Ruby in a new setting
By Ligaya Victorio Reyes
August 17, 1946 –TAKE a delicate, gentle girl from the ordered existence of a ladies school and plunk her in the midst of a palace’s social whirl, and you have a girl more than slightly bewildered. You have Ruby Roxas.
Ruby came home from Vassar not so long ago. She came home to a room done all in blue, to the muffled halls of chandelier-lit rooms, the incessant hustle and bustle of state life. She came home to a mother to whom she is devoted, a father whom she adores, a brother who is also a friend. And in coming home to them, she came back to a life completely new, the kind of life she had not planned on living, even she whose life had been a series of changes.
“I never dreamed of living in the Palace,” Ruby laughed. “only a year ago, we were so concerned about just being able to live that we never bothered about where we lived. We were running in the mountains then, and this dream was too remote for every one of us.”
But now that it had actually happened, how did she like being a President’s daughter?
“It carries with it a lot of responsibilities,” Ruby answered the question. “So many people who come to us have troubles, and if you are at all the sympathetic type, you cannot help but feel for them. But this life is such a drastic change from my well ordered school life. Here we have no regular hours for anything! We never know when we shall eat—yesterday we had lunch at four o’clock. That is no longer a lunch, is it? That is a merienda. We sleep late and we get up early.
“I do not know how we all stand it,” she sighed. “I am surprised that Mother, whose health is not very good, has borne it so well. But I am most worried about Father. One must be a superman to be able to stand the life he leads. He works all the time, he has no time at all to rest. With mother and me, though, there are compensations. One of these is the thought that we are helping Father in helping the people, that we are doing our little part. And so many people need help. Many are so down and out. We want to help everyone. We cannot do it, but we can try.”
And in trying, does she ever have time to concern herself with her own dream, her own ambitions.
Ruby laughs at her dreams and ambitions. “At one time,” she said, “I had planned on following in Father’s footsteps. I was going to take up law and become a politician. That was when I was about ten. Now I have changed my mind. Politics is a dirty and a difficult game, and unless one is prepared to sacrifice himself to the service of the people, he should not attempt it. there are so many heartaches involved in it. Your friends of today become your enemies of tomorrow, and your enemies of yesterday are your friends today. It is a hard life, especially for a girl. Now I am content to stay with my family as much as I can, to lead as quiet a life as is possible for me. Then, later,” and here Ruby paused in serious thought, “I plan to write. My greatest dream is to be able one day to write a biography of my father.” I cannot stop talking of my Father,” Ruby laughed in slight apology. Don’t let me. He is my favorite subject and I am his greatest admirer.”
With a valiant effort, she tore herself away from talk of her father to talk of something else. Of Katherine Cornell and Shaw’s “Candida.” Of Laurence Olivier and his magnificent “Henry the IV.” Of Miriam Hopkins who was hoarse when she played “Laura.” Of Frank Fay and his wonderful acting in “Harvey.” Of bobbysoxers and Frank Sinatra. Of books and movies—these last she loves but she seldom seem s to find time for them.
And she talked of Vassar and the life she led there. Everything was so ordered, even fun. Studies took up a great deal of the time, companionship made it to smoothly, and parties highlighted existence in general. She remembered election time and how jittery her friends were about election returns, and the aftermath for her, personally, of her Father’s being proclaimed President. Fan letters poured in, there was a round of entertainment, and she basked, slightly uncomfortably for one so quietly inclined as she is, in a good portion of reflected glory. And she looks back wistfully to a life so comparatively full and simple, and wonders if she could ever return to it. For now she is the President’s daughter, and much though she would like to be just another beloved , pampered girl, she knows she cannot be. For her Father had chosen to serve, and she must sail along with him in the unsettled ship of state.
The big scramble
By Teodoro M. Locsin
August 10, 1946
THE young men of Capiz, according to reports reaching the FREE PRESS, are flocking to Manila, to shake the hand of their province mate, the President of the Philippines, to congratulate him on his election—and to ask for a job.
Thus it was in Quezon’s time, and it was no different during the Osmeña administration. When Malacañan corridors still echoed with the oaths and curses of the High-Strung One as some cabinet member was called to account for some act of omission or commission, as the Church puts it, the Chosen People came from Tayabas. During the brief reign of Sergio the First and probably the Last, the Lucky Ones spoke English with a thick Cebuano accent. In the 2604th year of the reign of Showa, when Laurel was “President,” Malacañan was a home away from home for Batangueños. Now, in the first year of Roxas, the Palace by the Pasig is being stormed by determined Capiceños, all animated by one single thought—a government job.
In the palace itself, according to intelligence reports received by the Minority Camp, there are intra-mural hostilities between the De Leon side and the Acuña side of the Presidential family. The Acuñas are said to be increasingly bitter at the way the Bulakeños are getting the best jobs, and there are many dark references to blood, how it should be thicker than water.
Meanwhile press communiqués indicate that while the Bulakeños and the Capiceños were arguing with each other who should have this job and who should have that, the Ilocanos—Quirinos—boys—have quietly infiltrated the lines and taken over the choicest offices. Determined to hold their positions at all cost, the Ilocanos were last reported to be forming suicide squadrons and building road blocks against future counter-attack by the boys from Bulacan and Capiz. In the face of a common enemy, they may even join forces and as one united army attack the Ilocano positions.
