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U.S. Ambassador’s telegrams to the Sec. of State, Jan 1970

February 2, 2010

Some telegrams of U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Henry A. Byroade, to the Secretary of State, William P. Rogers in Washing D.C. concerning the January 26 and January 30 demonstrations in Manila. These have been declassified and are made available in photocopies at a library in Metro Manila.

R 280953Z JAN 70

FM AMEMBASSY MANILA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3286

SUBJECT:  STUDENT  DEMONSTRATIONS

REF: MANILA’S 789

1. IN AFTERMATH OF UNPRECEDENTEDLY LARGE AND VIOLENT DEMONSTRATION BEFORE CONGRESS, MEDIA HAVE CLUCKED, MARCOS HAS REMONSTRATED AND STUDENTS HAVE PROMISED NEW PROTEST RALLY FRIDAY 30 JANUARY.

2. PRESS HAS TAKEN CONFLICTING STAND ON DEMONSTRATION AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR VIOLENCE. WHILE DEBATING PROS AND CONS, IT HAS PREDICTABLY GIVEN ONLY MODERATE COVERAGE TO STATE OF NATION MESSAGE – HIGHLIGHTING PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR DISCIPLINE.

3. BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS HAVE CASTIGATED POLICE VIOLENCE AND PROPOSED JOINT INVESTIGATION.

4. IN CONCILIATORY EFFORT, MARCOS REQUESTED POLICE TO DROP CHARGE VS STUDENTS, TO CONTINUE INVESTIGATION OF NON-STUDENT  ‘PROVOCATEURS’ AND TO ADOPT MEASURES TO AVOID UNNECESSARY USE OF FORCE.

5. NATIONAL UNION STUDENTS GROUP HELD MEETING OF STUDENT LEADERS OF 23 COLLEGES AND ORGANIZATIONS. WHILE ADMITTING OUTSIDE ELEMENTS HAD CONTRIBUTED TO TROUBLE, THEY LAMBASTED POLICE VIOLENCE AND PROMISED  A) TO PARTICIPATE IN MASS RALLY 30 JANUARY AND B) TO DEMONSTRATE AT MALACANANG AND CONGRESS UNTIL MARCOS SUSPENDS HEADS OF POLICE AGENCIES AND ISSUES HANDWRITTEN PLEDGE NOT TO INTERVENE IN ELECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATES. IN ADDITION NUSP MEETING, UP STUDENTS CHASTISED FASCISTIC TACTICS OF GOVERNMENT AND PROMPTED UP PRESIDENT LOHTZ [LOPEZ?] TO OFFER LEAD DEMONSTRATION AT CONGRESS. OTHER MODDJATE [MODERATE?] AND LEFTIST GROUPS CONDEMNED VIOLENCE AND PROMISED TO JOIN DRIDAY’S RALLY.

6. ACCORDING TO SUBSEQUENT REPORTS ON 26 JANUARY DEMONSTRATION, NUSP HAS SUCCESSFULLY RESTRICTED ITS FOLLOWERS – THE BULK OF THE NUSP DEMONSTRATORS – TO NONVIOLENT PROTEST IN BEHALF NONPARTISAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. VERY SMALL CONTINGENT OF KM, HOWEVER, HAD DIVINED NUSP ORGANIZATION TACTICS AND HAD MOVED IN RAPIDLY AS NUSP  WAS WITHDRAWING TO TURN DEMONSTRATION INTO VIOLENT PROTEST, AND ULTIMATELY EXPOSE ALL PARTICIPANTS TO “POLICE VIOLENCE.” LEFTWING ELEMENTS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT 30 JANUARY RALLY SIMILARLY ALTHOUGH BOTH GOVERNMENT AND NUSP WILL SEEK HEAD OFF FURTHER VIOLENCE. BYROADE

