning Jan. 22nd, to tell him that the court was at the disposal of the President for dinner…

Jan. 27, 1973 Saturday 11:50 pm (on board the 777 to sleep here for an early start at 7:30 am tomorrow with Dr. & Mrs. Sharon for Talaga)

…Chief Justice Concepcion is sick in the hospital and may not be able to attend the dinner on Monday.

It is apparent that the other justices are in favor of dismissing the petition questioning the validity of the ratification of the New Constitution.

But they want to be assured of their continuance in office under the new constitution with new appointments…

But everybody else has accepted the new constitution and as we put it in the dinner conference we held tonight, how do the justices expect us to “unscramble the eggs already scrambled”?

We have to handle them with finesse as the Supreme Court might become the rallying point of the opponents of reform.

Jan. 29, 1973 1:00 am Jan. 30th

the dinner with the Justices without Chief Justice Concepcion who is sick in Sto. Tomas Hospital turned out well.

Casually I turned into the problems the country was facing requiring an unquestioned position of leadership for negotiations. As Justice Fred Ruiz Castro said, “I get the message, Mr. President.”

Feb. 13, 1971

…The dilemma of all the developing countries is still freedom in its traditional concept or survival.

Perhaps too simplistic but true. In our case survival (physically) from the anarchy, violence, and chaos of actual rebellion…

In our case, too, providentially, there was written into our constitution the power to proclaim martial law which would authorize not only an assurance of flexibility in eradicating the rebellion but of instituting reforms that would prevents its recurrence and create a new society…

Mar. 2, 1973 2:00 pm

With the country and people moving forward steadily, investments coming in, confidence reinstated, people hopeful and achieving, there is pride for our Republic and nation.

And many people are beginning to claim they had known all along that martial law was the only solution.

Occasionally, however, some people feel that we are back in the Old Society and suggest I share in the profits and material rewards of the civil order I have been able to reestablish.

Poor, deluded souls! They cannot seem to realize that to steer this country through these critical days, I have to be above the material attractions that have a tendency to claim you and enmesh you in petty and selfish interests.

To keep the objectivity and wisdom of judgment that is necessary for leadership, I must stay away from these mundane considerations.

Apr. 2, 1973

…Dr. de Vega has just written me that the Supreme Court has resolved the pending suit in the New Constitution and as of this moment is distributing its decision in favor of our position – 6-4.

The four dissenting Justices are:

1. Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion
2. Justice Calixto Zaldivar
3. Justice Enrique Fernando
4. Justice Claudio Teehankee

Apr. 15, 1973 Sunday

…In the conference which I held with the “Originals” (with Col., the J-3 and Gen. Tamayo, Chief of Logistics included) at 4:00 pm, Saturday, April 14th, I informed them:

1. That I had written a Political Testament which I directed them to follow, indicating the successor to me in case of my death or disability; that this was necessary in view of the fact that even now there was rivalry among various leaders; that it was necessary to continue our policies even if I should not be capable or around to lead, otherwise our constitutional revolution would ultimately fail; that even Alexander’s empire had broken up because he had merely said, “To the strongest belongs his empire”; and that I assessed the various personalities aspiring for leadership.

2. There was need to review our pledge to our commitment because there is now apparent weakening of the elements of our revolution. A corruption and loss of ideals has set in…

April 16, 1973 Monday 8:15 pm (after dinner and meditation aboard the 777 at Talaga Bay)

….One of my advisors wrote to me of spiritual retreats that I should not be in the company of my subordinates. I must tell him when I see him one cannot call God a subordinate! For that is the company I keep.

May 5, 1973

…We may have to hasten the process of normalizing by:

1. Conducting elections of an Advisory Legislative Council under the supervision of the Comelec by the Citizens Assemblies.

2. The old newspapers must be investigated formally and their closure directed after formal hearing.

3. The same for other media.

The financiers and oligarchs who may finance further violence should now be neutralized.

Formal charges have to be filed against Aquino, Diokno, Roxas, Mitra, Felipe, Manglapus even if the trials may be delayed.

We must now reduce the number of detention prisoners.

Continue the reorganization of the government.

Push away the capitalists trying to get close to me.

July 5th and 6th, 1973 Friday, Saturday, 12:15 pm (at Hermano Mayor)

…Have been planning on the referendum and the development of a constitutional situation where the powers of martial law can be exercised without a proclamation or continuance of martial law…

July 25th & 26th, 1973

This is the first election where I have not delivered a single speech or moved to campaign.

And I may not even vote.

