January 19, 1942

HQ, Intelligence Service

Bataan

 

Report of operatives on general trend of affairs in Manila: Japs have enforced martial law in City. Death penalty to be imposed on anyone who inflicts or attempts to inflict injury on any Jap. If assailant or attempted assailant cannot be found, ten influential persons who live near vicinity of crime will be held as hostages. Jap military notes are now in circulation but peso and even dollar is still recognized. Many persons have been seen tied to posts and made to face sun for violation of traffic rules. Everybody must bow before Jap sentries. Failure to do so means five or six slaps on face regardless of age or sex. Not many abuses committed against women in city but in provinces many cases of rape. Many cars commandeered by Japs and all car owners required to register names in Jap headquarters. Markets are open but prices of foodstuffs slightly increased. Japs have permitted religious freedom but have controlled radio and all newspapers and magazines. Americans and Britishers have been concentrated in Santo Tomas Camp. Mayor Jorge Vargas has been recognized by Jap High Command. Japs have agreed to recognize status and authority of peace-and-order officials; protect life and property; recognize existing laws and orders as well as customs and usages, excepting those incompatible with new situation. Curfew has been placed at 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. everyday. Japs reported laying plans for establishment of civil administration run by Filipinos under an executive commission. Meeting of Filipino officials regarding this matter held in Yulo residence. Filipino high officials inclined to cooperate with Japs “for welfare of Filipinos”. General attitude of political bigwigs is to “do business with Satan”, “make the best out of a pretty bad situation.” Jorge Vargas may be made head of Executive Commission.

Condition in provinces quite different from City. Japs have abused women. In Calumpit even women in family way were not spared. In Pampanga towns especially where some soldiers were killed, Japs retaliated by torturing farmhands, burning houses, abusing women. Sakdals are acting as informers for Japs but in many cases Sakdals point innocent people to merely satisfy personal grudges. Meanwhile, communists have taken opportunity to settle grievances with landlords in the absence of law enforcement agencies. Many landlords have been subjected to humiliations, others murdered. Looting abounds but this exists not merely in provinces but also in Manila. Transportation has become an acute problem. Trains are strictly for the military but lines in many parts are still under construction. Most bridges have already been repaired by Jap engineering corps. Japs have limited supply of gasoline and have ordered everybody to surrender their gasoline cans. Manila folks use calesas and carromatas as means of transportation. Street cars are functioning. Young people ride in bikes.

Fred Castro is now deciphering military reports. Jap Commander-in-Chief is Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma. He is personally directing attack on Bataan. Only his representative confers with Filipino officials. Not even Mayor Jorge Vargas knows name of Commander-in-Chief. Japs keep it a big secret. Estimated number of Japs attacking Bataan over half a million. Japs landing troops in Lingayen and Aparri. Small port being built in Aparri. Operatives are presently trying to get pictures of Jap ‘zero’ fighter, reported one of the best in the world. This fighter is light and very maneuverable. Japs have sacrificed ‘armoring’ for ‘speed’ and ‘maneuverability’.

Japs are exerting every effort to bring life in Manila back to normalcy. They want stores opened and employees to return to office. All these, of course, under strict military surveillance. But attitude of Filipinos is one of “waiting”, “passive resistance”. They criticize “collaborators” praise those “who stay at home’. They expect USAFFE back “in a month’s time” when “the big, big convoy arrives”. Almost everybody listens to and believes Voice of Freedom. Some who were caught listening to Voice of Freedom have been shot. But many continue listening despite great risks. News is also spread thru little typewritten notes carrying USAFFE communiques or radio broadcasts from San Francisco. Japs have arrested many suspects but news dissemination continues. It is not an uncommon sight to see groups of men talking in whispers about what Radio San Francisco says. At night, roar of artillery in Bataan audible and people begin to think “perhaps they are already around Pampanga.”

In staff meeting this evening the general said that outposts of intelligence service have been organized in strategic provinces of Luzon. Transmitters have already been installed but these have to be moved from time to time because Japs have localizers. “It’s too bad,” he said, “we don’t have carrier pigeons.”

I will bring report on political and economic situation to Commonwealth Officials in Corregidor tomorrow.

All officers in HQ have asked me to buy them cigarettes in Rock. Some of the boys have started smoking ‘papaya’ leaves in lieu of Camels and Chesterfields. I’m glad I’m not a cigarette addict.

I can hear Gen. de Jesus shouting at the phone right now. He is talking to Bat 102, that’s Corregidor. Apparently, they are having a hard time hearing each other.

Leonie and Fred had a discussion after supper, regarding opening of prostitution houses in City. Leonie believes it is immoral. He maintained the strict Catholic attitude regarding prostitution. Fred considered it a bad necessity under present circumstances. Other officers joined in argument. The doc believes “prostitutes will save our wives and sisters”. Somebody stated “This will only make them ask for more and more.” Fred asked my opinion. I said: “Prostitution is never justified but I certainly wish, pray, none of our women become victims of abuses.”

Can hear a plane. It is flying low.

 

(later)

 

The latrine in this Command Post is now named “MUSICAL HALL” because most of the boys have diarrhea due to the salmon. Fred calls it “Perfume Dept.” Why not “Lizar branch”?

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