23 September. The Democratic Alliance, a post-war people’s political party, stages a large rally in Manila against collaborators in the government, as well as demanding various reforms and the release of Luis Taruc, the Huk leader. Peasants, labourers and others, including Huks and some communists, attend the rally. They march on to the Presidential Palace to press their demands.
28 September. With the failure of President Osmeña’s attempt to create a dialogue between landlords and peasants, the political situation worsens. In the following month, Central Luzon will be the site of political flare-ups as the newly formed Democratic Alliance tries to organize meetings among peasants. Government forces in armoured cars represent the interests of the landlords and keep a close watch. Permits to rally are denied and arrests made. American military policemen assist the Filipino MPs, thus showing U.S. support for the existing social order. Pro-government publicists allege a communist plot to overthrow the government.
26 October. President Truman issues directives that outline U.S. policy in the Philippines. One of these specifically requires the Philippine government to remove collaborators from government and punish them. Meanwhile, President Osmeña, seeking American assurances of rehabilitation assistance, relief and military support, plans a new trip to Washington in November, the third time he will have been to the U.S. in 1945.
3 October. The first case is filed in the People’s Court:People of the Philippines vs Teofilo Sison. Sison served as a member of the Laurel administration’s cabinet and was appointed Inspector-General of Martial Law in September 1944. He is charged with forced labour recruitment, anti-American speeches and the implementation of martial law. The trial will end with a guilty verdict in March 1946. Sison is the only high-level government official who will be found guilty; all others will be either acquitted or freed in a general amnesty.
8 October. At the direction of General MacArthur, now Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan but previously commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines, the first of several high-profile trials is initiated of Japanese military officials for wartime atrocities in the Philippines. Indicted is the former commander of Japanese forces in the Philippines, General Yamashita Tomoyuki, called the ‘Tiger of Malaya’ for his role in the fall of Singapore. A U.S. Army commission is established to try Yamashita as a war criminal on the basis of his command responsibility for the Rape of Manila. Yamashita was 80 km from the city at the time, and his lines of communication had been disrupted by American military action. He is nonetheless found guilty for having failed to prevent the massacres and atrocities. Yamashita will be executed in February 1946 and controversially becomes one of the convicted war criminals sanctified at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine.
25 September. The People’s Court bill to handle cases against collaborationists is signed into law by President Osmeña. The law hampers the prosecution by imposing strict rules of evidence and places a six-month limitation to file all cases.
2 October. The Philippine Congress is poised to pass a government budget that includes back pay to its members from the time they were elected (November 1941), even though they did not serve during the war years. The public is disgusted with the selfish act. On the same day, D.L. Ballantyne of Chase Bank arrives in Manila as Special Bank Advisor to President Osmeña. He establishes a devaluation schedule for the Japanese occupation notes widely known as ‘Mickey Mouse’ money.
On 13 November 1945, 100 tumultuous days had passed since the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. One thousand days later, on 9 August 1948, the forces that had been set in train by Japan’s defeat and surrender continued to shape the face of Asia.
The Philippines had received its independence amicably from the United States in 1946, albeit at the cost of permitting American bases to remain in the country and of giving American citizens economic rights comparable to those of Filipinos. The new President Manuel Roxas addressed the independence celebrations with the words … (to continue reading Cribb and Li’s aftermath, click the link below)