-Caveat Lector-

An excerpt from:
The Marcos Dynasty
Sterling Seagrave©1988
Harper & Row, Inc
ISBN 0-06-015815-8

... A rash of new explosions rocked Manila. President Marcos and his new
defense minister, his personal lawyer Juan Ponce Enrile, blamed
"subversives," and the Constabulary claimed it had obtained a copy of a
"blueprint for revolution" by the Communist party. However, American
intelligence officials observed that the bombings were actually the work of
the regime's paramilitary unit, "the Monkees."

Ferdinand soon proved that when his enemies closed in on him he was a close
student of Lyndon Johnson's Tonkin Gulf maneuver. That summer of 1972, the
fishing trawler M/V Karagatan went aground off the northeast coast of Luzon
and was boarded by the military, who reported to headquarters that they found
nothing suspicious, only some food supplies. The crew had vanished. Ferdinand
made a great issue over the Karagatan, claiming it was running guns to the
Communists. He sent troops to scour the jungles, and planes to strafe
deserted hilltops. According to Malacanang, the trawler had aboard 3,500 M-15
rifles, 30 rocket launchers, and 160,000 rounds of ammunition—completely
contradicting the original military report. The palace claimed that the boat
was a "foreign vessel," which had sailed from Japan on its sinister mission.
A guerrilla force known as the New People's Army (NPA), modeled on Maoist
dogma, was operating in the countryside. The palace initially had said the
NPA consisted of only one hundred men. A few days after the Karagatan flap
began, the Constabulary inflated the number ten times to get two hundred NPA
regulars and eight hundred part-time guerrillas.

Journalists confirmed that the gunrunning shipment was a sham. The real owner
of the trawler was the Karagatan Fishing Corporation, with offices in Manila.
Before running aground, the trawler had stopped at ports in Ilocos Sur,
Ilocos Norte, and Fuga Island-the smuggling haven where the Marcoses
frequently vacationed-and apparently had been engaged in nothing more
sinister than cigarette smuggling for an Ilocano syndicate.

Senator Aquino disclosed that President Marcos had secretly purchased three
thousand guns from Eastern Europe with the apparent intention of planting
them where they could be discovered by the Constabulary as NPA "caches."

The NPA was hardly a serious threat. In a nation of 50 million people, even a
thousand full-time guerrillas, backed by ten thousand part-time supporters,
were scarcely a grave danger. In secret intelligence reports, the CIA
concluded year after year that the NPA was not a formidable threat and had
received little, if any, foreign assistance.

But if Ferdinand needed a Communist menace, he could manufacture it. Martial
law was on its way. To foment hysteria, Ferdinand was telling people that the
defense establishment needed more authority to meet the "imminent danger" of
Communist subversion. On September 13, 1972, Senator Aquino revealed that
President Marcos had prepared Plan Sagittarius to put Greater Manila and most
of central Luzon under military control. The palace denounced Aquino's
account as sheer fabrication.

Ferdinand was meeting regularly with twelve top military advisers (eventually
known as the "Rolex 12" because he gave each of them a gold Rolex
wristwatch). There were two civilians in the group: Defense Minister Enrile
and Tarlac governor Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. This Cojuangco was continually at
war with the rest of his clan and despised his cousin Cory's husband, Senator
Aquino. He was temporarily in uniform as a colonel in a special unit of the
Constabulary reported to be directing the bomb attacks of the paramilitary
Monkees. The regular military men among the "Rolex 12" were chief-of-staff
General Romeo Espino, General Rafael Zagala, and General Ignacio Paz, all
army; General Fidel Ramos, General Tomas Diaz, and Colonel Romeo Gatan of the
Constabulary; General Jose Rancudo -of the air force, Admiral Hilario Ruiz of
the navy, General Fabian Ver of NISA, and General Alfredo Montoya of METROCOM.