P 311034Z JAN 70

FM AMEMBASSY MANILA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3336

UNCLAS MANILA 898

SUBJ: PRESIDENT ADDRESSES NATION ON DEMONSTRATION

1. IN DELIBERATELY CALM VOICE, PRESIDENT TOLD NATION AT 1730, 31 JANUARY THAT DEMONSTRATION IN FRONT OF MALACANANG PREVIOUS EVENING CONSTITUTED PREMEDITATED, INSURRECTIONARY ATTACK, REPRESENTING ACT OF REBELLION AND SUBVERSION WITH PURPOSE OF EITHER DESTROYING OR SEIZING SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. HE DESCRIBED DEMONSTRATORS AS MOB, THOUSANDS IN NUMBER LED BY SEVERAL HUNDRED, TO WHOM ALL OTHER ISSUES SUCH AS CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION WERE IRRELEVANT. THEY WERE, HE SAID, INFLUENCED AND GUIDED BY FOREIGN IDEOLOGY, THE IDEOLOGY OF MAO TSE TUNG. HE THEN REFERRED TO TWO CONSPIRACIES WHICH MALACANANG INTELLIGENCE  HAD UNCOVERED SEVEAL MONTHS AGO, ONE COMMUNIST-INSPIRED AND ONE INSPIRED BY ANOTHER GROUP, AND NOTED THAT MALACANANG HAD BEEN AWARE OF IMPORTS OF ARMS BY THOSE TWO GROUPS.

2.  PRESIDENT ASSURED NATION THAT MILITARY HAD SHOWN HIM PLANS FOR ACTION IN EVENT ANY FURTHER ATTACKS . COUNTRY WELL GUARDED. HE WARNED INSURRECTIONARY ELEMENTS THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO OVERTHROW GOVERNMENT FORCIBLY WOULD BE PUT DOWN. TROOPS HAVE BEEN MOVED INTO MANILA AND SURROUNDING AREA TO BACK UP LOCAL POLICE AND WOULD BE AVAILABLE IF NEEDED.

3. PRESIDENT CLEARED STUDENTS OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR VANDALISM, EXPRESSING REGRET FOR DEATHS BUT REASSERTING HIS BASIC RESPONSIBILITY AS PRESIDENT TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTIES OF NATION AS WHOLE. HE WOULD PROTECT STUDENT’S RIGHT TO DEMONSTRATE,  THEIR RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY, FOR THEY WOULD SUCCEED TO MOLD THE WORLD. AND HE WOULD ADOPT WHATERVER PROPOSALS THEY MADE THAT WERE REASONABLE, BUT WHENEVER A FOREIGN IDEOLOGY THREATENED TO TAKE OVER HE WOULD ACT.

4. HE CONCLUDED BY APPEALING TO NATION TO REMAIN UNITED AND REQUESTED PARENTS TO RESTRAIN THEIR CHILDREN FROM PARTICIPATING IN DEMONSTRATIONS WHILE CONSPIRACY CONTINUED AND UNTIL COMPLETE PEACE HAD BEEN RE-ESTABLISHED. BYROADE

R 021055Z FEB 70

FM AMEMBASSY MANILA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3359

CONFIDENTIAL MANILA 932

SUBJECT: STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS

REF: MANILA 896 AND 899

1. MANILA CONTINUES IN A STATE OF SHOCK AT THE VIOLENCE OF THE JANUARY 30 DEMONSTRATIONS AND THE FOUR STUDENT DEAD. THE SHOCK APPEARS TO BE MOST ACUTE AT THE FOCUS OF THE STUDENT ATTACK, MALACANANG.  THIS IS THE MOST PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR THE PRESIDENT’S 31 JANUARY CHARGE THAT THE DEMONSTRATION WAS AN ACTIVE REBELLION TO EITHER DESTROY OR SEIZE THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.

2. MARCOS WAS APPARENTLY PERSUADED BY A CORE ELEMENT OF DELIBERATE VIOLENCE TO INTERPRET THE ATTACK ON MALACANANG AS A MAOIST PLOT. AS HERALD COLUMNIST EDDIE LACHICA, POINT OUT THIS MORNING, “THE CURRENT LANGUAGE OF STUDENT ACTIVISM IS PROMOUNCEDLY MAOIST—AS MUCH OF A YOUTH FAD AS BEATLE HAIRDOS AND BELL BOTTOM PANTS.” MARCOS HAS DIGNIFIED AND IN A SENSE GLORIFIED THE RIOTOUS VANDALISM BY CALLING IT A MAOIST INSURRECTION.

