Tag NARIC

July 17, 1945 Tuesday

It was reported that there was a plan to launch a team composed of Osmeña for President and Romulo for Vice President. It is also said that Romulo had declined. It is too bad. We wish Romulo were a candidate so that the people can show that they do not consider Romulo the hero he seems to think he is.

I cannot complain now of not receiving letters. After more than two months, I began to receive letters and they are coming quite frequently. It seems that mail facilities are improving. How I suffered for not hearing from my family. Now I can be happy. I know that my family lives in the house of Paddy, my son-in-law; that Lily, Paddy and Monching are taking care of them; that they are in good health (although my wife had been sick with malaria, now she is well and fast improving in health); that many friends of ours are remembering us, giving my family money, food and clothing; that they are amply provided for with everything. I am especially pleased because my son, Tony, is fully aware of our situation and he has been acting as a good father does. He tried to find work so he could earn money with which to support his mother, brother and sisters, but failing in this, he engaged in business, devoting his whole time and energy and ability to it. He is meeting with quite a success, earning more than enough to support my family. My wife and Tony are so optimistic that they think that by the time I return, they will have some money saved.

The only discordant note is that I heard the very sad news that among the victims of the Japanese are my brother-in-law Jose Lualhati (husband of my sister Conchita), their youngest child, and Nicanor Castillo, my nephew. What a cruel world! I doubly hate the Japanese for murders committed upon my family. Is it not a paradox that I am being imprisoned for being a pro-Japanese?

The papers report an interview with Pres. Laurel on January 22, 1944 by a prominent person whose identity is not disclosed. According to that interview, Laurel stated that he had no illusions about the reality of the independence granted by the Japanese; that he stayed in the Philippines because Pres. Quezon decided at the last hour to leave him here, believing that in view of his relations with the Japanese, he would be in a better position to protect our people; that he did not want to be president and the position was thrust upon him; that he did not blindly follow the Japanese as he protested what he thought constituted a violation of our rights as a supposed independent nation; and that he was very frank and outspoken in his dealings with the Japanese. Once he told Gen. Kuroda, the then Commander-in-Chief, that all the Japanese in the NARIC (later BIBA) were crooks. He admitted that the independence granted was a sham as there were the Japanese Army, Navy and the Japanese Ambassador to block his policies and his every move.

The interview created a good impression and, in so far as we are concerned, it gives a good idea of the difficult and perilous situation we found ourselves in.

December 21, 1944

Significant developments. Puppet P.I. government moving to Baguio. Laurel and all Ministers including Manuel Roxas scheduled to leave for Baguio last night. Jap Embassy also hurriedly packing to transfer to Baguio. Jap Dept. of Information burning papers, will continue propaganda in Baguio. Speaker B. Aquino remained in Manila, promised to go up after wedding of his son Billy. Minister Antonio de las Alas expressed fear Japs will eventually bring P.I. cabinet to Tokyo. Gen. Paulino Santos, head of P. Constabulary, will reside in Malacañan. Japs planning to give Sakdals thru Makapili more extensive powers in Manila government.

Further indications Japs vacating Manila: big shipyard and iron works in Findlay & Miller docks being dismantled; ammunition dump in Pinaglabanan being transferred. All telephone installations of buttai 2944 in City being removed. Jap leather factory in Aviles has stopped work. Wives of Jap civilians left by train last night. Preparations to move sick Jap soldiers from Quezon Institute now underway. Non-stop movement of troops, trucks, tanks, artillery in Manila roads. Soldiers are in full pack. Trucks loaded with supplies and baggages. Roads leading to the outskirts of Manila filled with Japs leaving the city hurriedly.

Manilans agog by these new developments. Morale of people has risen to skies. Jap morale evidently on the downgrade. An old Jap who had been here 10 years said: “What do you think of all these things?” Manilans think Americans will be in Manila by the 15th of January. Landings will be effected “maybe before Christmas or New Year”. People suspect landings in Batangas. Everybody is in gay spirits. “No better Christmas could be had!” some say. Talk of open city revived.

