740.0011 Pacific War/3025
The President of the Philippine Commonwealth (Quezon) to President Roosevelt72
My Dear Mr. President: Although some time ago the White House announced that “insofar as notice of December 7 by the President is [Page 911] concerned, he feels that it should be observed as a day of silence in remembrance of a great infamy”, I do not think that I am contravening your wishes by writing you this letter and by reminding you that on December 9, 1941 (which was December 8 in Washington) I sent you the following telegram:
[Here follows text of telegram printed on page 882.]
One year has passed. The Battle of the Philippines has confirmed the statement contained in that telegram. More than 20,000 Filipino soldiers gave their lives in the war against Japan. Many thousands more have been wounded or are missing, and no less than 60,000 are now suffering the moral and physical tortures of imprisonment. Recent radio broadcasts from Japanese transmitters show that the armed forces of Japan in the Philippines have been engaged in attacking Filipino fighters who refuse to surrender. These countrymen of mine remain active in the hills of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They do not accept defeat, and they are determined to show Japan that the spirit of resistance has not been crushed. You understand, Mr. President, my grief over the invasion of my country and the occupation by the enemy with the consequent suffering that my people must bear every day.
But on this occasion, one year after the wholly unprovoked attack on the Philippines by the Japanese forces, I see that the United Nations have taken the offensive. The future looks brighter. And I hope that I am justified in feeling that the deliverance of my people will be not too long delayed.
I also want to say on this occasion that the Japanese attack on the Philippines was not an unmixed evil. It has sealed the friendship of Americans and Filipinos with blood. And it has thereby proved that our spiritual ties, forged through the last forty years cannot be broken. In our misfortune the Filipino people and I find further consolation in the evidences you have given—and with you, your Government and your people—that everything will be done by the United States to insure that the Philippines which will come out of this war will be a prosperous, happy and free Philippines.
With assurances of my devotion, I am
Very sincerely yours,
- Copy transmitted to the Department by President Roosevelt on December 7 for preparation of reply.↩