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January 1, 2018

Lt. Max Brabson’s Comments on the Major Phillips Unit, October 1946

The Major Phillips Unit was a guerrilla unit that was founded and operated in or around western Batangas town of Calatagan. It was commanded by one Emilio Macabuag and took its name from a United States Army intelligence officer from whom the guerrilla outfit took directions until the latter was caught and killed by the Japanese. In this document1, one 2nd Lt. Max Brabson, and investigating officer assigned to find out more about the Major Phillips Unit, wrote some very scathing comments about Macabuag and the guerrilla outfit.



[p. 1]

25 October 1946

COMMENTS CONCERNING “MAJOR PHILLIPS UNIT”

This unit has nothing but claims. There is absolutely no evidence presented to the contact team pertaining to guerrilla activities. A battered radio tube, supposedly sent to Calatagan by Maj Phillips, was the principal item of evidence. The tube could have been picked up in any trash heap. In this area, there is no evidence of guerrilla activities either during the occupation or liberation except the security furnished a radio sent in by the Advance Party, GHQ, SWPA, and this security is claimed by all guerrillas in the immediate area.

In the town of Calatagan, there is Col Jacob Zobel’s Unit which is comprised of approximately 565 members, of which majority of Macabuag’s men are also carried on the roster. Neither unit has any evidence of operations.

It is believed that Commander George Rowe will change his recommendation (See T4R) regarding the security of his radio from Macabuag’s unit to that of Zobel’s because of social, business and political pressure. Col Zobel is senior military aide to President Roxas.

The Maj Phillips Unit was disapproved by Hq AFWESPAC, per recommendation from 8th Army Headquarters because in their opinion, [the] Maj Phillips Unit did not warrant recognition, before it was contacted by the Guerrilla Affairs contact team. The executive officer with two officers and 8 enlisted men were recognized with the Rainbow Unit of Balayan, Batangas.

The Commanding Officer, Emilio Macabuag, is an illiterate, overbearing person who tried to bully his opinions and requests across to the investigating officer. The executive officer, Hernandez, is a school teacher and is responsible for all the correspondences regarding the unit. Hernandez is from Balayan where a unit was recently granted reconsideration, so eveidenly, he came to the conclusion that his orations would certainly bring reconsideration.

[Sgd.] MAX L. BRABSON
2nd Lt., Inf. 0-1338786
Contact Team #8



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Notes and references:
1 “MAJOR PHILLIPPS UNIT,” File No. 83, downloaded from PVAO.

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