Barrio Teresa, Sta. Mesa, zonified yesterday morning. All houses in said barrio searched. About 400 males corralled near Sta. Mesa market. Everybody made to sit under sun. One man being battered with a blunt instrument kept shouting, pleading: “Somebody please kill me, please, please, please.”

Victor Pagulayan, assistant manager of Naric, dying. After leaving Fort Santiago he was brought to the hospital. Several liters of water have been taken from his lungs.

Indications rise that RICCOA, newest rice agency, may be able to distribute around 600 sacks for Manila before Christmas, if Japs permit. It is reliably known that Japs have recently decided to take “all rice that can be procured from Central Luzon because of military needs.” Rice to be harvested will not be deposited in Jap bodegas in City. Harvest will be stored in warehouses along Central Luzon. This again indicates Jap intention to leave Manila. This will naturally worsen food situation in City, increase hunger-deaths. Doctors of San Lazaro hospital estimated that deaths due to chronic hunger in city around 500 daily. Many walking in streets can be seen suffering from vitamin deficiencies. Beri-beri rampant especially among lower classes.

With all these significant developments, I am of the opinion that Gen. Yamashita recognizes the untenability of defending Manila. The more troops he keeps here, the more will be sacrificed. Manila is indefensible due to its many exits and entrances. Consequently, Yamashita has taken away from city all material and people like the puppets whom he would not like to see in the hands of Americans. He has sent the bulk of his troops to the north. He has sent a minimum force to guard the coasts of Tayabas and Camarines and Batangas, most possible landing points. Yamashita realizes that his troops in the coastline will only be decimated by U.S. aerial and naval bombardment. Coastline of P.I. is flat and open. No natural protection to defenders from skies. Yamashita expects to make his stand in the north with his back to Japan. There he has natural protection, mountains, cliffs and food.

People are waiting for the zero hour. When, when will it come? Opinions range generally “from Christmas” to the first 15 days of January. Up to now the furthest I’ve heard is “around the month of March.”

Meanwhile collaborators have changed tune, speak differently. Even Aquino is changing his opinions. Opportunists, perhaps.

Guerillas are increasing in numbers. Some believe capitol of Batangas, taken by guerillas, with aerial support.

July 17, 1942

Due to the increasing cost of living, the following salary readjustment has been made:

1. From ₱50 down, increase to ₱50 for permanent employees, one year in the service, regardless of merit.

2. From ₱50 to ₱100 varying increases according to merit.

3. ₱100 to ₱150—stationary. But “dead wood” will be reduced.

4. Above ₱150, definitely no increase, except to very exceptional and meritorious cases.

5. Total percentage of increase of permanent employees, 7%. ₱20,000 is calculated monthly salary of permanent employees. About ₱50,000 is total monthly salary of Manila and provincial, permanent and temporary employees. Not more than 300 employees will get an increase.

6. Provincial men. Reduce salary by 20% but give a per diem of ₱1.00 a day.

7. Reasons for increase: (a) hard work, including Saturday afternoons and Sundays; (b) lowest paid corporation, comparatively, (c) conducive to efficiency.

There’s nothing like getting a raise!

July 16, 1942

Studying “darak” supply for horse-owners. After a survey among carromata owners, it was found out that two gantas of “darak” are being consumed by a horse daily or 1.9 kilos, say, 2 kilos a day. This food, however, is supplemented with a little copra-meal, grass and molasses.

Another Japanese will be assigned to take charge of Cabanatuan branch.

Couldn’t play tennis. Rained.

July 15, 1942

More war prisoners released, thank God. The prison camps are death holes.

Attended a meeting of restaurant owners at the Office of the Mayor.

I made the following suggestions subject to the approval of the Naric and subsequently of the Military Administration:

(a) Each restaurant owner shall state the name and address of their restaurant, the amount of rice required and the approximate number of people usually served.

(h) The Naric will study the location of these restaurants and then decide on the method of distribution.

(c) The City of Greater Manila will be tentatively divided into the north and south districts, making the Pasig River as the dividing line. The Naric will appoint one member of the association for each of the two districts, who is to take delivery of the rice, either at the Naric or at designated stations, in accordance with the decision of our Distribution Department.

(d) There shall be levied a fee per sack from each restaurant as a means of financing the situation, say, 10 centavos per bag, but that is up to the association.