3. MARCOS APPEARS INCLINED TO THE CONSPIRACY THEORY ALSO BECAUSE IT IS HARD FOR HIM TO BELIEVE THAT FILIPINO STUDENTS DISLIKE HIM OR WOULD ATTACK THE HOME OF THEIR PRESIDENT. PHILIPPINE YOUTH IS TRADITIONALLY DEFERENTIAL TO AUTHORITY AND THE OLDER GENERATION DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE PAST HAVE BEE ALMOST ALL DIRECTED AGAINST GENERALIZED AND UNTIL THE LAST YEAR OR TWO, NON-PHILIPPINE TARGETS. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT MARCOS AS A PERSONALITY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN DIRECTLY CHALLENGED.

4. THE DEGREE OF SHOCK IS ALSO REFLECTED IN THE THEORY BEGINNING TO CIRCULATE AROUND TOWN THAT THE UNITED STATES IS IN BACK OF THE RIOTS. PREDICTABLY J.V. CRUZ IN THE FEBRUARY 2ND MANILA TIMES IS THE FIRST TO GIVE IT PRESS CIRCULATION. HE SUGGESTS THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE US INTEREST TO PROVOKE REPRESSION OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN MOST EFFECTIVE IN UNMASKING OUR IMPERIALIST OPERATIONS AND GOALS AND ISOLATE PRESIDENT MARCOS FROM THE PEOPLE. THAT SUCH A THEORY COULD BE GIVEN CREDENCE FOR A MOMENT DEMONSTRATES THE PERSISTENCE OF  COLONIAL ATTITUDE  (CRUZ WOULD BE THE FIRST TO DENOUNCE IT IN OTHERS) THAT NOTHING HAPPENS OF IMPORTANCE IN THE PHILIPPINES UNLESS THE UNITED STATES WILLS IT.

5. PRESIDENT HAS APPARENTLY MADE EXTENSIVE EXTENSIVE EFFORT TO CONVEY TO LEADERS OF ESTABLISHMENT SUCH AS CONGRESSMEN, MAYORS, PUBLISHERS, CRITICAL NATURE OF SITUATION (ALTHOUGH PRESUMABLY NOT REFERRING TO ALLEGED US ROLE). ON BASIS INITIAL IMPRESSION, HE HAS MADE POINT SO WELL THAT ALL KIND OF ALARMIST RUMORS HAVE BEEN CIRCULATING OVER THE WEEKEND.  MONEYED MEMBERS OF THE ESTABLISHMENT IN PARTICULAR CLEARLY HAVE WIND UP. ON MONDAY, HOWEVER, PRESS HAS BEGUN TO INTRODUCE LEAVENING ELEMENT OF SKEPTICISM WHICH SHOULD LOWER MOOD OF TENSION.

6. BASIC PROBLEM WITH STUDENTS, HOWEVER, REMAINS. IN ANTICIPATING FURTHER TROUBLE, PRESIDENT SUSPENDED CLASSES FOR ONE WEEK. O.D. CORPUZ SAID AT LUNCH TODAY THAT THIS WAS INTENDED TO DISCOURAGE STUDENTS FROM ORGANIZING FURTHER DEMONSTRATIONS ON OCCASION OF FUNERAL FOR “VICTIMS’ OF JAN 30 SHOOTING AND CLASSES MIGHT NE RENEWED ON WEDNESDAY. AT SAME TIME (SEE SEPTEL) PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED INTENTION TO CREATE SPECIAL TRUST FUND OUT OF OF WAR DAMAGE PAYMENTS TO SUBSIDIZE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS AND INVOLVE STUDENTS IN APPROVED CIVIC ACTION. INTENT HERE IS APPARENTLY TO USE UP REMAINING SPECIAL FUND FOR EDUCATION, NO OTHER MONEY BEING READILY ON HAND FOR EDUCATION PURPOSES.

7. THESE ARE SHORT TERM PALLIATIVES ONLY, FOR ONE WEEK’S VACATION WILL HARDLY SUFFICE TO MAKE STUDENTS FORGET THEIR CAUSE AND TRUST FUND IS TOO SMALL TO IMPRESS. STUDENT MOOD IS IN FACT STILL REBELIOUS. THEY ARE SMARTING UNDER PRESIDENT’S APPELATION OF MAOIST INSURRECTIONARIES AND ARE NOT LIKELY TO BEGIN TO SIMMER DOWN AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER BURIAL OF THEIR “MARTYRS” THIS WEEK. BYROADE

