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December 30, 2017

A Chronological History of Guerrilla Activities, Maculot Battalion

The Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) was a large guerrilla organization formed by the retired American officer Hugh Straughn. It had many units operating around Luzon, including Batangas. Among this was the Maculot Battalion which operated in the town of Cuenca, Batangas. The unit was among those that were officially recognized as elements of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Western Pacific during World War II. In this document1, a brief history of the Maculot Battalion was provided in chronological order as a requirement for the guerrilla outfit’s application for official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces.

[p. 1]

MACULOT BATTALION
Cuenca, Batangas

CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF GUERRILLA ACTIVITIES

When the war broke out in the Pacific on December 8, 1941, I evacuated my family from Batangas, Batangas to Barrio Palyukan, Batangas, Batangas. After [a] few weeks of stay here, I transferred to [the] Barrio of San Nicolas, Taal, Batangas. When the Japanese occupied Batangas province, I evacuated to Bayoyongan, Talisay, Batangas, on the northern shores of Lake Taal. While in Barrio Bayoyongan, after the fall of Bataan in April 1942, I contacted four American Army Officers whom I had the opportunity to take care of. These Americans were Capt. WM. FARREL, Capt. PAUL GREGORY, Lt. ROBERT KRAMER and Lt. EUGENE GEORGENSEN. It came to the knowledge of the Japanese Military Police in Lipa, Batangas that I had under my care the above-named American Officers who escaped from Bataan in April, 1942, for which reason I was investigated by the Japanese Military Police. Since then, I was suspected of engaging in guerrilla activities.

From Bayoyongan, I returned to my hometown (Cuenca, Batangas) during the latter part of April, 1942, and started organizing the Maculot Regiment, now officially recognized as the Maculot Battalion.

May 1, 1941-October 20, 1942Period of Organization: During this period, the activities of this guerrilla unit were confined to the recruiting of officers and men to handle the different work of a military organization. Col. Pasia was assisted during this period of organization by Majors Eugeniano P. la Rosa, Juan Cuevas (now deceased), Alfredo Silva and Captain Fernando Cuevas (now deceased) and Pedro Alday (now deceased). From a handful of men, this organization grew into a full Philippine Army Regiment of four battalions covering an area under the jurisdiction of the municipalities of Mataas-na-Kahoy, Cuenca, Alitagtag, part of Lipa, part of San Jose, part of Bauan, and part of Taal. The strength of the unit reached a total of 3,550 officers and men at the time of the American landing on Leyte on October 1944.

October 20, 1942-May 31, 1943 – Having felt the superiority of the military power of the enemy and seeing the need for a trained and well-disciplined guerrilla army, it was decided by the staff officers of the Maculot Regiment to set aside this period for the training of officers and enlisted men. A group of instructors, therefore, was organized, which was composed of men with previous military training, such as Majors Francisco Aguila; Godofredo M. Briones; Captains Federico Remo (now deceased); Pedro Alday (now deceased); Jaime la Rosa; Lt. Jorge Marasigan, Pedro L. Larcia and Sgt. Francisco del Mundo (now deceased). Training was carried on in guerrilla camps established in the barrios of Ibabao, Municipality of Cuenca; Sitio Calumayin, Barrio of Dita, Municipality of Cuenca; Barrio of Nangkaan, Municipality of Mataas-na-Kahoy and Barrio of San Mariano, Municipality of Bauan.

[The] Training of officers and men included courses in military discipline and courtesy, close order and extended order drills, marksmanship, propaganda, intelligence, sabotage, and allied courses.

[p. 2]

July 1, 1943-February, 1945 – During this period, the activities of this outfit consisted of the following:

(a) Maintenance of peace and order within sector;
(b) Counter-propaganda to keep the morale of the people;’
(c) Gathering of firearms, ammunition and supplies for the unit;
(d) Intelligence activities to secure vital information regarding enemy positions and military installations, movements and actual strength of the enemy;
(e) Sending out emissaries to contact different guerrilla leaders in Batangas province and the neighboring provinces for coordination of activities and mutual understanding. In the year 1943, Lt. Abdon Marasigan was sent to Mindoro to contact the Mindoro Unit which was affiliated with the Panay Guerrillas. Also in the year 1943, Major Eugeniano P. la Rosa was sent to Tiaong, Tayabas to contact President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas. In the latter part of 1943, the staff officers of the Maculot Regiment held a conference in Alitagtag, Batangas with Colonel Jorge Espina of the Fil-American Guerrillas of Eastern Batangas. About the middle of 1944, a conference of guerrilla leaders of Batangas was held in Pulo Island, in which conference Col. Galicano Luansing, Jr. of Rosario, Batangas, Major Laraya of Tanauan, Colonel Amando Laurel of Talisay, and Colonels Luis Licopa and Felomino Gagalac of Western Batangas were present for the purpose of unifying and coordinating plans of operations on the arrival of the U. S. liberating forces;
(f) Keeping strict vigilance against undesirable elements who were taking advantage of the chaos and confusion then existing, adding injury to misery to the peaceful citizens;
(g) In October 1944, Lt. McConnel, aerial photographer of the U. S. Army, who was forced down in Puting Cahoy, Rosario, Batangas and brought to Guinintingan by guerrillas under Col. Galicano Luansing Jr. (Alias Col. Butong). This American Officer was later sent to Subic, thence to Mindoro by sailboat from Lemery.
(h) Sabotage consisting of the destruction of enemy communication lines, supplies and equipment. In February 1945, a group of 100 men under the command of Capt. Natalio Bathan and Gelacio Ocampo entered the Mataas-na-Kahoy Airstrip of the Japanese and destroyed approximately 100 drums of gasoline and set fire on the Japanese planes. Part also of the sabotage work of this outfit consisted of the systematic killing of cotton plants from which the enemy expected to produce large quantities of cotton for military use.
(i) On February 1, 1945, the Maculot Regiment assumed the responsibility of evacuating the civilians of Lipa bordering Taal Lake, Mataas-na-Kahoy, part of San Jose, Cuenca, and Alitagtag to Pulo Island. This activity lasted up to March 9, 1945, during which period around 40,000 people were evacuated to the said island.

From Sept. 1944 to Feb. 12, 1945, Regimental Headquarters of this Guerrilla outfit was located at Calumayin, a sitio of Barrio Dita, Cuenca, Batangas, along the shore of Lake Taal, where the trying moments in the life of this organization was experienced by the staff and men.



[p. 3]

Feb. 5, 1945-March 9, 1945 – Upon advice of Major Vanderpool, in-charge of different guerrilla outfits, who was then in Nasugbu, as per information by our intelligence service, evacuation of all people living along the shore of Lake Taal stretching up to the towns of Cuenca, Alitagtag, Lipa and Mataas-na-Kahoy was done by sailboats, day and night under the direct supervision and control of this organization. During the intervening period of the above-mentioned dates, sanitation, peace and order were maintained in the evacuation center in Polo Island.

March 1, 1945: Col. Pedro Pasia visited Major Vanderpool for a conference, given audience March 5, 1945 in Parañaque. Endorsed to Capt. Schommer, 2nd in command of all Guerrilla forces, who was then in Tagaytay, Major Schommer outlined the activities to be pursued by this organization in writing, giving emphasis to intelligence work with sketches for the guerrilla headquarters at Tagaytay.

March 7, 1945: Reports received that American soldiers had already occupied Alitagtag. Arriving thereat, no audience could be had from Col. Shoemaker, American Commander of the 158th Infantry being busy, so we quartered ourselves in barrio Calumpit one kilometer to the northeast of poblacion. Col. Pedro Pasia and his men hoisted the Filipino and American flags in Alitagtag.

March 10, 1945: 5:30 A.M. Encountered with Japs 40 to 50 in number at barrio Calumpit, Alitagtag, Batangas. Casualties on our side: 2 dead and 2 wounded. Casualties on Jap side: 10 dead, several wounded. On this day, formal attachment to the 158th Infantry was effected.

March 12, 1945: 11:00 A.M. Encountered with the Japs more or less 100 in number at sitio Pulong Matanda. Casualties on our side: 1 wounded. Enemy casualties: 20 Japs killed, several paraphernalia and ammunition confiscated.

March 15, 1945: Scouting and patrolling with American soldiers in difficult points of Cuenca Area.

March 16, 1945: Out patrol for Bungahan with American soldiers, killed 7 Japs, no casualties on our side.

March 17, 1945: Scouting and patrolling, no Jap seen.

March 18, 1945: Our men with 5 jeeps of American soldiers killed 4 Japs in [the] Cuenca Area. No casualties on our side.

March 19, 1945: - to March 21, 1945: Scouting and patrolling, no encounter.

March 20, 1945: With the 158th Inf., we occupied Cuenca. We were advised to be back in Alitagtag.

March 22, 1945: Encountered Japs at Pulong Gubat, killed 2 Japs and 1 wounded. Casualties on our side: 1 dead. Returned with the whole force. After proper connection with Col. Kane, Commanding the 756 Artillery, and Major Lewis [blurred, not sure], Commanding a Battalion of the 11th Airborne Division, we helped and cooperated with the American forces in liberating the town of Cuenca and adjacent localities around the Maculot mountain area by furnishing them with intelligence reports and sketches showing possible enemy positions and hideouts and by fighting side by side with them to liquidate the enemy.

March 25, 1945: Encounter with the Japs at Mambog [not sure, first letter blurred], Cuenca, where one of my men was killed, with some men of the 11th Airborne.

March 24, 1945: Scouting and patrolling continued with minor encounters with Japs.