(e) The above-mentioned must be presented as soon as possible to the Naric, which will in turn present them to the Military Administration for approval.

Cloudy day. Occasional thunderstorms. Thought they were cannons.

July 13, 1942

Asked Unding Alunan to find out if Arthur Fischer is in the concentration camp for Americans in Camp Tinio. I want to help him.

Talked to Naric agents. Told them to impress upon the minds of distributors and these in turn to tell the leaders, that the Naric will conduct a house-to-house investigation in conjunction with the police. Neighborhood association leaders are urged to ask association members to correct misstatements in their reports, regarding the size of their families.

I reminded the agents that ample warnings have been given and so those caught doctoring their family cards will be punished. I made it clear to them that these orders do not come from the Naric, but from the Military Administration.

Placards will be distributed in each station to inform the people as to distribution hours in each station. Notwithstanding announcement of such hours, distributors must remain their stations at least until 3 p.m. if one or more leaders fail to get their sacks of rice during distribution hours. Naric trucks arrive at these stations at about 12:45 p.m.

In all cases, distributors must wait for the Japanese supervisor to turn in the coupons for the day before closing up. The idea behind all these instructions is to favor the leaders and not to inconvenience them. Mr. Inada suggested the formation of an Association of Rice Distributors to make arrangements collectively for their needs, such as push carts, tarpaulins and cargadores and then they can deliver rice to the leaders of the Neighborhood Associations covered by their respective associations.

Sulit believes this plan is impractical. Push carts which are in business are the most economical means of transporting rice from station to residence of leaders, he stated, and present arrangement is satisfactory to leaders and distributors. Furthermore, Neighborhood Associations are not circumscribed around distribution stations, he pointed out. Sulit said that one such association was organized two days ago in Calle Andalucia.

Very tired. I need a vacation but it is useless to broach the question. The answer will be “not now.”

July 10, 1942

Thinking of Pagu. At a dinner at the Hotel with Major Nishimura, I asked about Pagu. The interpreter said in broken Spanish: “Ese para muerto ya” and he made a gesture with his hands as though slitting his throat. I got pale. I said: “But he is a very good man. He is very needed in the Naric. And what he did was nothing. Everybody had these leaflets. I also.” The interpreter laughed.

July 9, 1942

Invited to a pancitada by Dr. Gregorio San Agustin at a dinner by the Bureau of Animal Industry to some 20 Japanese veterinarians.

Fukada, Naric Supervisor-de-Facto, notified me that all goods of the National Trading Corporation at 1010 Azcarraga had been taken by the Army.

Told Philip to stop listening to foreign broadcasts. You can’t trust the servants.

July 8, 1942

Mr. Toyama, a very nice, educated Japanese, employee of Mitsui, will teach the family Japanese, twice a week in the evenings. My son Vic refused to study. He said “It’ll be a dead language, after this war.” I told him: “You don’t lose anything by studying Japanese.”

Naric Inspection Division will now survey the makers of “Puto” and “bibingka” on a large scale. Naric will sell binlid directly to those large-scale makers.

Went home early. Listened to KGEI but there was too much static.

June 23, 1942

People do not seem to understand how to organize a neighborhood association. They don’t read the instructions carefully. When they don’t get their rice, they complain.

The heads of families in a certain neighborhood may formally organize themselves into a Neighborhood Association. An association generally consists of 23 heads of families. Membership, however, could be more or less, provided that the total number of dependents will be at least 92 persons.

These are the steps:

1. A group of about 92 persons or more living close together may unite themselves to form an association, to be considered later as a “Neighborhood Association.”

2. The members of an association will be composed of the heads of the different families who will select a leader.

3. The members will certify to the Naric their chosen leader.

4. Every head of the family will be requested to present his residence certificate or his ration card to the chosen leader in order to be filed with the Naric.

5. The chosen leader will prepare all the necessary papers to be submitted to the Naric.

6. Every head of the family will certify as to the number of his dependents, such certification to be countersigned and certified correct by the leader of the association.

7. As soon as all the papers are completed and prepared, the same will be presented to the Naric for necessary investigation and final approval.