Strange feeling -to be able to win without any effort.

But I am busy on the actions I intend to take after the results of the referendum are released by Comelec.

July 27, 28, 1973 Friday & Saturday, 11:00 pm July 28th

The referendum vote is overwhelmingly Yes. And a great percentage of those qualified registered and voted -about 80% to 95% registered and voted. I similar percentage may have voted yes.

And Imelda was worried that the people may vote against me and my administration.

This is the first time I have won a popular mandate without working for it. No campaigning. No speeches. No expenses. And no headaches.

Sep. 22, 1973 Saturday

I have often said achievement is but the meeting or congruence of preparation and opportunity.

But Father Donalan told Imelda that in addition to this I have had luck….

I admit that I have had phenomenal luck in time of war as well as peace.

And there must be a Guiding Hand above who has forgiven me my sins, of which I have had more than my mortal share, and led me to my destiny.

Because all the well-nigh impossible accomplishments have seemed to be natural and fore ordained. And into the role of supposed hero in battle, top scholar, President I seemed to have gracefully moved into without the awkwardness of pushiness and over anxiety.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

178 thoughts on “From the diaries of Ferdinand E. Marcos

  1. mbw, shades of bay of pigs debacle. whoever was that one who “spilled the beans” must have been motivated more by personal ambition, or “holier-than-thou” complex, than love of country. i think i have an idea of who the culprit was.

  2. bencard, mbw,

    The Bay of Pigs fiasco continue to be discussed in some circles up to the present. US intel officer Landsdale whose name came up re MLQ’s post on Ramon Magsaysay was also mentioned as having involvement in the bay of pigs. If we can juxtapose the timelines, he was senior intel adviser at the Whitehouse at the time of Marcos’ botched up attempt at forceful claim of Sabah.

  3. pete,

    my understanding is the malaysians accept the propriety claim of the heirs of the sultan of sulu, but do not accept that the sultan’s claims were inherited, in turn, by the republic of the philippines. the philippine claim wasn’t first made by macapagal, it was first expressed shortly after independence in 1946. macapagal, though, was the first to make it a centerpiece of policy in alliance with indonesia, as both the rp and indonesia were hoping to carve up territory as british malaya made the transition to independent malaysia.

    it turns out something i’d written some time ago touches on the sabah question:

  4. mlq3,

    Maraming salamat,

    There is a lasting solution to the problem of Mindanao that is waiting for the right leader to proclaim it.

  5. shaman, what has “technical legalism” got to do with my comment re personal responsibility and discipline? my views on the matter is apolitical, and whether pgma is honest or not has no bearing on what i was trying to say. how come almost every time i make a comment, you always have to refer to what i do for a living, or to my support far gma. garo angot ka pa sa imong pagtaram.

    dai na ngani noy kita magpersonalan. kung igwa kang problema sa sakuyang opinion, dian sa’na kita magargumento. dai man gabos na topic, igwang kinalaman kay gma o sakuyang propesion.

  6. mlq3, father is an ex General of shot on his left leg but pray to Allah he’s still able to walk after the incident…came here illegally but after how many years he manage to make contacts here in Sabah to become solid Malaysian citizen..he was admited in Sandakan Hospital and we stayed in 1 of the island (can’t recall the name of the island)but what i remembered is that island was full of heavy firearms…wow..looks fun to me that time..after few years then we moved to Kota Kinabalu (city of SABAH The Land Below The Wind)..this is where my parents started a new living after all the suffering during their war in the jungle…for further story about the war,the best person to tell u the whole story is my father..u should meet him in person..he knows about all the full details about the politics and the politician in that area…you’ll get shock and pist off with the politician and all the dirty games in that rich Island…of course it’s peaceful rite now but the dirty games still rolling …not scared to tell u that my uncle on my mother side is The Mayor of the city til now…but sadly i didn’t see any Development going on…why?is it because the fund from the government not enough?or maybe its stuck in the pocket?! confusing and wonder my father never want to join politics…everytime we pay a visit there,he just monitor our own land,how to bring in investor and develope our 2000hectars..kinda hard ….

  7. MBW,

    What about those ww2 medals of Macoy,no one dared to prove that it was fake. Any anecdotes for that?


    I know that mindanao statement was out of frustration,but let us not lose hope that this nation will be great,if not within this lifetime,siguro the generation after.

  8. “If not,then what on earth led to the formation of the MNLF? – Karl Garcia”

    Maybe the MNLF were looking for some rallying point for the Muslims and they just grab the Jabidah massacre. Who knows!
    Maybe you can dig up the Ninoy Senate report to help clarify things Karl. I’m planning to go to the National Library to do some research next time I’m in the Philippines.

