Message of President Quezon on his liberation efforts, May 8, 1942

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His Excellency Manuel L. Quezon
President of the Philippines
On his liberation efforts

[Shortwave to the Philippine Islands, May 8, 1942]

I speak to my fellow countrymen in the Philippines.

I speak to you, my people, as your servant—the one elected by you to work for you in the capacity of Chief Executive.

And it is as your servant—your chosen representative—that I am on my way to confer with the President of the United States. President Roosevelt is determined that the armed forces of the United States shall return in triumph to the Philippines—shall drive out the Japanese oppressor—shall fulfill the United States pledge of independence for the Philippines. I shall discuss with Mr. Roosevelt the means by which this goal can most speedily be accomplished. I, and your other representatives who have accompanied me, shall work every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, for the liberation of you, my people.

I have recently departed from the headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur in Australia. General MacArthur, like President Roosevelt and like myself, is pledged to the proposition that the Japanese must and shall be driven out of the Philippines. General MacArthur will not fail. He will keep his promise to return. Already, we see great military and naval strengthening of the United Nations forces in the Pacific war theater. We see shattering blows being struck at the Japanese war forces. These blows are but the beginning.

I know that you in our homeland are now saddened. Saddened by the fact that our beautiful Capital, Manila, is in Japanese hands. Saddened that our heroic Filipino and American soldiers were, after perhaps the most gallant military stand in history, overcome by exhaustion and sheer weight of numbers. Saddened that the glorious resistance on Corregidor has inevitably ended.

I share your sadness—more deeply, perhaps, than you can realize.

But our emotion of grief is transcended by determination and confidence. I know that you will keep that determination burning in your breaths. It is an undying determination that, though the Japanese invader may for a brief moment conquer—to some extent—your lands and your bodies, your minds and your souls remain unconquered, unbroken. Your minds and souls remain free. And behind this spirit, there lives in all of us a confidence that the day of liberation is surely coming. The great and free peoples of the United Nations will not permit you to remain in bondage. Led by their noble statesmen and generals, they will rescue the Philippines. They will break the Japanese yoke which now oppresses you.

Stand firm. Hold to your faith. The forces of freedom are on the march. The day approaches when you shall joyously welcome them to our shores.

Today, shortly after my arrival in San Francisco, I talked with about 20 newspapermen, representing the newspapers of San Francisco and the great American press services which provide news to all the newspapers of the United States. From their questions and from their remarks it was very evident that these representative Americans have the keenest and most undying interest and concern in the Philippines and in the Filipino people. It was inspiring to me to sense the great and inconquerable resolve of America’s 130 million people—their resolve that the Philippines shall be redeemed.

I made this statement to the American press. This is what I said:

“I repeat now a statement which I have made many times before—that the Philippine Commonwealth will stand by the United States to the end.”

Let me add to this assertion now the conviction that the United States, as its great and distinguished President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has pledged, will not only stand beside us in our terrible plight of ordeal, but will dedicate its total might to the redemption of our homeland and to the dawn of a new day of freedom, dignity, and strength.

The enemy has listed me as dead. Hearing my voice, as you do at this moment, is, of course, proof sufficient to you that I am very much alive, and that this was merely one more of the flagrant falsehoods of our common foe. Not only that. I am feeling in much better health. I am here to work for you in concert with the leaders of our most cherished sister republic-the United States of America. We shall work together until the final day of liberation for all our peoples. God grant that this day shall dawn soon.

Source: Quezon Family Collections

Quezon, M. L. (1942). Talk of President Manuel L. Quezon, May 8, 1942; Shortwave to the Philippine Islands. Quezon Family Collections. The MacArthur Memorial Archives and Library, Norfolk, VA.