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December 31, 2017

Letter of President Manuel L. Quezon to Vicente Umali of the PQOG

The President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG) was a guerrilla organization which fought the Japanese in World War II. The guerrilla outfit was among those that operated in Southern Luzon, including Batangas. It had many units in the province, one of which was in the eastern Batangas town of San Juan. In this August 1944 document1, PQOG Commanding Officer Vicente Umali publishes a letter ostensibly from Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon directly sent to him.



[p. 1]

PRESIDENT QUEZON’S OWN GUERILLAS
ADVISED BY COL. WENDELL W. FERTIG (0254976)
LUZON, FREE PHILIPPINES

AUGUST 19, 1944

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The hour has come! The People must know! The Philippine Underground must now ACT!

The hand of Redemption knocks! Freedom, denied us by Destiny for more than two years now, is on the march back. Clear the way for Liberty and Justice!

The truth must out, the banner to which you should rally must be unfurled, a call to which you should respond must be rung out, the true force of Filipino participation in the Re-conquest of Luzon must be made known. Therefore, we are herewith publishing an “AD VERBATIM” copy of a letter sent by the undersigned by our late President Manuel L. Quezon in his own personal handwriting, the original of which may be seen at any time by any sincere comrade at the General Headquarters of the PQOG.

VICENTE S. UMALI
Colonel, PQOG

(President Quezon’s Letter)

Miami Beach, Fla.
January 28, 1944

To Colonel VICENTE S. UMALI
Commanding Officer, PQOG

My Dear Colonel:

I must say that the Filipino people are offering a resistance to the invader that will go down in history as one of the great epics of human fight for freedom. I am sorry that it has been impossible to secure more help for an early re-conquest of the Philippines. When I arrived in this country, I found the whole strategy of this war has already been decided, and that neither the appeal of General MacArthur nor mine could change the plans that had already been agreed upon between the combined Chiefs-of-Staff and approved by their respective governments.

I have, however, secured a de facto recognition of our nation as possessed of the attributes of sovereignty in the Congress is now considering a measure for the economic rehabilitation of the Philippines, and now our future trade relations with the United States after the war. It is my belief that the losses suffered by the Government of the Philippines, as well as our people, including the losses suffered by the poor, will be repaired by the United States, that is to say, an appropriation will be made by Congress for the purpose of making these reparations. Of course, independence in 1946 or before is sure.

I have been sick in bed since last June, but I am attending to my duties. In fact, I have not been well at all since I left Manila for Corregidor. As you know, I was not well when the war started. I was only a few days in Corregidor when the President of the United States wanted me to come here, but I declined, preferring to be with our people. As a matter of fact, I did not even want to go with General MacArthur to Corregidor. I wanted to stay in Manila and go to the hills when the Japanese captured the city, and remain there till I was killed or captured; but General MacArthur insisted that I should go with him and since the Cabinet was of the same opinion, I did. Later, I went to the South, and I only left the Visayan Islands when General MacArthur asked me to follow him to Australia in the belief that we were soon returning to reconquer the Islands. When I arrived in Australia, I saw there were no preparations for the immediate reconquest of the Philippines; but as I stated before, there was nothing I could do in this respect.

Take courage, keep the faith of the people in the final victory which is certain to come, and I honestly believe it will not now be too long delayed. The Government of the Commonwealth certainly will give special recognition to the guerrillas as well as to the civil officials and the people who have helped the guerrillas in this fight.



God bless you, and go on with the fight.

Manuel L. Quezon
President of the Philippines

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Notes and references:
1 “1ST BN, SAN JUAN REGT., I CORPS, PQOG,” File No. 271-21, downloaded from PVAO.

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