Statement of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, expressing his gratitude to guerrilleros and other political offenders who have availed themselves of the General Amnesty Proclamation. January 29, 1944:

I am deeply touched, by your decision to return to the ways of peace and cooperation. We Filipinos constitute one big family and it is not being just to ourselves to continue in division and strife and thus obstruct the process of normal reconstruction towards a better and happier borne for all of us. I have appealed to you and you have responded in the same spirit of conciliation and brotherhood. This is tremendous encouragement to me as the duly constituted head of the Filipino people in the present emergency.

I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great step that you have taken. It lightens so much the more the burden of pursuing the common task of building a new nation that is worthy of our affection and undying loyalty. With you I am happy to share the privilege of carrying on with this great responsibility. I am confident, now that you have pledged yourselves to a life of peace and cooperation, that you will do your very best cheerfully and courageously to assume the obligations that will be yours in strengthening our solidarity as a people, observing the most faithful discipline in so far as it will enhance the common welfare.

We are come upon a new order for us and for the world. This order is based on the principle of the primacy of the collective good over the purely individual interest. This principle is an affirmation of the fact that our individual happiness must find integration in the happiness of the community as a whole, that this happiness achieves increasing measure according as it contributes to the well-being of the community, and that this happiness may require the sacrifice of our individual interest to achieve the success of the group. With this principle in our mind and in our heart we are ready to join hands with all the rest of our countrymen to create this new order which it shall be our privilege and distinction to hand on to our children. With this principle integrated into our very being, we shall find happiness and fulfillment in the very discipline and sacrifice that will be expected of all of us as true citizens of the republic and of a new world order consecrated to moral justice. We shall be laying the firm foundation of a republic that we can reasonably expect to remain enduring, a noble monument to the highest creative genius of our race.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library