[p. 4]

April 1, 1945: Encountered Japs at Barrio Ibabao, Cuenca, Batangas. No casualties on our side. Enemy casualties: 3 dead, 5 wounded and confiscated 2 rifles, 1 officer’s sword and other paraphernalia.

April 3, 1945: All Americans left Cuenca, Major Schommer gave this organization the responsibility of providing protection to the civilian populace and the mopping operation to liquidate the enemy in the Maculot mountain sector.

April 4 to 5 1945: Patrols sent to the different points within the sector but no Japs were seen.

April 6, 1945: Patrol to Tio-Maculot mountain, encountered 1 Jap, able to kill. No casualties on our side. A patrol to Nangkaan, killed also 1 Jap. No casualties on our side.

April 7, 1945: One of our men ambushed.

April 9, 1945: Patrol to Dita, killed one Jap. A permanent outpost station of Dita and Ibabao, 1 platoon with proper order.

April 15, 1945: Patrolling, guarding, scouting done. No enemy activities.

April 16, 1945: Japs from the mountain came down, met by the guerrilla forces, at 5:00 A.M., heavy exchange of shots ensued. Casualties on our side: 1 killed. Civilian casualties: 4 killed and 2 wounded. Enemy casualties: 1 killed.

April 18, 1945: 1 Jap killed by our patrol at Sitio Simon.

April 19, 1945: - to May 6, 1945: Scouting, patrolling, drilling and intelligence work. Looking for subsistence, guarding and guiding American forces and others.

May 7, 1945: A patrol of 9 men with 2 American soldiers encountered a contingent number of Japs at Sungay. No casualties on our side. Enemy casualties: 6 killed.

May 8, 1945: Guarding day and night, scouting and patrolling to different points of Mount Maculot, drilling, lectures, etc.

May 13, 1945: One patrol of our unit sent with American soldiers encountered a contingent number of Japs at Katunggalan, Mt. Maculot. Casualties on our side: 1 wounded. Enemy casualties: 2 dead.

May 14, 1945 to June 6, 1945: Guarding day and night, scouting and patrolling at different points, several encounters, no casualties.

June 7, 1945: Encounter with the Japs that came down from the mountains, Japs retreated. No casualties on both sides.

June 8, 1945: Japs encountered at Nangkaan with the civilians as per reports. Our men went to rescue. Civilian casualties: 3 dead, 6 wounded.

June 9, 1945: Military training, scouting and patrolling to different points of the Maculot Mt., guarding, intelligence work and guiding Americans going to the mountain with minor encounters.

June 10 to 20, 1945: Scouting and patrolling continued with minor encounters.

June 21, 1945: Encountered with Japs, scouting patrol, met 4 Japs at sitio Tilos, Maculot Mt., fighting ensued. 2 Japs killed and 2 wounded. No casualties on our side.

June 22 to 25, 1945: Same as usual, scouting, etc., with minor shooting.

June 25, 1945: Encountered with Japs at Mt. Maculot, against 4 Japs 2 killed and 2 wounded. No casualties on our side.



[p. 5]

June 27 to August 10, 1945: Scouting and patrolling, guarding, intelligence work, etc. Guiding American soldiers going to the Maculot Mountain, military training, etc., minor encounters with the enemy.

August 23, 1945: A patrol unit had an encounter with the Japs at Sitio Tilos on the side of the mountain facing Lake Taal with the following results: Enemy casualties: 4 dead. No casualty on our side.

August 24 to Sept. 18, 1945: Scouting, patrolling, mopping operations continued with minor encounters. Within this period, arrangements were made with Capt. Philip J. Lawrence for the peaceful surrender of the Japs in the Maculot Mountain area. The undersigned suggested that the best thing to do in order to convince the Japanese stragglers in the Maculot Mountain area to surrender to Japanese ranking war officers with a knowledge of the locations of the Japanese in the mountain should be let loose for two days with definite instructions to return within the given time with the Japanese stragglers. The suggestion was well-taken and on the 19th of September 1945, the surrender of 242 Japanese soldiers, some haggard and sick, was peacefully effected.

Sept. 19, 1945: With approximately 150 of my men, I witnessed the surrender of the Japs.

Sept. 20 to 25, 1945: Combing of the whole mountain area to look for remnants of the Japanese and to verify murders of Filipino civilian prisoners. Evidences of human slaughter were found on the very top of Maculot Mt., where the Japanese concentrated themselves during the last 2 months before the surrender.

(SGD) PEDRO PASIA
Lt. Colonel
ASN-0-48337

CERTIFIED TRUE COPY
OF ORIGINAL


[Sgd.] PEDRO PASIA
Lt. Colonel
ASN-0-48337

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Notes and references:
1 MACULOT BATTALION FAIT, File No. 110-67, downloaded from PVAO.

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