  9. It is indeed very impressive to read the diaries of the late President and Dictator of the Philippine Republic President Ferdinand Marcos. He seem to be delusional at some point but mostly realistic in his depition of situations engulfing the Philippines. Maybe, if one looks at it in the bigger picture like the world situation at that time (the cold war and all…just read on Mao: The Unknown Story
    by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday) then perhaps it was necessary to declare it. Besides, the Martial Law declararion I believe would have not been realised without the blessing of the Americans…..this somehow proves and in Marcos own admission that the Americans seems to be happy about it only proves that we the Philippines is a neocolony of America weather we like to accept it or not. I can’t seem to think that I should be proud of the Philippines in it’s present state, religion and culture since the true culture of the Philippines has long been gone and you can not even see it in Museums…(alright some of it are coming out slowly and thanks in part to the Ayala’s and other’s )

    The diary does tell a different side of the story that neither Marcos nor Ninoy are heroes but paints a picture that where Marcos is in Malacanang he has the great responsibility like a father to his son to manage and discipline trouble-makers which is in this diaries depicted amonst other in the person of the anarchist Ninoy Aquino…(whose death will in the end be pin-pointed to the CIA on it’s low intensity conflict foreigh policy or strategy…).maybe our historians should be more objective in relation to the portrayal of Ninoy as a hero and Marcos as a villain because based on this diary and especially or specifically the events that lead to the revolution of Edsa, it is not at all the making of Aquino. Nor the Filipinos. I mean ….hey there were millions other in the provinces who did not participate compared to the ….ok call it a million at Edsa but the population of Manila at that time is more than that. Tough. Luck obviously was on the other side of the fence.

    Sadly, the Catholic religion’s participation to this revolution destroys it’s credibility as a true revolution comes from the masses and not those who controls the minds of helpless and indoctrinated Filipinos. Not to say that there were free spiritual songs, free rosary beeds, free sandwhiches, free flowers and the holy spirit was there…..Oh la la…..And hey, I feel like puking in the thought that there is a Lady of Edsa? Really now…..This obviously portrays the Catholic religion and institution as more delusional than Marcos. I mean if there is the Lady of Edsa then god…Ferdinand Edralin Marcos must be truly the God…..

    Also, in part and I hope Filipino’s especially historian will be more objective that it was not completely a revolution but a pseudo revolution and a coup d etat sponsored and in conspiracy with the Catholic religion, the American government and the few military personalities who have their own vested interest as proven by succedding events in the very recent history of the Philippines.
    Come on now, mga kababayan, I always believe that you guys are matalino….so don’t limit yourself with censored story or history (of the Philippines) by those who controls and have the money and want to portray themselves as saviour. Thanks god the Cardinal (Jaime Sin) is Dead otherwise it’ll be a much worst Philippines.

  10. mlq3,

    1)Have we ever had a president from Mindanao?
    Nagakaroon na ba ng Presidente ng Pilipinas na taga Mindanao?

    2)Was there a serious proposal for a system where there is an equittable sharing of governmental powers among Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao?

    Nagkaroon na ba ng totohanang panukala para magkaroon na pantay-pantay na bahagian ng kapangyarihan sa pamahalaan ang Mindanao, Visayas at Luzon?

  11. Bencard, dai man ako angot saimo. I’m not angry with you. It’s just that I feel that your being a lawyer gets in the way of your ability to make conclusions about a person’s (especially GMA’s) actuation, with just the circumstances and context around it, without being presented with evidence beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, my personal observation is that you seem to always demand for evidence beyond reasonable doubt for everything before you allow people to make conclusions. But that’s not the real world. I have made, and will always make, conclusions about a person’s action based on just the circumstances and context around it. And I’m sure you have done the same thing. That’s normal human behavior.

    I described GMA as a cheat, a liar, and a thief above, (just to say that she cannot be the “honest leader” that you said we need) and I fully believe that she’s all three. I was afraid you’d again demand evidence beyond reasonable doubt, as if people were always inside a courtroom, hence, the “technical legalism”.

    Now, to my question: Should we wait for each and every Filipino, all 80 or 87 million of them, to be imbued with “individual or personal discipline” on their own volition before we can see genuine progress in this country, as you imply in the paragraph that I quoted? I said that to do so would be like waiting for Godot – i.e., forever. Or do we only need a national leadership that has the moral authority, because it is itself moral and disciplined, to instill, or even just inspire, discipline in the people, both in the public and private sectors, by strict and consistent fair enforcement of the law? What I called “hot-stove” discipline – you touch a hot-stove, you get burnt; you do wrong, you get punished – everytime, all the time. That means impeaching a cheat, a liar, and a thief, all rolled into one, and throwing in a golfing fixer for good measure. That also includes dragging to court someone who barks, “Back off!”