What really alarmed Ferdinand was information that his harshest critic,
Senator Aquino, had met secretly with NPA leader Jose Maria Sison, alias
Amado Guerrero, or at least with one of Sison's top lieutenants, Julius
Fortuna. The meeting was by all accounts inconclusive and harmless, but the
very fact that it had happened provided Ferdinand an excuse to charge that
the opposition was considering an alliance with Communists. Although he did
not accuse Aquino of treason, Ferdinand did accuse him of consorting with
enemies of the state. (During the same period, Imelda was conferring with
both Chinese and Russian politburos, without authorization of the Philippine
legislature.) The same day, September 17, Ferdinand signed a martial law
decree. He waited a few days to issue it because, as he later put it, "I
wanted time to commune with God and await His signal."

The U.S. government knew martial law was going to be declared in the
Philippines long before it happened, and that Marcos was creating a false
crisis in order to void the constitution and seize dictatorial power.
President Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Ambassador Byroade all gave their
explicit approval. Ferdinand held a number of meetings with U.S. Embassy
officials, and saw Ambassador Byroade for two hours. He then telephoned the
White House, and President Nixon gave "his personal blessing." Primitivo
Mijares revealed as early as 1976 that he was told by Imelda Marcos Ferdinand
made an overseas call to President Nixon a few days before he declared
martial law; Imelda said Nixon told Marcos to "go ahead with his plans."
Mijares said Byroade and Kissinger actually had copies of the full martial
law declaration days before it was promulgated. In his conversations with
Nixon and Byroade, Ferdinand apparently agreed that in return for America's
support, he would not let anything interfere with U.S. investments. Mijares
made these revelations at a time when attacking Ferdinand Marcos was not
fashionable in America, and they were soon forgotten.

Apparently one of the conditions for U.S. support was that Ferdinand had to
give prominent leaders of the opposition a chance to leave the country first.
A messenger from Malacanang went to each of them on September 18. While
Senator Aquino felt it necessary to remain behind, other politicians took the
tip and left Manila hurriedly. Sergio Osmena, Jr., went to America, as did
Eugenio Lopez, brother of the vice president. Raul Manglapus suddenly
departed for a U.S. "speaking tour" on September 21.

The following day, bombs exploded in Quezon City Hall where the
Constitutional Convention was still meeting. Somebody blew up a police car
while the policemen were off having lunch. Bombs exploded in department
stores, city halls, and schools, at night when the buildings were empty. It
was like Chinese New Year with loud fireworks and paper dragons. There was a
rash of kidnappings of the families of wealthy Chinese, including the wife
and son of Antonio Roxas-Chua. The victims were released after large ransoms
were paid. The kidnappings, like the bombings, were blamed on subversives and
the New People's Army. However there were no arrests and there was no flurry
of activity on the part of the police or the Defense Ministry. There seemed
to be a deliberate campaign to spread hysteria and to prime the population
for drastic government action to restore public order.

On Friday night, "Communist terrorists" swooped down on the two-car convoy of
Defense Minister Enrile, riddled one car with thirty rounds, and sped away.
Enrile was riding in the escort car and escaped without a scratch, as did
everyone else in his party. (Enrile later admitted that the ambush was
staged.) Ferdinand announced that this "Communist" attack on his defense
minister was the last straw. At 9:00 P.m. he issued an executive order
implementing martial law for the first time in Philippine history:

WHEREAS, the rebellion and armed action undertaken by these lawless elements
of the communist and other armed aggrupations organized to overthrow the
Republic of the Philippines by armed violence and force have assumed the
magnitude of an actual state of war against our people and the Republic of
the Philippines;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines ... do
hereby place the entire Philippines ... under martial law and, in my capacity
as their commander-in-chief, do hereby command the armed forces of the
Philippines, to maintain law and order ... prevent or suppress all forms of
lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to
enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations
promulgated by me personally or upon my direction.

In pre-dawn raids, government troops seized control of all communications and
public utilities, closed schools, and arrested more than forty opposition
politicians and newsmen charged with plotting to overthrow the government by
violence and subversion.

The military arrested members of Congress, governors, student and labor
activists, and rounded up miscellaneous criminals. Some thirty thousand
people were put in concentration camps. Among the first to be arrested were
Senator Aquino and Senator Jose Diokno.

