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January 6, 2018

Petition for Recognition of Remaining Members of Nasugbu FAIT

The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a guerrilla organization founded in 1942 by the retired American Colonel Hugh Straughn, who would unfortunately be captured and executed by the Japanese. The FAIT had many units operating in Batangas, including Nasugbu, where its 1st Regiment would be attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army after the Nasugbu Landing of 31 January 1945. In this undated document1 officers of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops appealed to the United States Army for the recognition of heretofore unrecognized members of the Nasugbu-FAIT.

[p. 1]

NASUGBU FIL-AMERICANS
GUERRILLA HEADQUARTERS
Nasugbu, Batangas

SUBJECT

TO
: Petition for Reconsideration of Recognition of Remaining Members, Nasugbu Fil-American Guerrillas.

: GHQ, AFPAC
   Thru the U.T.G.
1. In behalf of the remaining 2,500 members, more or less, of the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas who were recently denied recognition by the U.S. Army, permit me to state the following pertinent facts in reiteration of our request for recognition, to wit:

The Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas had been actually maintained in the field in opposition to the Japanese during their occupation of the Philippines, and its activities during that period and in the liberation have contributed materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy. As soon as the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrilla organization was organized, and we felt that we had sufficient arms and ammunition to resist any possible attack that the Japanese might launch against us in case they would discover our anti-Japanese activities, the organization started underground operations. The following results were achieved as a consequence of our daring efforts to harass the common enemy, to wit:

a. Sixty (60) Japanese soldiers were killed in Papaya Beach by the “C” Company, under Capt. Ambrosio Liwanag, alias “Busio,” during the early part of 1943;
b. Three (3) Japanese soldiers were killed in the barrios of Munting Buhangin and Natipuan by the “A” Company in the middle part of the same year;
c. Two (2) maps of military value were seized from Wawa, Japanese Garrison by Company “A,” under Capt. Tomas Fernandez and delivered to General Lim in Mindoro during the latter part of 1943;
d. Three (3) Japanese rifles were seized at Wawa Garrison by Company “A” under Capt. Tomas Fernandez during the latter part of 1943;
e. Sabotage work in 1944:
1. Three to four railroad tracks from the Poblacion of Nasugbu to the Barrio of Looc, which was one of the best hideouts of our guerrillas, were destroyed to prevent the Japs from frequenting the barrio;
2. Two (2) bridges were demolished and destroyed;
3. Two (2) locomotives were dismantled and rendered out of commission;
All of the above sabotage achievements were done by Capt. Nome Serrano and his men during the latter part of 1944 just before the landing of the American forces in Nasugbu.



[p. 2]

f. Communication lines were cut from the Sugar Central at Lumbangan, Nasugbu, Batangas to Palico by Capt. Fabian Lopez and his men (Company I) in the latter part of 1944 before the landing in Nasugbu;
g. Captains Rudy and Higa, MP of the Japanese Army and operatives of Fort Santiago, were killed by four men under the command of Lt. E. Banyon, in December, 1944, as evidence of the fact that the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas had been maintained in the field in opposition to the enemy during the enemy occupation, the following CP’’s and evacuation centers were constructed in the early part of 1943:
1. Regimental CP in Natipuan, composed of five buildings used for office, hospital, quarters and kitchen;
2. Battalion CP in Utod, one of the big buildings 6m. x 15m.;
3. Battalion CP in Balaytigue, composed of three buildings, for office, hospital and quarters;
4. Evacuation center for the civilian population in Alasas, composed of 8 buildings 8m. x 20m. completed and five were under construction at the time of the landing in Nasugbu;
h. Intelligence reports such as maps, enemy positions and troop movements were furnished General MacArthur in Leyte and Mindoro, thru Major Jay D. Vanderpool and Terry Magtanggol or the ROTC guerrillas at the latter’s CP in Cutad. Some of these reports were the enemy’s positions at Wawa Point, San Diego Point, Talamitan, Bayabasan, and Caylaway. The approximate distance of these positions from the municipal building of Nasugbu are as follows: Wawa Point, one kilometer; San Diego Point, four kilometers; Sugar Centeral, 5 kilometers; and Talamitan, 9 kilometers. The approximate number of Japanese soldiers in these places at the same time were: Wawa Point, 70; San Diego Point, 40; Sugar Central Garrison, 20; Talamitan, 150; and Bayabasan and Caylaway, 1,500 soldiers;
i. Before the landing in November, 1944, the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas saved and rescued three American fliers, namely: Lt. William Rising, V-E, U.S.N.; Lt. William E. Miller, V-E, U.S.N.; and Lt. John W. Montgomery, A.R.M., j/c VB-15 U.S.N. The said fliers were brought safely to Mindoro on Dec. 5, 1944 by Domingo Baquilan by men of our organizaiton;
j. Before the landing in Nasugbu, our organization had acquired 31 infield rifles, 10 were surrendered to then Mayor Florencio Oliva and 10 to Capt. Mariano B. Cabarrubia, P.C., so as to prevent the proposed zonification of the town and possible massacre of innocent children, women and the aged. The remaining arms are now in our possession, consisting mostly of native rifles (barogs and paltiks);