  12. Shaman of Malilipot:What kind of electorate do we have electing DIRTY,ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS as Presidents???

    I suggest we name the Presidential ROGUE GALLERY in MALACANANG or MUNTINLUPA as :The “MARE ” Center for Presidential Scoundrels!





  13. Mrs Gloria Pidal is really incredible! (orIncorrugible, Imperfect, Irrepressible, Intoxicate, Immensely Irritating, Ingratiating, and a bunch of other “I” words…

  14. Francis,

    Primitivo Mijares used to serve under ex-pres. Marcos.

    He wrote “Conjugal Dictatorship” while Marcos was still in power. You might find the book interesting if you can get a hold of one.

  15. shaman, my man i fully agree with your “hot-stove discipline”, as for initial indoctrination of the whole masses. Laws are already in the book and all needed is impartial enforcement of them to all and one. It is a habit forming passing thru generations as maybe bencard should realized that in the good old USA before the ‘disciplined society’ as they have now (with regards to the rule of law) it was once a wild, wild west where the hot-stove discipline was in abundance. you do the crime, you hang by the old oak tree. Or drink and drive and lose your license and go to jail or even insult people for their opinions could land you in the civil courts.

    As to the legal technicalities of the so-called weight of evidence, it is remedied that if anyone of us, maliciously and without any shred of evidence or allegations as we read and opined from the media or from our own observation and put forward our own objective or subjective opinions on the matter, then the injured party or parties can always get relief by going to the courts and file their own evidence as to their personal reputation and honor being violated. that is the rule of the law that even non-lawyer knows…

  16. TDC, the tragedy for the electorate is that, more often than not, it is presented with a choice among evils, the best scenario being the election of the lesser evil, but evil still. Personally, when faced with such a choice, I abstain. Sometimes, even the electorate’s choice does not get to win.

    It’s more about the rotten ways the whole system is implemented, actually – the system of choosing the candidates, the system of counting the votes, the system of rendering justice just in case the electorate chooses someone who turns out to be a scoundrel.

    The impeachment process is in the Constitution precisely because of the possibility that the electorate might choose a latter-day scoundrel. The Ombudsman is there supposedly to punish venalities by public officials. You know, like the reason why there is an eraser at the other end of a pencil. The electorate can make mistakes. But, thing is, the erasers have been turned into wood.

  17. justice league:

    Thanks a lot for the referral to the book “Conjugal Dictatorship” and for your information I do have it and read it from cover to cover. However, I have read other books as well on the Marcos issue both for and against the man. So yeah, I really cannot with all objectivity rely on that book (Conjugal Dictatorship) alone as perhaps with all Primitivo Mijares good intention (if that was the case…though it does not seem to be 100%)as my basis for judging Marcos or history of the Philippines in that era because that book was written with smearing the man and lost it’s objectivity.

    Please don’t get me wrong though that the book manage to convince me too of the evil or should I say geniusness of Marcos having amased such wealth and sadly the death and disappearance of radicals or suspected of being one. Amazing really if I may be allowed to say so. But we are looking at the smaller picture here. We should look at the reason why Marcos was allowed to do this. Again, I am going back to the issue of the Philippines being a neo-colony of America and one that is still looking for it’s own identity. Hello….the Philippines is named after King Philip of Spain after all. Is it not about time to change the name of the Philippines perhaps. And if you going to ask me I will call it the Francispines..alright it may sound delusional and religious but hey allow me to indulge at least in writing as it will never ever happen anyway. I will leave that re-naming of the Philippines to the experts(anthropologist, historians, Americans perhaps?, the Vatican maybe….it’ll be called Jesuspines then oh la la maybe the gods forbid…and so on and so fourth)Oh well…

    Yes, America allowed it to happen for their own objective and that is capitalism and hold of the region in the name of Democracy and in short….American interest. Surely, you probably know more than I do of what am talking about. And let’s not forget the real danger of deluded Communist…in the like of Ninoy and company who double crossing the republic…shame coz Communism was written and conceived with all the good intention by a man who seems to have not work a day in his life at all he he he…the irony of it all really. In theory I may admit having read the manifesto that Communism is good but realistically it seems to be not applicable to any society really. More than anything, I think Dictatorship can be allowed if the end result is what happened to the majority (am talking about Peace and Order, Discipline, etc) of the Philippines population at that time rather than the few who wants to be in power and whose ideas and interest being forced into the republic. Amen for now….and opinion ko lang po yan….Salamat….any more books perhaps you want to refer to me? Hopefully one that I have not read yet…surely your not going to refer me to the book called Americas Boy by James Hamilton Patterson…

    P.S. I do hope you also have read the book by Marcos called Todays Revolution~:Democracy….

