796.001/8–2153: Telegram

No. 337
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines


504. Personal for the Ambassador. Limited distribution. Your 405.1 General Pierson called on Quirino August 21; discussion centered on peace and order situation and MDAP program. General Pierson gave Quirino substantially same general information contained [Page 547] in his letter to Secretary Castelo dated about 11 August.2 President Quirino asked for information on status of $10,000,000 fund and commented on current strength Philippine Army in light of closing out of “augmentation” stating that with the current Korean situation Philippine troops might be returned from Korea to campaign against the Huks. General Pierson advised him that Philippine Army had sufficient troops in the Philippines at present time with capability closing out Huk campaign in six months and certainly in much less than one year.

President Quirino stated that Duque3 had talked to him about a newspaper item on Huk surrender and that Duque was enthusiastic about his operations against Taruc.4 President Quirino indicated that report of current surrender negotiations was newspaper item and that last time he had talked Huk surrender was months ago. President Quirino seemed pleased with progress anti-Huk operations. General Pierson pointed out that only unconditional surrender should be considered.5

  1. Telegram 405, Aug. 21, reported, among other things, on alleged surrender terms being discussed by the Philippine Armed Forces and Huk leaders, indicated that the Embassy had maintained that unconditional surrender followed by trial was the only basis on which Huk surrender should be considered, and said that “neither Embassy nor JUSMAG … nor any responsible officer AFP regard Huk menace as no longer threatening nor serious.” The Embassy still believed that the Philippine administration was trying to negotiate with the Huks to secure their assistance in keeping voters away from the polls by terrorist methods. (796.001/8–2153)
  2. Not printed.
  3. Gen. Calixto Duque, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
  4. Luis Taruc, military commander of the Huks.
  5. On Aug. 28, the Department informed the Embassy that a recent statement by Secretary of National Defense Castelo favoring only unconditional Huk surrender was made on instructions from Quirino. (Telegram 428; 796.001/8–2553).