P 3105545Z JAN 70

FM AMEMBASSY MANILA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3334

CONFIDENTIAL MANILA 896

REF: MANILA 817

1. LEFT WING ELEMENTS SUCCEEDED IN TURNING JANUARY 30 RALLY INTO CHAOTIC AND VIOLENT FRACAS INITIALLY CENTERING ON MALACANANG AND ULTIMATELY EXTENDING TO OTHER DOWNTOWN AREAS. AT CONCLUSION, 4 STUDENTS HAD BEEN KILLED, 100 OTHERS INCLUDING POLICE WOUNDED, AND EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO VEHICLES AND BUIDLINGS EFFECTED IN MOST VIOLENT RALLY RECENT TIMES.

2. RALLY DEVELOPED IN ESSENTIALLY THREE PHASES. FIRST PHASE WAS COMPLETELY PEACEFUL RALLY AT  CONGRESS FROM 9:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M. AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE AND FOR NONPARTISAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION BY ELEMENTS SUPPORTING NUSP AND NSL BUT NOTICEABLY EXCLUDING UP MEMBERS. 10,000 REPORTEDLY PRESENT. GROUP DISPERSED ABOUT 2:00 P.M. AND WAS SHORTLY SUCCEEDED, IN SECOND PHASE OF DEMONSTRATION, BY UP, UE STUDENTS, KM AND OTHER LEFT WING GROUPS WITH FAIR MIXTURE OF TOUGHER ELEMENT, TOTALLING 3 TO 4,000 ACCORDING TO EMBASSY OBSERVERS. EMPHASIS MUCH HEAVIER ON POLICE VIOLENCE. NO POLICE PRESENT AT ANY TIME DURING RALLY IN ACCORDANCE MAYOR VILLEGAS DECISION KEEP HIS POLICE FROM BEING USED AGAIN AS SCAPEGOATS. AFTER LOUDER BUT INCIDNT-FREE RALLY AT CONGRESS, GROUP PROCEEDED  TO CITY HALL FOR PEACEFUL DISCUSSION WITH MAYOR VILLEGAS. GROUP THEN DEPARTED FOR MALACANANG, MUCH OF UP ELEMENT APPARENTLY HEADING FOR QUEZON CITY. THIRD AND VIOLENT PHASE BEGAN AT MALACANANG.

3. STUDENTS FROM PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF COMMERCE AND PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF CRIMINOLOGY, FREQUENT PARTICIPANTS IN DEMONSTRATIONS, HAD ASSEMBLED EARLIER IN AFTERNOON AT MALACANANG AND HAD DEMONSTRATED WITHOUT SERIOUS INCIDENT BEFORE WELL-DISCIPLINED METROCOM ELEMENTS. PCC CROWD TOTALLED PERHAPS 1-2,000 VS. 1,000 METROCOM IN DEFENSIVE, UNEXPOSED POSITIONS. AT 7:00 P.M., KM AND OTHER ELEMENTS, NOW ESTIMATED AT 2,000 ARRIVED AT MALACANANG AND ATTACK ON PALACE BEGAN. MALACANANG STREET LIGHTS SMASHED, WINDOWS BROKEN BY SLING SHOT,  SEVERAL FIRES STARTED AND PALACE ACTUALLY ENTERED THROUGH GATE 4 WHEN DEMONSTRATORS COMMANDEERED FIRE TRUCK, RAMMED AND BROKE GATE. SEVERAL BUILDINGS AND VEHICLES DAMAGED BEFORE METROCOM REPELLED STUDENTS WITH TEAR GAS, FIRING IN AIR AND RUSHING. FROM 7:00 TO 8:00 PM FREE-FOR-ALL  PREVAILED BUT APPARENTLY ONLY FEW PEOPLE HURT. AT 9:00 P.M. DEMONSTRATORS PERSUADED TO LEAVE MALACANANG GATES, SOME DEPARTED FOR HOME AND ABOUT 2,000 MOVED SEVERAL HUNDRED YARDS DOWN MENDIOLA STREET. LATTER GROUP  EXHIBITED INTERNAL DISSENSION BUT MORE VIOLENT ELEMENT CONTINUED HURLING STONES, MOLOTOV COCKTAILS. MALACANANG FORCES MEANTIME REMAINED AT PALACE AND NO POLICE OR ANY OTHER SECURITY ELEMENT ON SPOT TO CONTROL REMAINING DEMONSTRATORS. AT 9:50 MALACANANG APPARENTLY DECIDED DEMONSTRATORS HAD TO BE DISPERSED. METROCOM ANNOUNCED PERMIT CANCELLED AND 400 RIOT POLICE JUST ARRIVING ON SCENE CHARGED. POLICE CHARGE DEGENERATED INTO VIOLENT BEATING AND ARREST OF DEMONSTRATORS . WHICH FURTHER INFLAMED DEMONSTRATORS AND SUCCEEDED IN MOVING THEM ONLY SLIGHT DISTANCE AWAY. MILITARY UNITS THEN TOOK OVER AND EVENTUALLY SUCCEEDED IN ROOTING OUT DEMONSTRATORS BY EARLY MORNING. MILITARY UNITS REPEATEDLY FIRED IN AIR TO DISPERSE DEMONSTRATORS: ALLEGEDLY SOME DEMONSTRATORS RETURNED FIRE. IN PROCESS BULK OF INJURIES AND FATALITIES INFLICTED. BEFORE CLEAN UP ACCOMPLISHED, DEMONSTRATORS HAD RETREATED FAR INTO CITY, INDULGING IN VANDALISM, ARSON AND BEATINGS.