  18. Bencard,

    Do not take Shaman’s comment personally. It is not about you, it is about your arguments.

    You see Marcos as a crook even though he was never convicted as a crook, yet you seem not to apply the same to the present squatter in malacanang. All right, no one seems to accuse gloria of personally pocketing some money in all the controversies in her administration although so much talk abound regarding her husband. Do you not think, her being the wife of a husband who, granting for the sake of argument that there is unassailable evidence to back it up, has pocketed public or private money, that she would also profit from the conjugal fruits of the ill gotten variety? And do you not think that the ill gotten variety of the conjugal fruit would not be possible if not for her position in the government?

    An aram ko sa bikol, kan a manok dai ipinagi-bulang sa ayam. An bulang para sa mga manok, an ayam, sumsuman. Sa pangikita niyamo, si marcos ni si gloria, parehong manok.
    This is a case of what is sauce for the goose as sauce for the gander. This is not beauty in the eyes of the beholder.

  19. By the way, in 2001 Edsa II, the choice was, presumably, between the devil and the deep blue sea. The past six years has shown that it was a leap from the deep blue sea to the devil aided wolves in sheep’s clothing. Now, with talk of erap being extended and accepting pardon, that is the devil conquering the deep blue sea.

  20. hi mlq3,

    i have a question for you…who do you think was most likely be ninoy aquino’s killer? was it imelda marcos? gen. ver? fidel ramos? the CIA? or DANDING COJUANCO????

  21. kookoo, i’ll put it this way. first, i dont know why people say pres. marcos would never have had nony killed. second, whether his underlings ordered it, command responsibility lies with the president.

  22. Francis, You seem to have read a lot. Do you mind if I ask where you came from? What is your province? The thing is, our beliefs are most of the times clouded by our own experiences and, at times, by what we have read. A thief is most of the time the best father, brother, sister, daugther or son to his or her relation and their relations would most vehemently deny any accusation against their benefactors. That applies to Luli too and the same can be said of most ilocanos or warays in relation to the marcoses. The challenge is whether we can be like Joey de Venecia who can risk the political career of his father and criminal prosecution for himself just to tell what to him is truth.

    As for dictatorship being allowable depending on what happens to the majority, that would depend on in what condition the majority are in. If they are miserable, poor, malnourished, then killing them en masse by a dictator would certainly deliver them from misery, poverty and poor health. Would that be preferable and would the people be thankful for it? If that is the extreme, are you willing to be the guinea pig? Perhaps, some government official can be convinced to use a mailed fist policy to the inhabitants of a remote island which can be made a place for volunteers.

  23. Beancurd,

    How eloquent and very respectable opinion of course of yours….however, I’d much prefer to have a clouded (if that’s how you percieved it of course as you have said yourself that “our (or should I say yours) are most of the times clouded by” etc…..)opinion on the issue of who is right and who is wrong in the episode that is the Marcos presidency/diary rather than generalised on a particular ethnic group (i.e ilocanos or warays)as the artist trying to paint the artwork so to speak. I am not saying of course that Marcos is a saint or the greatest Filipino or even the worst Filipino ever….what am saying is that their are circumstances why such event was allowed to occur and yes opinions are clouded by the limitation or one-sidedness of opinion…(hence personally I make a point to read both side of the coin)…. and belife system….surely that applies to your eloquence too….

    I, of course do hope that your eloquence comes with statistic as well on the issue of poverty, health, etc….Records of the Philippines at that time and to the present somehow tells me that the Philippines was better off at that time statistically. Guinea pig? I think weather we admit or not the Philippines is still is a guenea pig in a very subtle way of the Americans….and this is the real issue really why it is still not moving on…take for example the case of Erap and the illegitimate President Gloria…

    Thing is the Philippines in able to progress and move forward should really have to look after itself….impossible dream perhaps with the cancerous society and especially politicians the Philippines have…and the ever present American influence….Goodluck to the Philippines….surely Jose Rizal won’t be amused either….

