New Year message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, over Station PIAM, Manila, December 31, 1943.


The Filipino people welcome the new year 1944. Our Republic is but on its third month of life and many large problems still await to be squarely faced. But under the aegis of the sublime and unchallengeable philosophy of the Greater East Asia Joint Declaration, we are confident that there is no problem, however big or complicated, that we cannot with united efforts and unselfish dedication victoriously resolve. We are rapidly approaching a state of total mobilization for the defense of our means of livelihood, of the integrity of our racial traditions, and of our rightful place in the family of nations.

We have tackled boldly, with utmost sincerity of purpose, our urgent vital problems. In the period of a little more than two months since the establishment of the Republic, we have virtually completed the organization of the new government, including the inauguration of the Foreign Office. Further efforts, designed to streamline the organization for maximum efficiency and economy, are now in progress. The Government, shortly after entering upon its rights and prerogatives, issued a general amnesty to all political offenders in the conviction that, since the national ideal has already been realized, there need remain no distinction whatsoever among Filipinos of all classes and political persuasions. All are brothers by race, by nationality, by the Flag that they honor and love, by the ideals that move their beings.

By systematic campaign of enlightenment as well as by well-considered acts, the Government has sought to bring to the fore the strong sense of brotherhood inherent in the citizenry of a civilized nation; for it is upon such brotherhood that our salvation, not only in our own country but in our region of the globe, will ultimately lie. The response of thousands of our brothers who were in the mountains, but who have since availed themselves of the amnesty proclamation and have returned to the bosoms of their families strengthened indeed our faith in the indestructible solidarity of the Filipinos. Guided by the same faith and by its unflagging interest in the lot of the poor and disinherited and the victims of disaster, the Government has given the maximum it can afford—more than four-million pesos—for public relief and rehabilitation. This relief is being administered in a manner that is expected to benefit the greatest number possible.

All our hopes and national goal, the very destiny of the Filipino people, rest upon a healthy and strong nation that is free to grow and sure to survive. There is nothing that the Government of the Republic will not do in order to assure health, growth and survival. There have been times in our long and eventful history when a part of the population has been sacrificed for the sake of our ideals and the integrity of our race; there would be no need to hesitate therefore, in an extreme case, to make a similar sacrifice for the sake of national survival.

For Greater East Asia, as for the rest of this embattled world, 1944 may well be the year of Destiny. The war for moral justice and equality among all races and for reasonable economic opportunity, which is the Greater East Asia War, entered on its third year on December 9th, last, swinging mightily toward an inevitable climax. 1944 may be a year of maximum exertions, of tremendous events, and supreme decisions. We face it calmly, in the highest of morale, with firm faith that the Battle for Justice will go to the righteous and the pure in heart.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library