Newspapers and broadcast facilities were taken over and later transferred to
Marcos cronies. One television network and one newspaper, the Daily Express
(both owned by crony Roberto Benedicto with Imelda's cousin Enrique
Romualdez), and the government radio station resumed operations after the

Few Filipinos were distressed by these arrests and takeovers. Under Marcos,
the legislature had lost whatever effectiveness it had and became only a
rubber stamp. So when Congress was abolished and many of its members were
arrested, Filipinos shrugged and were ready to give Ferdinand and his
"technocrats" a chance to show what they could do.

Media control was essential to promote two myths: That crime had
 been eliminated, and that there was no longer any such thing as corruption.
After the coup, crime stories were rarely reported. The public awareness of
crime went down sharply and Ferdinand was credited by many, including
American businessmen, with instituting law and order. It became illegal to
wear a sidearm on the street in Manila unless you were an official. Spreading
rumors became subversive, and punishable by death. At the end of November
1972, Ferdinand claimed that the Communist menace had been eradicated. A lot
of people were impressed.

 The first fatality of martial law was General Marcos Soliman, the
U.S.-trained chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. General
Soliman had leaked the martial law plans too far in advance to the CIA and to
Senator Aquino. Within a week of the coup the palace announced that he had
died of a heart attack. His family said he was shot by Marcos agents.

pp. 242-246

 So the appearance of Mijares before the subcommittee caused a sensation.

Let me trace the origin and pattern of this new tyranny in Asia," he told the
panel in his opening remarks. "On Sept. 21, 1935, as established 'beyond
reasonable doubt' by a Philippine court, a young manan expert rifle marksman
by his own account—felled dead with a single rifle shot a reelected
congressmen." The man was Marcos, and he

.. .continues to entrench himself in the presidential palace in a bid to
reign for life and establish an imperial dynasty....

... the reasons used by Marcos in imposing martial law were deliberately
manufactured.... With a series of deliberately contrived crises ... Marcos
made the people lapse into a state of paralysis.... Then he wove a labored
tale of national horror which he eventually enshrined as gospel truth in the
martial law proclamation.... Marcos plotted to place his country under
martial law as early as 1966, having decided then that he would win a
reelection in 1969 "at all cost."

... Having proclaimed martial law, he proceeded to bribe, coerce and/or
intimidate the Constitutional Convention members into drafting a new charter
dictated by him....

A dictatorial regime as it is, the martial government of Marcos has become
all the more oppressive and corrupt in view of the meddling of his wife who
has turned the martial regime into a conjugal dictatorship.

Aside from plundering an entire nation, the conjugal dictatorship is likewise
misappropriating the various items of U.S. assistance (military, economic,
cultural, etc.) to the Philippines to entrench itself in power and for
personal glorification.

... Filipinos desirous of overthrowing the dictatorial yoke of Marcos are
stymied by the ... support the State Department has shown for the martial

After testifying, Mijares filed a formal request with the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS) for political asylum. Immigration referred
the matter to Secretary of State Kissinger. Kissinger sent a carefully worded
confidential telex to the U.S. Embassy in Manila:

Department plans to reply to INS that it is possible that Mijares
denouncement of the government of the Philippines might cause him problems if
he returns to that country, although we are unable to determine whether these
problems could be classified as persecution [my italics]. ... We assume INS
will then issue Mijares voluntary departure status and refer case back to
department at a later date.... Department does not intend to discuss Mijares
case with Philippine government and embassy should also avoid issue.

Ferdinand then doubled his bribe, offering Mijares through Alconcel $100,000
to recant his testimony and retire to Australia. To prove to journalists that
the bribe offers were genuine, Mijares called Guillermo de Vega at Malacanang
Palace while a California lawyer listened in.

De Vega verified the $100,000 bribe. Mijares asked whether Marcos would go as
high as $250,000. The sum would have to be approved by Marcos personally, de
Vega said.

This was enough to justify an official U.S. justice Department investigation
that President Marcos had tried to bribe a congressional witness. But before
anything further could come of it, de Vega was mysteriously murdered inside
Malacanang Palace. A gunman identified as Paulino Arceo was said to have
entered the palace with a Smith & Wesson revolver in a mailing envelope,
along with a bottle of champagne. An hour later, de Vega's body was found in
his private toilet with five bullet wounds. The revolver was in the anteroom.
Arceo was arrested as he tried to leave, and was charged with murder. A
part-time journalist and entertainment promoter, Arceo was well enough known
to palace guards to be allowed on the grounds without having his parcel
inspected. Ferdinand was extremely reticent about the killing. Curiously,
Arceo refused to talk to anyone except General Ver, implying that he had
justification for his act that was too secret to share with anyone less than
Ver. The implication was that he had been hired for the job by someone high
in the regime-suspicion fixing on Imelda or Kokoy. Arceo was sentenced to
death by a firing squad, but the execution was never carried out.