  24. supremo,

    maaring nagyari at sa numero lang nagsabi 20, me nagsabi 25,me nagsabi 28.

    The MNLF said 200 people were killed then later fed to the sharks.

    the bottomline is it was enough to be more than a rallying point, for it created a war that is still on going.

  25. Supremo,
    From Closer than Brothers..pp 127

    “On March 21, a frontn page report in the Manila Times charged that the military establishment had a secret training camp-“so secret high defense officials don’t even know of its existence”-and this camp was training “armed infiltrators ansd saboteurs.
    Marcos was sensitive to the controversy and named -a top echelon investigative panel-Chief of Staff Velasco,his deputy general manuel yan,and Army commander Romeo Espino. On March 22, only days after the incident broke,the panel delivered a report that appears,in light of information, to be a cover up.

    page 128 same book.

    The opposition’s leader,Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, charged that Operation Merdeka was cover for a “secret strike force under the president’s personal command,to form shock troops of his cherished garrison state.

    ……After a close study,Senator Ninoy aquino charged that “there was a secret army, so secret even the chief of staff had been bypassed in its planning.”

  26. Manolo:

    For the entry for January 25, 1971, Marcos wrote that ‘the congressional opening and State of the Nation address were peaceful.”

    But isn’t it that shortly after he delivered the SONA at the old Congress building, Marcos and Imelda were greeted by protesting students at the steps of the building? If I’m not mistaken, an effigy of a crocodile was even thrown at them, with bodyguards hurriedly escorting them to their vehicles.

  27. Karl,

    Re: “What about those ww2 medals of Macoy,no one dared to prove that it was fake. Any anecdotes for that?”

    I think Sen Lorenzo Tanada, at one point or the other, said that Macoy did exagerate about the number of medals he got.

    Gen Castaneda (he was an adc or a military asst to a pres but can’t remember which one) said that one or two could be genuine but apart from that, not even Gen Gacis (class 54) could say anything about them.)

    Max Soliven wrote extensively about them in the late 60s as being fake but Max was a Macapagal boy even then and was close to Ninoy Aquino too so his opinion might have been ‘clouded’ – sadly, no further anecdotes.

    Only US records, if any exist still, could shed light into the real score.

  28. Ah, OK. Thanks!

    Another question: Did Marcos really form a secret military (or PC) unit to act as agents provacateur by conducting bombings (and other destalization attempts) during the countdown to Martial Law and then blame such acts on the communists?

  29. Mabalos, Beancurd, for reinforcing my comments.

    I couldn’t help laughing because in Bahasa Indonesia, ayam = manok.

  30. Francis, to say that Ninoy was as much a product of Marcos, that i think cannot be denied. to say however, that marcos was no villain as ninoy was no hero, well, the latter is debatable, but the former? you may want to ask anyone from our generation from bicol what they felt during marital law when they see members of the military or even only when the sun sets in the afternoon. To stay in the house because it is getting dark and the dogs of marcos are about to go prowling notwithstanding your desire to play patintero in the moonlight, what price can you place to that? It is not about eloquence, it is about real experiences of real people.
    Logic is good, statistics even better, but there is no substitute for experience. and while the first two can be made to lie, the latter cannot. and regardless of whether we are still under the clutches of the eagle from the west, one cannot deny the active role politicians in this country play that has a direct bearing on the lives of ordinary mortals like us. and those roles, those actions, we can judge, whether good, bad, heroic or treasonous.

  31. Karl,

    “……After a close study,Senator Ninoy aquino charged that “there was a secret army, so secret even the chief of staff had been bypassed in its planning.””

    Many of the generals could have been bypassed in the planning of a so-called “secret army” including the chief of staff, formally speaking – and it’s plausible especially if you have generals in the likes of Gen Ugalde – but it’s unlikely that CSAFP didn’t have an inkling at all that there was a military group being trained patterned after very special forces like the British SAS or La Légion Etrangère, groups which could have produced an image of a dreaded “secret army” to the non-military.

  32. Re: secret army thinggy

    This might be a good parallel as any:

    When Volt Gazmin became PSG chief to Pres Cory, he formed a secret elite group within the PSG that was trained by the British SAS. Even the British Embassy was formally bypassed and gobsmacking as it may sound, follow on the British DAs (who came in service at the UK Embassy after the elite group had been trained) absolutely had NO INKLING, no record that during Pres Cory’s time the SAS had trained an elite group within the PSG.

    Now, the staff of generals at AFP GHQ wasn’t even in the know.

