Speech of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on the occasion of the oath-taking of Messrs. Gaudencio Garcia and Pastor M. Endencia as Judges, and Gregorio Narvasa and Arturo M. Tolentino as special prosecutors under Ordinance No. 7, Manila, March 9, 1944:

GENTLEMEN:

I have appointed you to these positions of great importance upon the recommendation of the Minister of State for Justice because we have great confidence not only in your experience and your ability but also in your honesty and in your willingness and determination to serve our people in these crucial days.

The administration of justice is especially important in connection with the restoration of peace and order. In order that the independence of the Philippines may be real it is necessary that justice be done and our laws enforced. The primordial problem of the country is its survival. The policy that I have announced is that no Filipino who is rich should endeavor to grow richer at the expense of the masses of our people and that the Filipino who is poor should not be reduced to further poverty. This is a service which you and the Minister m State for Justice of the Republic and I must carry into effect without fear, with the single purpose in mind of helping our people Jove the Philippines and making her independence real, if it is unreal.

In connection with the special reorganization, upon the recommendation of the Minister of State for Justice, who is one of the few men who is helping us in these crucial days, I am also authorized to reorganize the Bureau of Information into a Ministry of Information. That will depend upon his recommendation. If necessary it will be composed of 300 or 500 men who will go after those people who are aggravating the suffering of the masses. They will cooperate with you in prosecuting these people and see that in the performance of their duties the judges will deal with these people in accordance with the law and exigencies of the situation.

I think I voice the wish of the Minister of State for Justice in extending our heartfelt congratulations to you in the hope that you will not fail us in this great hour of our country’s history.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library