The publication of Mijares's book Conjugal Dictatorship on April 27, 1976,
aroused a firestorm of outrage at Malacanang—Mijares raked up just enough of
the Dovie Beams affair, torture by Ver's thugs, and the faking of the Marcos
war record to cause acute embarrassment. But Conjugal Dictatorship was
systematically plundered from every book store and public institution in the
United States, including the Library of Congress. Eight months after his book
vanished, Mijares himself disappeared.

The last anyone heard from him was a cryptic letter, postmarked Honolulu. He
wrote to columnists Jack Anderson and Les Whitten that he was about to take
off on "a daring sortie to the Philippines.... For security reasons," he
cautioned, "I would request you not to breathe a word of this daring trip to
anyone until I can call you by phone. Or ... I'll send you proof from Manila,
a letter with this." He drew a star With a circle around it. "Wish me luck,"
he added.

Mijares phoned his wife, Manila judge Priscilla Mijares, saying he was taking
a Pan American flight to Guam. According to subsequent investigations,
Mijares left in the company of Querube Makalintal, a Marcos intelligence
officer posing as a revenue attache at the Philippine Consulate in San
Francisco. Fabian Ver also was in San Francisco, had been in touch with
Mijares, and was seen boarding the same Pan Am flight to Guam.

When her husband vanished, judge Mijares began her own investigation. She
determined that Ver and her husband flew to Guam, then boarded a Philippine
Air Lines flight to Manila. Mijares and Makalintal joined Ver in the
first-class section of the plane, she said. It was only after the flight
landed at Manila International Airport that her husband disappeared. She said
NISA agents took Mijares to Ver's headquarters at Fort Bonifacio, where he
was put in a dungeon where political detainees were kept for long periods. A
jailer she knew told her that he saw her husband there.

On May 30, 1977, their sixteen-year-old son Luis "Boyet" Mijares told his
mother that he had received a phone call saying his father was alive and
inviting the boy to come see him. He insisted on going. The boy's body was
later found dumped outside Manila, his eyeballs protruding, his chest
perforated with multiple stab wounds, his head bashed in, and his hands,
feet, and genitals mangled. The mutilation of the body was typical of
incidents where, to extract information from an uncooperative prisoner, one
member of a family was grotesquely tortured in front of another. However, two
university students were conveniently charged with this murder.

The U.S. justice Department quietly closed its investigation of the Mijares
case a year later, in August 1978. justice said its investigation had
confirmed that Mijares had a past history of bouncing checks and
misappropriating funds, which "seriously undermined Mijares' usefulness as a
key witness." They did not explain how this damaged his credibility when, in
its campaign against U.S. organized crime during the same period, the justice
Department was taking great pains to record the testimony of longtime Mafia
hitman Jimmy "the Weasel" Fratiano.

In 1980, Steve Psinakis arranged to have a conversation with Imelda Marcos in
New York and brought up the Mijares case.

"And speaking of killings "I said Psinakis, "tell me, Mrs. Marcos, has
Mijares been killed?"

"How should I know?" said Imelda. "Mijares had more enemies than you can
possibly imagine. He was the lowest kind of snake that ever lived." She used
the past tense throughout. "Tibo was a thief, a compulsive gambler and a
loser, and worst of all, a cheap extortionist. He was not a newspaperman; he
was a blackmailer."

"If you knew all this about Mijares," Psinakis said, "why did your husband
make him his top media man as well as the official censor of the martial law
regime?" Imelda changed the subject.

Aloha, He'Ping,
Om, Shalom, Salaam.
Em Hotep, Peace Be,
Omnia Bona Bonis,
All My Relations.
Adieu, Adios, Aloha.
Roads End

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