Four days ago, the President of the Philippines addressed the American public assuring the people of the United States that we Filipinos realize that this war is being waged to preserve democracy and to secure for all peoples the essential freedoms proclaimed by President Roosevelt, freedoms in which we believe and for which we are willing to fight and die. “The Philippines is today the ‘beleaguered citadel of liberty.'” he said, “but we are determined to defend it to the end.”
This noon, however, President Quezon accompanied by his wife and children, Vice-President Osmeña and Chief Justice Abad Santos left the city for Corregidor. They were preceded a few hours earlier by the American High Commissioner and his family. Later in the afternoon, General MacArthur and his staff quietly left Manila to establish their headquarters in that island fortress. It is a pretty clear indication that Manila is in peril.
Vastly superior numbers of Japanese on hundreds of transports heavily escorted by destroyers, cruisers, battleships and clouds of airplanes have succeeded in making successful landings in northern and southern Luzon. The enemy, however, has not dared make a frontal attack on the city for Corregidor guards the entrance to the bay impudently challenging the entire Japanese fleet to try and enter. Japan’s warlords evidently know better than to accept the challenge, hence the drive towards Manila via a more circuitous route.