4. CITY TODAY IS SUBDUED BUT UNEASY. OTHER PROVINCES REPORT CONSIDERABLE APPREHENSION.

5. SO FAR, PRESIDENT HAS MOVED  DELIBERATELY AND SOBERLY. HE HAS AVOIDED GENERALIZED CONDEMNATION OF DEMONSTRATORS AND HA CONFIEND CHARGES OF VIOLENCE TO SUBVERSIVE ELEMENTS. COUNCIL OF STATE HAS BEEN MEETING SINCE 9:00 A.M. TO ASSESS SITUATION AND RECOMMEND ACTION. PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO ADDRESS NATION THIS AFTERNOON ABOUT 4:00 P.M.

6. FROM INITIAL REPORTS IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IT WAS THE KM AND NOT THE CAUTIOUS NUSP OR MORE OUTSPOKEN UP WHICH PRECIPITATED AND PARTICIPATED IN VIOLENCE. ALTHOUGH ALL ELEMENTS JOINED IN CONDEMNING POLICE VIOLENCE 30 JANUARY, NUSP MADE STRENOUS EFFORTS NOT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH KM AND UP LEADERS APPARENTLY FOLLOWED SAME COURSE. SUBSEQUENT DEATH OF STUDENTS AND REPORTED DECISION TO HOLD COMMEMORATIVE RALLY MAY REJOIN ALL STUDENT ELEMENTS. BUT SEPARATE TENDENCIES ARE PRONOUNCED. MPKP, FOR EXAMPLE YESTERDAY, REPUDIATED CONSTITUTIOAL CONVENTION GOALS OF NUSP AND CALLED FOR “PEOPLE’S POWER.” NUSP, ON OTHER HAND, WAS ACTUALLY NEGOTIATING WITH PRESIDENT IN PALACE ON CONVENTION AND ALLEGEDLY RECEIVED HIS ASSURANCE AGAINST THIRD TERM WHEN KM ARRIVED OUTSIDE.

7. SUCCESS OF PRESIDENT IN PREVENTING UNITED STUDENT MOVEMENT AGAINST HIM ON ISSUE OF POLICE VIOLENCE WILL DEPEND ON  A) RESTRAINT IN DEALING WITH STUDENTS, B) PUBLIC RECOGNITION THAT STEPS MUST BE TAKEN TO CURB POLICE BRUTALITY, C) RESPONSE TO STUDENT AND PUBLIC CONCERN OVER CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. ABOVE ALL HE MUST TAKE SOME ACTION TO PROVE SERIOUSNESS OF HIS INTENT. IT IS IRONIC THAT AS A RESULT 26 JANUARY RALLY, COMELEC AND BOTH PARTIES HAD GONE ON RECORD AGAINST OFFICIAL PARTY PARTICIPATION IN CONVENTION AND PRESIDENT HAD REPORTEDLY PLEDGED AGAINST THIRD TERM AT MOMENT WHEN KM PRECIPITATED MOST VIOLENT RALLY IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY.

8. WILL REPORT ANY FURTHER SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT. BYROADE

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