8. If the application is approved by the Naric, the association is legitimately formed and is entitled to receive ration.

The ideal Neighborhood Association is that which consists of 23 heads of families with four persons in each family, or a total of 92 persons.

On the basis of 300 grams per person per day, those 92 persons will be an ideal number to share equally one cavan of rice, since one cavan contains 23 gantas or more, and one ganta weighs 2.4 kilos.

If 300 grams will be allowed each person daily, a family of four persons will receive a ration of 1,200 grams or 1.2 kilos daily, or 2.4 kilos every other day.

Saw Japanese troops feeding their horses with rice.

 

June 13, 1942

Mr. Fukada ordered the removal of all pictures of President Manuel Quezon from the Naric. He explained that this was in line with a suggestion issued by Malacañan a month ago.

Presented my resignation again.

Refused again.

 

May 29, 1942

Auditor Ishibashi and I agreed that any cash shortage or overage should be reported immediately to the Management by the Cashier.

Col. Uzaki will write a letter to the Executive Commission regarding the use of the land at the back of the Naric. We need more space.

Main building will be painted after construction of the garage has been completed.

Played tennis at Philippine Club. Fukada and Nakashima vs. Tanco and I. We defeated them.

 

 

May 27, 1942

Monthly consumption of tiki-tiki by Japanese Army is 6,000 sacks according to Mr. Kobatake.

Monthly quota to be covered by Naric in the provinces: Nueva Ecija—3,000 sacks; Bulacan—2,000 sacks; Tarlac—500 sacks.

Price of Tiki-tiki in Manila: Tiki-tiki No. 1 is ₱2.50 per sack of 48 kilos gross excluding sack; Tiki-tiki No. 2 is ₱2.00 per sack of 45 kilos excluding sack; Tiki-tiki No. 3 ₱1.50 per sack of 45 kilos excluding sack.

Mata-mata is ₱2.00 per sack of 45 kilos gross excluding sack. Binlid is ₱3.50 per sack of 50 kilos gross excluding sack.

Price in the provinces in 10 per cent less than the price in Manila without sack.

…Telephone calls, visitors, tiki-tiki, darak, mata-mata, binlid, rice rations, “Oh sir, the rice is brown,” “How do you arrange rice rations?”, “How about giving this voter a job for old time’s sake?”, Inada’s arrogance, Japanese suspiciousness, inability to understand each other’s language, threats, “You’re a pro-Japanese!”, “Why didn’t you open the bodegas?”, more war prisoners dying, send medicine for camp, so-and-so was slapped by Nakashima, boxed by Inada, that Filipino is an informer so be careful of him, Pagulayan, Unson, Fort Santiago, “I resign!”, “That’s hostile act, no you can’t resign!”… Life is a bloody nightmare!

May 14, 1942

Two more men assigned to Naric by Col. Uzaki “in view of the increasing activities and the consequent enormous volume of auditing and accounting.” They are Messrs. R. Ishibashi and T. Tegai. Ishibashi will be Chief Auditor and Tegai will assist him.

Pertinent points of Executive Order No. 40 signed by Chairman Jorge Vargas of the Executive Commission initiating “a national campaign for the cultivation of idle lands to produce food crops in view of an impending food shortage, difficulty of importation and the need to avert hunger and “forestall famine throughout the land”:

“1. That a nationwide campaign for the cultivation of rice, corn, camote, cassava, gabi, cowpeas, soybeans, mongo and other short-time food crops suited to local conditions, be started at once under the joint sponsorship of the DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR and the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE;

“2. That it shall be the duty of all city and municipal mayors to distribute uncultivated public lands within their respective jurisdictions among the citizens thereof preferably to those who are unemployed in order to enable them to plant food crops therein for a period of one agricultural year;

“3. That if for any reason the owner or the one in possession of any such private land is unable to cultivate the same, it shall be the duty of the mayor of the city or municipality where such land is located to turn it over to the citizens of such city or municipality, preferably to those who are unemployed, for the same purposes and under the same conditions prescribed in the next preceding paragraph;

“That it shall be the duty of all provincial governors personally or through the agricultural supervisors, to inspect the activities of the mayors in this food production campaign. The governors and city mayors shall also submit a monthly report to the Commissioner of the Interior and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce on the progress of the Campaign in their respective provinces and cities;

“That any person who neglects or fails to perform any duty enjoined by this Order or who performs any act which defeats or tends to defeat its purposes, or who otherwise violates any provision thereof, shall upon conviction be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding ₱200, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.”

