The United States High Commissioner to the Philippines ( Sayre ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 13—7:30 p.m.]
45. For information [of] Interior, Treasury and other interested Departments. Central Government reportedly set up in Manila under Japanese auspices.
1. Council of State. According Manila Tribune January 25th, 30 prominent Filipino political leaders signed document January 23 [Page 901] addressed to Japanese military commander45 constituting themselves provisional Council of State as follows:
“In response to the message of Your Excellency as Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese forces, on the 8th of January, 1942, through Honorable Jorge B. Vargas,46 we have duly and respectfully taken note contents thereof and respectfully express our gratitude for Your Excellency’s words of solicitude over the welfare of our people.
We beg to inform Your Excellency that, in compliance with your advice, and having in mind the great ideals, the freedom and the happiness of our country, we are ready to obey to the best of our ability and within the means at our disposal the orders issued by the Imperial Japanese forces for the maintenance peace and order and the promotion of the well being of our people under the Japanese military administration. Consequently, we have constituted ourselves into a Provisional Philippine Council of State and we are immediately proceeding to draft our articles of organization in line with Your Excellency[’s] advice.”
Document signed by Jorge B. Vargas, Yulo, Paredes, Laurel, Aquino, Sison, Alunan, Recto, Bocobo, Guinto, Rodriguez, Baluyut, Qarabut [Marabut?], Aguinaldo,47 Madrigal, Fernandez, De Las Alas, Quirino, Zulueta, Tan, Lavides, Avencena, Unson, Roces, Sabido, Arranz, Hernaez, Ozamiz, Navarro and Perez. Four persons requested to sign document failed to do so, namely, Jose Fabella, Alfonso Mendoza, Jose Veloso and Prospero Sanidad.
2. Executive Commission. According Manila Tribune January 28th, an Executive Commission was organized under Order No. 1 of Commander-in-Chief of Japanese expeditionary forces and members [in this?] Area [are] Vargas, Chairman; Aquino, Commissioner Interior; De Las Alas, Finance; Laurel, Justice; Alunan, Agriculture-Commerce; Recto, Education, Health, Public Welfare; Paredes, Public Works and Communications; Sison, Auditor General; Marabut, Executive Secretary to Commission. Yulo is reported as Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
3. Vargas in broadcast over KZRH Manila January 31st is reported to have said inter alia:
“In dealing occupied territory Japanese High Command has expressed deep desire follow benign and liberal policy predicated on willingness of people to cooperate with military administration in reestablishment peace and order and to that end has set up national civil administration intended among other things to temper rigors of martial law. Fact that High Command has seen fit that civil [Page 902] government be run by Filipinos under control of Japanese Army should be cause for gratification on part of our people. We cannot escape inexorable fact that fortunes of war have placed those of us in occupied territories outside protection of United States and at mercy of Japanese military. We must have trust in the justice and fairness of the Japanese people. The illustrious Premier, General Tojo of Japan in a special pronouncement promised us independence with honor. It is imperative therefore that we should refrain from committing acts which are detrimental or inimical to the interests of the Japanese forces.”
4. Aguinaldo recently broadcast from Manila an appeal to General MacArthur to surrender saying in part Japan had promised Philippines independence with honor.