From Capiz itself comes a report—the author keeps himself anonymous, and wisely, too, probably—that school teachers who made the simply unforgivable error of voting for Osmeña are finding themselves either dropped or assigned to distant barrios where nothing more is heard of them. Osmeña himself was given an honorary elder statesman’s job, but those who voted for him the last time are being slowly—and not so slowly — frozen out of the government, the report concludes.
In Manila, things are not so bad. Many government employees took the precaution of voting for Roxas during the last election. If Osmeña won, they would still have their jobs, but if Roxas won—well they voted for him, didn’t they?
Most government jobs are low paid, and one wonders why there is such scramble for them. Then one recalls the story of the pre-war Bureau of Customs employee who had a two story house, a car, and who sent his two daughters to an expensive private school—all on a salary of less than P100 a month. Who knows, once you are in the government, when such an opportunity will strike? The thing is, be prepared—and enter the government.
Report on collaboration
by Teodoro M. Locsin
Re-examine of Issue, Prospect and Expediency of Amnesty, Forecast of Outcome of Collaboration Cases
August 3, 1946–THERE is no end to the argument. It is impossible to decide whether these men did right or wrong as to establish which came first, the chicken or the egg. It is all very well to say that errors of the mind should be forgiven but errors of the heart? How nay a man’s sincerity be defined? Who can look into a man’s heart and say this one was true to the cause and that one false.
“I would do it over again,” Laurel declares. He announces his readiness to die: “I would not want to live if my people believed that I betrayed them…”
Surely the last thing one could accuse Laurel of, is insincerity. At the same time, it is difficult to overlook the fact that while the Japanese robbed, murdered and raped, he called them friend, he went further and wrote and published a book commending the Japanese way of life, “bushido,” as against democracy. It may be argued that Laurel made those anti-American utterances, sent the Constabulary after the guerrillas, etc., to appease the Japanese and cushion the shock of the occupation. But must he write a book?
Laurel is a courageous man, and he seems to have the admiration and respect of the President. When Roxas came down from Baguio last year, he called Laurel, in the presence of newspapermen, a hero. Thinking the man thus, it can only be with pain that he would see him sentenced to prison for life, for treasonable collaboration with the enemy. Surely he would feel he must so something about it.
Of course, the People’s Court may clear Laurel. In this connection, it may be noted that the counts against Laurel are more than 100 against Alvero’s 22.
But did Laurel—did the rest of those accused of political collaboration really do wrong? Who will answer that? There is the People’s Court—established precisely for that purpose, to decide these men’s innocence or guilt. That would seem to be the correct procedure. Let the People’s Court decide. Let Laurel and other officials of his regime submit to its jurisdiction as does the humblest, lowliest citizen of this Republic, now before the court on charge of being a Japanese spy. There is either a crime of treason of there is none. Treason is either punished or it is condoned. There is either one law for all, or no law at all.
Policy of administration
The Administration has indicated that its purpose is to let the People’s Court continue its burdensome but necessary work—but, it is added, there will be “reinvestigations.” There are many cases, it is explained, in which reinvestigation would show that the accused is plainly innocent, that he need not be tried at all.
Again, that is correct. That is legal and just. But how will it workout? This year is not last year, and the men in power are not the same. How fair would the reinvestigations be? How much political pressure would be brought to bear on the reinvestigators? Would politics decide the outcome, or would strict justice rule? Would not amnesty, after all—would not amnesty be the open, forthright thing?
But if the big ones go, should not the small ones be let free, too? The Makapili, taking them at their word, collaborated with the enemy. Did not the Republic enter into a pact of alliance with the Japanese? Why should he not fight for them? As you can see, the questions are endless.
Let us go into the probable outcome. Laurel and company will either be tried by the People’s Court or there will be an amnesty. If they are tried by the People’s Court, they will either be declared innocent or found guilty. The decision in the Sison case give us a hint on the probable outcome of these cases.
Study In Detection
If, however, they are declared innocent, Laurel and his association will be set free and will take their place, a high and honored one, in society. Perhaps, in the government itself. If found guilty, they will appeal to the Supreme Court which may rule more favorably. If found still guilty by that court—there will be an amnesty in a year or two, and they will be free, anyway.
If there is an amnesty, it will not cover the economic collaborators and the lowly Makapili and uninfluential Japanese spy. Only the big ones will go free. If I am proved wrong—write me.
This, as you need not be told, is a study in detection, an attempt at pure deductive reasoning. I am shooting in the dark, I am guessing, but it is my guess that, no matter what happens, some way or another Laurel and his colleagues will be free. If the courts do not set them free, an amnesty will.
After all, in the last election the majority of the Filipino people decided that Roxas, far from being a traitor as some in the opposition claimed, was a patriot and a great man. Roxas occupied a responsible position in Laurel’s government, and was mainly responsible for the drafting of the Constitution. If Roxas, in the conviction of most Filipinos, is not a collaborator, instead deserving of the Presidency—let Laurel and company free. There will be not great outcry. Let the whole bunch free, close the book—what has it got to do with you and me?
There will be an acute rice shortage in the Philippines beginning August, and the islands will be largely dependent on imported rice until the end of November, it has been announced by the Department of Agriculture,
In Washington the agriculture department estimated that millions would die of starvation in the Far East, particularly in China, due to transportation shortage.
The United States spent at least $2,000,000 to bring the body of the late President Manuel L. Quezon to the Philippines, according to the ordinance officer of the aircraft carrier Princeton IV which brought the remains of Quezon home.