  33. Mbw,

    yes, about bypassing the higher ups is as common as the common cold.
    maybe that is why they are called special forces.

    At least, in this case,as long as the highest of the ups is not bypassed might be the case.

    But in some cases like the one you mentioned about PSG trained by the brits, I guesss that time the highest of the higher ups was bypassed.

  34. Karl,

    Actually I asked FVR when he was already retired if he knew that Gazmin had a “secret” elite group trained by the SAS, he feigned or jokingly commented “But that’s a secret!”

    Sabay, wink wink… I shouldn’t have asked because I’m pretty certain he knew!

  35. Mlq3,

    Re your comment September 23rd, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Agree that malaysians accept the propriety claim of the heirs of the sultan of sulu, but do not accept that the sultan’s claims were inherited, in turn, by the republic of the philippines.

    As to dates when the Philippines first presented their claim, a Paul A Rodell wrote in his book, Terrorism and Violence in Southeast Asia: Transnational Challenges to States that a claim had been made as early as 1922 which appears to be the basis of Pres DM’s renewed claim in 1962.

  36. shaman & beancurd, here we go again with this never-ending debate like an abs-cbn unresolvable teleserye. let me try to put it this way. suppose you are president and treasurer respectively, of your local 4-h club in legaspi. you engages in fund-raising drive to put up a swine-feeding facility in your district, with the help of your spouses. you are able to raise i million pesos with substantial contributions from mlq3 and cvj, among others. some bitter rivals who covet your positions accuse your wives of skimming the funds and using the alleged ill-gotten proceeds to augment your conjugal assets. 9 out 10 members of your club swear that the allegations are true but they have nothing else to offer by way of proof.
    somehow you and your wives get indicted but since the “rule of law” and the justice system work, you are absolved and are able to sue the false accusers for defamation. what do you say to that?

    by the way, can you two (as, by your words, haters of corruption) give me your opinion on the seemingly certain ABSOLUTE pardon of estrada? i posted a comment early on this thread about the subject but was met by a deafening silence from the brave champions against corruption in this blog.

  37. my view is it’s more important that he return the money than be kept in jail.

    i also believe if he believes he’s really innocent, he should fight it out in the supreme court.

    an absolute pardon is the worst of all worlds. he keeps the money, the judgment is never finalized, no one believes the whole thing wasn’t political, period.

    i’d have been open to an amnesty following the precedent of laurel, but the weird evolution in the thinking of the courts apparently makes that impossible to duplicate, unless fr. bernas’ advice is taken.

  38. Francis,

    Well, to whom is America named after anyway? The Americans seem to delight calling themselves Americans.

    And I wouldn’t know that much of communism.

    And I seldom purchase these kind of books so I have not been fortunate to have read either of yours. I would have pointed you to “Some are smarter than others” but I only scanned it as it wasn’t mine. But having read The Daily Express day in day out and other media source during the Martial law years, I’ve had a glimpse of the Marcos side already.

  39. Bencard,

    Wrong parallelism. In the case of our 4-H club, the rule of law was allowed to work. We willingly submitted ourselves to trial because we knew we were innocent. In the case of GMA, she did everything, including buying off the congressmen with the people’s money, to frustrate the impeachment process because she knows she is guilty. That, dear Bencard, is the great difference.

    As to Estrada, he has been found guilty and the wheels of justice should be allowed to turn to its final conclusion – SC ruling with finality. Absolute pardon should be out of the question. But who floated the idea of pardon, in the first place? Your illegitimate President who is afraid of the rule of law. To establish a precedent? So when her own time comes, she can expect to be pardoned, too?

  40. mlq3, a crime is a crime is a crime… the law punishes the guilty without fear or favor. no one is above the law and every one must be treated EQUALLY before the law. law means for something only when enforced – we call that justice. justice requires retribution when warranted. otherwise its an empty, hollow concept. the consequence of absence of law and justice are anarchy and chaos.

    we must treat corruption seriously and remove politics from it. a court of law finds guilt on the basis of evidence admitted according to pre-set rules. defense lawyers see that their client is protected according to the letter and spirit of the law. whether or not the entire people of the philippines, except me, believe estrada’s conviction was “political”, does not justify creating an unjust “exemption” from retribution.

    i often disagree with you but i cannot believe that you would be an advocate for a double standard of justice.

