By JOAQUIN M. ELIZALDE, Philippine Resident Commissioner to the U.S.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 1942 (UP) - Manila has fallen. This may be a disappointing development for the people of my country.
But we do not regard the full of Manila as the end of our war. As far as the Filipinos are concerned, we will continue to fight for our native soil, foot by foot, on whatever fronts are necessary. We have many islands and our determination not to yield is without limit.
On the contrary, this sad blow will increase the resistance from all sides. General MacArthur's masterful maneuver in uniting the defending forces north of Manila will force the Japanese to fight where their temporary command of the air will mean very little, and where tanks and modern mechanized equipment which have given them the initial advantage, will have minimum effectiveness.
The Japanese will have to fight against Guerilla warfare in thick jungle forests and in treacherous mountains. I know that the Filipino soldier will more than hold his own under these conditions.
There will be waged a dilatory struggle in which the American and Filipino flags will fly at all the highest points of the Philippine islands.
Military and naval experts consider Corregidor one of the mightiest fortresses in the world. We feel that Corregidor will continue to be the spearhead of our resistance.
I consider the loss of the major portion of Luzon to have very serious strategic implications which we must face without flinching. It will make the China sea relatively safe for Japanese lines of communication to all points south, particularly to Indo-China and Siam. It will protect the Japanese rear for their attack on Burma.
It cannot help but hamper China whose means of contact with the western world will be made immeasurably more difficult.
It will provide Japan with many essential war materials which they need so badly...iron ore, manganese, chrome, and last but not least hemp, of which the Philippines has a world monopoly. This latter precious product has a tremendous importance from a war standpoint.
We can anticipate complete and indiscriminate looting of our country, as has happened to other unfortunate peoples overrun by the Axis.
But knowing my countrymen, I can say without hesitation that the spirit of national pride and solidarity which has prevailed for generations in our fierce love for native land will only strengthen our resolve to rid the land of these invaders.
There exists today a complete and invisible unity among our people, and between our people and America, based on our full gratitude to the United States for granting to us, in spite of American sovereignty, all the rights and freedoms which are accorded to the citizens of the United States.
This feeling, which reaches deep into our hearts, will double our strength and our power to resist, and will make possible, soon, I hope, the avenging of this unprovoked assault.
Our beloved President Quezon, just two days ago, made a public declaration that "at the present time we have but one task - to fight with America for America and the Philippines. To this task we shall devote all our resources in men and materials. ...We are fighting for human liberty and justice."
President Roosevelt has pledged to the Philippines that "their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected."
We are grateful for that pledge.
President Quezon has been able to unify his country in times of peace by his inspired and incomparable leadership. Today our faith in his counsels and in his determination to victory is complete and explicit. Our unity will be enfold stronger behind him in these terrible times of stress and adversity.
I am sure that the American people will not underestimate the importance of this leadership, and will recognize our continuing and undying participation in this struggle.
No matter what the immediate military outcome may be, let no one forget that Filipinos are now and forever full partners in this struggle against the forces of evil.
(Joaquin M. Elizalde is Philippine Resident Commissioner to the United States. This piece was written exclusively for the United Press).