I hope Commissioners Laurel and Alunan will thoroughly execute the responsibility imposed upon them by this Executive Order. Our production is not enough to supply our consumption. Consequently, every effort must be exerted towards increasing food production. Contrary to the general public opinion, the Naric has nothing to do with production. It has never had anything to do with it in the past and it still has nothing to do with it. Naric merely takes care of procurement, price-fixing and distribution.

May 13, 1942

When it rains, it pours. Another attack against Naric men in Pangasinan. This time Ramon Villasanta, special cashier and disbursing officer in Rosales was held up. ₱5,000, office funds, was taken from him.

The following is his report:

“On Sunday night, May 10th, I slept in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. The following morning, I went back to Rosales by calesa. When I arrived at our office premises, I noticed that the office was not yet open and it was past 8 o’clock. This was strange. The office usually opens at seven. I inquired why. Mr. Ernesto Mateo, bookkeeper, told me the story of Mr. Ueno’s death and how Tongson left for Tarlac to report the matter.

“Now there had been previous threats that the Naric office would be raided. Therefore to play safe, I decided to transfer the office cash amounting to ₱5,000 to Tarlac for safe-keeping. For this reason, I entered the office by the back door. The key was in Mr. Castillo’s possession. Castillo is the warehouseman. I opened the safe, took the money, showed it to Mr. Mateo, and then I secretly deposited it in my bag which contained my clothes.

“At about 9 o’clock the same morning, Mr. Mateo and myself, accompanied by our cargadores, five of them, left for Cuyapo following the railroad track. I decided to take this road because it is on an open country and no place where bad characters may hide. Besides it is parallel to the provincial road.

“At about noontime, we suddenly heard a gunshot. Then four armed men appeared from behind the elevations on the side of the railroad tracks and confronted us with guns, one covering me, pointing his gun at my heart. Then they took our baggages including that which contained the ₱5,000 and one of them said he did not want to see our faces again.

“The first person I met in Tarlac was Mr. Ballesteros. He asked me: ‘Did you bring the money? Where’s the cash?’ Then I told him what happened. I also reminded him that it was his instruction and Mr. Ueno’s that I should never leave cash in the safe.”

Submitted Villasanta’s report to the Japanese Supervisor. Recommended that the ₱5,000 stolen be taken up under profit and loss and that Mr. Villasanta be exonerated. I also moved that he be given reasonable reimbursement for the clothing and personal properties he lost while in line of duty.

My son Vic is improving in tennis. He practices with Ampon, national champ. The girls too play every afternoon.

Read Noli Me Tangere. My blood boiled reading the abuses committed by Spanish authorities.

Someone should write another Noli Me Tangere today.

 

May 12, 1942

Mr. Ueno, Japanese supervisor in Pangasinan was killed. The following is a report I received from Tranquilino Tongson, Provincial Inspector of Pangasinan.

“At half past 12, on May 10th, Mr. Ballesteros and Mr. Villanueva arrived from Tarlac to inspect our station. They left between 2 to 3 o’clock. After their inspection, Mr. Ueno, Mr. Villasanta, Mr. Mateo and I went to the house. While chatting with one another, I remember that Mr. Ueno jokingly said: ‘How about flirting around with the girls?’ I answered: ‘It’s still too early.’ However, Mr. Ueno left the house after a while and according to our chauffeur, he took the struck and drove it himself. Having nothing to do, I went to a relative, Dr. Acosta, who lives near the town plaza. After about half an hour or more in his house, the doctor and I heard several shots. In a while, the girls who were asked by the doctor’s daughter to gather ‘sampaguitas’ for the floral procession, came running and informed us that a Japanese with a truck had been killed. Later on, a young man also arrived and told us that Mr. Ueno had been shot at the plaza; that the plaza and the streets were cleared of people because everybody ran; that the windows and doors of all houses were closed; and that many persons fled to the barrio. I didn’t dare come out of the doctor’s house and I slept there that night. Immediately, the following morning, Monday, May 11th, 1 went out of my hiding and took to the fields, away from the road, hiking a distance of about 13 to 14 kilometers from Rosales to San Manuel, where I waited for buses or trucks to take me to Tarlac where I would report the matter. In Tarlac, I reported the matter to Mr. Nomura, who in turn reported the matter to the Military Police. Afterwards, I was instructed by Mr. Nomura to proceed to Manila and report the incident.”

