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101

Wednesday, August 22nd 2018, 3:15am

The Manila Times, Monday, 25 October 1948

President of the Council of Ministers Cayetano Arellano joined other members of the Council and the Senate at the formal dedication and opening of the new Santo Thomas, Pampagna, factory of Del Monte Motor Works. The Del Monte firm has been established in cooperation with the International Harvester Company of the United States, and will assemble and market the latter’s motor trucks, tractors, and other agricultural machinery in the Philippine market.

102

Saturday, September 1st 2018, 8:52pm

Frigate Jolo, 1 dg 47 min North, 120 dg 7 min East, Tuesday, 26 October 1948

The Jolo, together with several other units of Patrol Escort Squadron Three, had been loitering off the northern exits to the Makassar Strait, charged with monitoring – or as some might say – spying on – the ongoing Dutch naval exercises further to the south. Only infrequently did they observe any of the Dutch vessels thus engaged but the ship’s dradis had made numerous distant contacts with the aircraft supporting the naval exercise; and they had intercepted many of the Dutch radio transmissions – only a few of which could be deciphered immediately – that would be a task for Station Cast in Cavite.

It was not a question of whether the Dutch were to be trusted or not. For the last several years the Dutch East Indies authorities and those of the Philippines had worked well together to suppress the piracy and smuggling endemic to the region, and the Dutch had given important aid in assuring the pacification of the Abu Sabaya rebellion. To the Southern Patrol Force their role seemed to place them far behind the Northern Fleet – that bulwark against Chinese aggression – or the Western Patrol Force for that matter. No, by showing that they too were competent in matching skills and wits with a formidable naval power, they could remind Manila that the southern seas were not a backwater.

103

Monday, September 10th 2018, 9:13pm

Philippine News and Events, November 1948

Manila, The Malacañan Palace, Wednesday, 3 November 1948

The regular meeting of the Council of Ministers had touched upon many subjects of domestic interest, yet when matters turned to foreign affairs, Carlos Rómulo broached some rather unexpected news.

“The consul-general in Batavia has cabled that Van Mook, governor-general of the East Indies, has announced his resignation, and The Hague has already announced his replacement.”

There were looks of surprise and, in the case of Minister of Finance Jaime Hernández, an audible gasp. President Arellano however remained focused on the matter.

“And who is to be the new governor-general?”

“Louis Joseph Maria Beel – a man with wide experience in Dutch domestic politics but without significant experience in the Indies. He has held both foreign and internal affairs portfolios in successive Dutch cabinets.”

“Is this development something of which we should be concerned?”

“Senor Presidente, perhaps yes, perhaps no. Van Mook has been more open in dealing with pro-independence factions in the Indies, though of course not advocating it outright. His departure suggests that his successor will perhaps take a firmer line, or, since he is without direct experience, will toe the line on policies as dictated by The Hague.”

De la Vega spoke up. “Do you believe this change will have an impact on our security arrangements in the southern provinces? Any unrest in the Dutch Indies could easily re-ignite our own problems.”

“There is no immediate indication of a major shift in policy; that is not to say that policies might change gradually. Certain elements in the Dutch Indies have always looked to us as an example of an independent nation that they might one day emulate. With Van Mook having encouraged them, they could become impatient with Beel.”

“And we should do nothing that might encourage such impatience.” Don Alfredo Montelibano was adamant on that point. “Sukarno and his ilk would want an independent East Indies so that they could detach our southern provinces and make them part of their Indonesia Raya. We cannot permit this.”

“Gentlemen, at this juncture we can only watch and wait, carefully. Carlos, please cable our ambassador in The Hague inquiring what change in policy, if any, the departure of Van Mook might hold in its wake.”

104

Monday, September 17th 2018, 6:42pm

The Bohol Chronicle, Wednesday, 10 November 1948

The escort tanker Albay is due to be launched today in the Puerto Princesa naval shipyard, where her construction will continue. The Albay is the last of the four Abra class oilers authorized under the current construction program, and there is presently no indication of future construction in the Palawan yard.

105

Monday, September 24th 2018, 8:15pm

Butuan Naval Shipyard, Saturday, 13 November 1948

Commander Trevor Stevens, US naval attaché, had been surprised when he received the invitation to visit the island of Mindanao and attend the launch ceremonies for the latest vessels of the Philippine Navy; admittedly, he had called at the Cavite yard several times, but by all reports the yard at Butuan was like a machine churning out vessels as if on an assembly line. And what he saw was not far from that image.

The yard itself was well laid out, with expansive basins flanking two large dry docks and no fewer than six slipways – nearly all of which were busy, either with ships under construction or being prepared for the laying of keels for the next vessel. The primary focus of the day was the launch of two escort destroyers – the Sevilla and Sebaste; he had been informed that their sisters Calatrava and Valladolid were being launched at Cavite, ships he had seen under construction about a month ago. Two other destroyers were nested at the fitting wharf – the Solano and Socorro – which his hosts informed him would be completed in early December.

What attracted his attention though was the less-well attended commissioning ceremonies for two of the Philippine Navy’s latest antisubmarine gunboats – the Centinela and Serviola. He had heard much about them but today would be his first opportunity to see one ‘in the flesh’. They appeared to be handy craft well suited to the waters of the Philippine archipelago – the reports he had read indicated that during the South China Sea conflict Chinese submarines had managed to play hob with Philippine inter-island shipping. The Philippine Navy, it seemed, was intent on rectifying that situation.

He would have much to include in his report to Washington.

106

Wednesday, October 3rd 2018, 10:01pm

The Philippine Herald, Monday, 15 November 1948

The light cruiser Sorsogon was laid down today at the Cavite naval shipyard, the last of the four Benguet class vessels authorized under the latest fleet law. She is expected to complete early in 1950. While such vessels will definitely strengthen the fighting ability of the fleet, we look forward to the promised new battlecruiser that is contained within the fleet law presently before the Senate.

107

Wednesday, October 10th 2018, 3:23pm

The Mindanao Post, Wednesday, 24 November 1948

Dateline Zamboanga – the escort tanker Apayao arrived here this morning to take up her assignment with the Southern Patrol Force. The Apayao recently completed her operational training and will commence underway-replenishment training exercises with elements of the Southern Patrol Force. The availability of tanker support is expected to greatly increase the time at sea of the Navy’s thinly-stretched assets in this region.

108

Tuesday, October 16th 2018, 12:07am

The Freeman (Cebu), Friday, 26 November 1948

The naval shipyard at Puerto Princesa is due to complete the escort tanker Aurora today, after which she will run trials and commence a period of operational training with the Western Patrol Force.

109

Friday, October 19th 2018, 1:36am

The Manila Times, Sunday, 28 November 1948

The escort destroyers Lamitan and Lucena have completed their post-commissioning operational training and have been assigned to the Northern Fleet. Their arrival is expected to prompt a reshuffle of assets between the Northern Fleet and the Western Patrol Force early next year.