  41. Beancurd,

    Thanks again, I would like somehow to clarify that it is not my intention to put away the experience of those people affected during the reign of the dictatorship from the fact that it is unacceptable. If anything, I’d like to re-direct if that is all possible given the mentallity some of our suppossed to be historians to the fact that there is two sides of the story and that am not necessarilly impressed with Philippines history (i.e Marcos portrayal, Edsa, etc…)from Spanish arrival to the present…right I could be wrong but is there a textbook today used in Philippine schools portraying the actual fact of the Edsa 1, to the power grab of Edsa 2, to the illegitimacy of the present occupant of that rotten Palace….and let us not forget the alleged responsibility of Emilio Aguinaldo to the murder of the real and really the first but unrecognised President of the Revolutionary Republic of the Philippens President Andres Bonifacio….(merroring the Republic of Irelands own history to be honest) did anybody dare to say in textbook the non-believer in God and the Catholic institution towards the end of his life Jose Rizal….Well, materials such as the diary of Marcos weather it’s delusional or utter lie in the perception of few still tells us that history should be written in a more objective way rather than the experience of a province such as you mentioned. I like to believe that I feel for you having experience poverty myself in my childhood….(sorry to disappoint anyone but no………. Marcos was not a benefactor to me or my family). Additionally, one does not write of history on personal experience alone, otherwise , what is the point of statistical and scientific data, and to add to that one cannot write that era of the dictatorship without looking at the bigger picture….

    Yes, furthermore, is it indeed very debatable weather Ninoy is a hero and Marcos is a villain….well am looking forward for the time when the CIA archive on the issue of Ninoy, communist in the Philippines and the Marcoses come to see the light of day…..and very much looking forward to see what Joma Sison will say in his memoirs…(surely he knows a lot about Ninoy and Marcos being on the recieving end of the Chinese communism….)….let’s not forget the memoirs of Imelda Marcos and Cory Aquino and all those involve and time will tell who is telling a lie till the end of their existence on earth……my experience after Edsa 1 was completely indoctrination from all media about the evil that Marcos era was….(as a complete opposite to the indoctrination of my growings years under Marcos era….but thanks heavens I believe I can see the event now in a more objective way….thanks to objectivity I now stop thinking that the only religion the world should have is Catholism…then if that is the case I would promote another Catholic inquisition similar to that jihad of the Muslims…..fundamentalism really ……but not being objective….coming out of that indoctrination I have found out the other side of that era….and it’s not all stinking like how it was portrayed day in and day out post Edsa… not saying either that it does not stink….objectivity is what am talking about…..and yes I don’t want to end this without also mentioning the real participation of Danding to the murder of Ninoy, goodness….I wish am still alive by then to read all this liers and players to shed a tiny-winy truth from that episode….at least Marcos is still talking from his death and wow….what a genious indeed….he outsmarted me and the rest of the population….that is in my own opinion in the league of Jesus Christ….the greatest politician of all time…..Opinyon lang po… are entitled to your own….now guys read on this topic on both sides and let not subjectivity cloud our judgement on the era that is the dictatorship….and please am not advocating it unless am the one in power (now that is a joke so literalist f..k..f)he he he

    P.S. will it disappoint justice league if I say that I also have read that book “Some are Smarter than Others”? Shame it is back home in my mum’s house in Philippines. I wish I can re-read them again for arguments sake….and yes America…..are in fact Europeans…..I mean hello let’s call on Columbus….and reading Communism as an ideology is just but an additional knowledge the same way as reading and learning American constitution so that one can come up with a well informed and not a one sided-argument

  42. shaman, you don’t understand. a finding of no “probable cause” is part of the rule of law. you have no right, nor competence, to second guess congress, as a body, as to the “truth”. in the 4-h club hypothetical, you did not submit voluntarily to the rule of law, or “allowed (it) to work” until you were acquitted. you and beancurd and your spouses were indicted and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it except either to hire good defense lawyers, or run to the mountains and join the npa. weren’t you glad the system worked?

    i was only asking you if you agree to pardon estrada, not who floated the idea first (which i think you and i will never know by ourselves).

  43. By the way, am not for pardon of any kind for Erap…let him prove himself in court be it a Kangaroo or not….the Supreme Court of the Philippines is not the end of it anyway, (and please who believes in the SC nowadays when all the justices need to do is open a book called The Bible and eureka they got the only correct decision….laughable really…no wonder we are called the Banana citizen of the Banana Republic…) because surely if Erap is really innocent then their is the U.N and the international court which can be more objective than the Kangaroos of the Banana courtroom….

    So No To The Pardon of Any Kind for ERAP……let him prove himself in court….after all it seems the Filipino’s surveys after surveys already acquitted him of his guilt so keep on the fight if he is really innocent….and till then I will give him the benefit of the doubt

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