202. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to the Philippines (Byroade) to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green)1

4161. For Assistant Secretary Green From Ambassador.

1.
The DAO message2 you refer to may be a little loosely drawn in terms of its comments. While there is considerable uneasiness in [Page 430]Manila as a result of election reverberations and the rise in prices, we foresee no immediate increase in the likelihood of revolution, an awfully strong word. Most of the talk about revolution and even assassination has been coming from the defeated opposition, of which Adevoso is a leading activist, and must be weighed in that light.
2.
Where information coming to us on assassination plans has been relatively hard or well-sourced, we have made sure that it reached Marcos. We know that Marcos has been aware for some time of Adevoso’s involvement in such plotting. The word has been passed to him [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. We also know from a sensitive [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]source that Marcos sent an emissary to Adevoso whom seemingly extracted a promise that Adevoso would at least lay off Marcos personally [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], (TDCS–DB 31505154/69).3
3.
I fully agree that we should protect the U.S. in all ways possible from accusations of collusion with any and all plotters, and I am sure, but will reiterate it to them, that all country team members and the military are aware of this danger. I will also see to it that Adevoso’s normal American contacts are especially alert. At the same time, I feel it would be wrong to cut ourselves off completely from the waning opposition in this country, [garble] the initiative for contact comes from them. Sometimes, as I think I did with Osmena, we can even dampen their emotions a bit.4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 556, Country Files, Far East, Philippines, Vol. II. Secret. The telegram shows no time of transmission.
  2. Telegram SNF–497 from the USDAO Manila to the DIA, December 15, reported the Defense Attaché’s conversation with Liberal Party stalwart Eleuterio Adevoso. Adevoso stated that the Liberals had not expected Marcos to employ armed force in the election “so effectively or so broadly,” and that the Philippines “was ready for revolution.” Adevoso stated that he was going to the United States and “wanted to talk to the right people.” (Ibid.)
  3. Not found.
  4. In a December 16 backchannel message Green requested Byroade’s comment on the DAO message, and advised that the Embassy must do everything it could “to avoid giving plotters any ‘evidence’ of American involvement in their activities.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 556, Country Files, Far East, Philippines, Vol. II)