Submitted Tongson’s report to Supervisor Fukada. Expressed my condolences.

 

 

May 6, 1942

No peace nor order in Pangasinan. Rosales in turmoil. Two hundred men entered the municipal building armed with revolvers and rifles. They threatened the municipal treasurer with death: “Open the safe or we will kill you!” The treasurer decided that life was better part of valor. He gave them the key.

Rumors that the NARIC warehouse will be next. “Don’t give your rice to the Naric,” argue propagandists, “because the Naric gives it to the Japanese.” The lives of Pangasinan employees have been threatened. Many refuse to continue working.

Life in the provinces today is not worth a dried tomato, according to a Naric employee. He said: “If you cooperate with the Japanese, the guerillas will kill you. If you cooperate with guerillas, the Japanese will kill you. If you cooperate with both, both will kill you. If you don’t cooperate with both, both will also kill you. Whatever you do, you will be killed.”

Let Socrates solve this dilemma.

April 24, 1942

Made a guide on how to apply for rice ration for provinces short of supply.

1. Take an accurate census of your provinces.

2. Based on 300 grams milled rice (uncooked) per person per day, make an estimate of the needs of the provinces per day, per month and for the whole period of scarcity. Indicate deduction that can be made for any local harvests.

3. Have the provincial governor and the provincial commander (army) recommend the ration requested.

4. The request for rice ration will have to be approved by the Military Administration (Manila) at the former Department of Agriculture building. (At present, approval is made by Col. Uzaki). Said office will also determine the quantity and method of rationing for the provinces.

5. Once approved, take to the NARIC, 732 Evangelista, corner Azcarraga.

6. Present price: 117.50 per cavan, no sack, ex bodega. Deposit for sacks: 40¢ each. No checks accepted. Prices subject to revisions

Mr. Inada is getting more despotic, day by day, he slapped another employee.

The newspapers are filled with stories on the kindness of the Japanese. Pictures of Japanese soldiers playing with Filipino children and pictures of Japanese soldiers giving food to Filipino war prisoners.

The Japanese indulge in self-deception.

April 5, 1942

Easter Sunday, but no celebration.

Ration cards for rice will soon be issued to the public. Rice will be distributed through 19 public markets. This system is in preparation for the releases of the increased quantity of rice for sale daily to the public.

Under the new plan, a ration card which will be good for at least three months, Will be issued against a new residence tax certificate obtained for 1942. The ration card will be punched every other day to correspond to a ganta of rice purchased.

Saw a Japanese officer walking with boots that were too big for him. They reached above his knees. He also had two watches on his wrist.

“This is co-prosperity,” said a friend.

April 4, 1942

Commencement of NARIC purchasing operations in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pangasinan.

Said Col. Uzaki on this occasion: “I wish to impress upon you the heavy responsibility that rests on your shoulders as the vanguards of your organization. It is incumbent upon each and every one of you to do the best to purchase a large quantity of rice and palay in a short time, for which purpose you will be custodians of considerable sums of money.”

He promised to supply all provincial employees with food, housing and a per diem of ₱1.00, irrespective of nationality besides rice rations.

A ₱1,500,000 account has been arranged with the Bank of Taiwan. Must immediately send ₱150,000 for Cabanatuan and ₱150,000 for Tarlac. The damage in the Cabanatuan compound due to the bombing in the first weeks of the war must be repaired.

Missing Pagulayan in the office. He was a great help. There is news that he may be executed. I refuse to believe it. Some people enjoy spreading alarming stories. I dislike gossipers and alarmists.

Saw a soldier walking with a monkey perched on his head. There must be some truth in the Darwinian theory.