The Nasugbu Fil-Americans had a definite organization and maintained adequate records of its members. A roster of the organization had been prepared, assigning ranks to the members based upon their age, educational qualifications, experience and training. Before accepting an application for membership in the organization, a member was required to sign an oath of loyalty to the government of the U.S. and the Philippines. All of these records as appearing in the roster of the organization had been already submitted sometime in the month of December, 1945, by Mr. Longinos Desacola himself.

[p. 3]

It is noteworthy to mention in connection with the organization that our guerrilla units maintained their forces under the leadership of their recognized leaders, as Mr. Calixto Gasilao, Mr. Miguel David, EX. O., Mr. Longinos Desacola, and in the absence of the latter already being attached to the 11th Airborne Troops, by Mr. Juan M. Villegas, formerly Commander of the Third Battalion. Our guerrilla units, from the time of their organization, maintained peace and order in those places within their assigned jurisdiction. Disturbances and lawlessness were absent, and if there were disorders, they were isolated cases, and could be traced to family quarrels and minor misunderstandings among neighbors. Members of our guerrilla units who committed acts of violation of their solemn oath were properly punished by their superior officers.

As the terrain in our locality is mountainous, thus serving as a favorable hideout for guerrilla operations, our men most of the time stayed in the mountain fastness, leaving only a couple of their members in the lowland to maintain uninterrupted communications with the rest of the guerrilla units which were scattered thruout the province and adjoining vicinities. Those in the mountain fastness, by means of their mechanical contrivances, were able to maintain direct communication and contact with their guerrilla brothers, particularly with the guerrilla organizations in the neighboring island of Mindoro, which served as a submarine base for the American Navy.

Considering the arduous task of the members of our guerrilla organization, and their solemn oath of keeping their work with utmost secrecy, it was no wonder that during the whole period of their underground movements, they were out of their family abode, abandoning their families to be left at the mercy of Nature. At no time in the history of our guerrilla organization had it been dispersed or dissolved, notwithstanding the strict vigilance maintained by the Japanese forces and their zealous spies in our locality, thereby maintaining our continuous existence to the menace and worry of our common enemy. A number of these guerrillas were tortured, killed and even beheaded by these Japanese soldiers and their cohorts.

Our common desire in reiterating our position for recognition of our men, who in tears and sorrows shared with us during those hectic days of Japanese occupation, and particularly during the American landing operation in Nasugbu on Jan. 31, 1945, could not be overlooked by any sane and reasonable man. If, at times, there were conflicts of interests among leaders of the said organization, said misunderstandings were merely due to the passing clash of opinions, without any color or selfish individual ambition. It is due to the daring and untiring efforts and zeal of our men that made possible the early capture by the American forces of liberation of the southern part of the City of Manila.

Our common leadership is now estopped to deny the existence and the vested rights of these bona fide guerrillas of our organization, for we could not disregard our faithful men who fought side by side with us. To disregard them would be denying them the privileges, rights, and other prerogatives, which in law and in moral, they ought to be graced and favored.



[p. 4]

FOR THE FOREGOING consideration and in humbleness and humility, we hereby respectfully request that our petition for recognition of the remaining members of the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas be favorably considered, to grace us with the favors and official bounty which we justly deserve.

Respectfully submitted,



Yours very truly,



CAPT. CALIXTO GASILAO
ROTC Processed P.A.
Serial No. 0-45399

[Sgd.] MIGUEL DAVID
Colonel

MAJ. LONGINOS DESACOLA
11th Airborne Attached
(Processed P.A.)

[Sgd.] JUAN M. VILLEGAS
Lieut. Colonel

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Notes and references:
1 “1st Regiment, Nasugbu, Fait” File No. 110-52, downloaded from PVAO.

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