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December 30, 2017

Investigative Report on the Cuenca Volunteers, June 1946

The Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) was a large guerrilla organization that operated in the island of Luzon, including several towns in Batangas, during the Japanese occupation of the Philippine Islands up to the country’s revolution. It had a unit in the town of Cuenca which would, however, not gain official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Army of the United States of America. In this document1, one Lt. George Bond filed an investigative report on the Cuenca Volunteers. [p. 1]
C O N F I D E N T I A L

HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3 Guerrilla Affairs Branch

APO 707
28 JUNE 1946

REPORT ON THE “CUENCA VOLUNTEERS”

In accordance with the verbal instructions from Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant George R. Bond proceeded to Cuenca, Batangas to contact the “Cuenca Volunteers,” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the investigation and the basis for the recommendations>

H I S T O R Y

In Cuenca, Batangas, May 1942, Rafael C. Loria formed the “Cuenca Volunteers.” The unit consisted of 220 officers and men. The rest of 1942 was spent in the organization of the subject unit. In December 1942, it became affiliated iwth the “Straughn’s Fil-Americans.” In May 1943, this unit coordinated with the Macu Regiment whose headquarters were Cuenca.

The primary activity of this unit was the dissemination of war news, and the protection of the civilian from the lawless bands that tried to rob and intimidate the people. Due to the presence of the Japanese, the activities of the unit were limited to the gathering of intelligence information for the coming of the Americans.

When the Americans landed in Nasugbu, Batangas, this unit forwarded to the Americans intelligence information regarding the Japanese positions in Cuenca. When the Japanese began to burn the town, this unit led the civilians to safety and protected them from lost Japanese patrols and stragglers. Members of the unit were used by the American forces in the mopping up operations of Mt. Macolod. They were used as guides, guards and laborers.

Sixty members of this unit have already been recognized in the Esguerra regiment, Manulik Division. This unit was disbanded in September 1945.

F I N D I N G S

The following named persons are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings:
1. Rafael C Loria – Major, Commanding Officer of the subject unit
2. Agustin Hoseña – Capt., Executive Officer of the subject unit
3. Nicolas Atienza – 1st Lt., Ass. Exe. Off. of the subject unit
4. Jose H. Endaya – Capt., Company commander of the subject unit
5. Pacifico Marasigan – 1st Lt., in the subject unit

[p. 2]

6. Apolinar Marasigan – 2d Lt., in the the subject unit
7. Zoilo Cuevas – 2d Lt., in the subject unit
8. Manuel Loria – 2d Lt., in the subject unit
9. Froilan Aguila – Sgt., in the subject unit
10. Andres Montero – Sgt., in the subject unit
11. Miguel Maulion – 1st Sgt., in the subject unit
12. Buenaventura Endaya – Sgt., in the subject unit
13. Domingo Loredo – Capt., in the subject unit
14. Pedro Pasia – Civilian (formerly of the Macu Regt.)
15. Francisco Pasia – Civilian (formerly of the Macu Regt.)
16. Luis Umali – Civilian (formerly of the Macu Regt.)
17. Dalmacio Torres – Civilian (formerly of the Macu Regt.)

Upon investigation of the subject unit, it was learned from the commanding officer of the Macu Regiment of Cuenca, Batangas that no such unit known as the Cuenca Volunters ever existed in Cuenca before the Americans landed, and he believed that the submission of this subject unit was that the commanding officer of the “Cuenca Volunteers” was formerly a member of the Macu Regiment, but in order to be recognized as a guerrilla, he would have to drop one rank, presumably from Major to Captain. Not desiring to do this, Loria, it was stated, formed his own unit in 1945.

It was also learned that the unit has already had sixty of its members recognized in the Esguerra Regiment, Manulik Division, whose zone of operation was Manila. The commanding officer of [the] subject unit has been recognized in the aforementioned unit. When asked how his members could be recognized in another unit that was more than one hundred kilometers away, he could not explain.

Upon comparison of the roster of the “Cuenca Volunteers” with the roster of the Macu Regiment, known as the 5th Bn., Folsom’s Fil-Americans, it was found that 16 members of the “Cuenca Volunteers” were found on the roster of the other guerrilla unit, which eight members have been processed and recognized.

The unit had ten rifles, one rifle for ten men, which does not appear to make them an effective military unit. The unit had no encounters with the Japanese before the Americans landed, and their activities previous to that time were limited to those of individual initiative on the part of a few of the leaders. It was stated that the primary activity of the unit was the protection of the civilian population from bandits, and the boosting of morale, which is considered a home guard activity. Small scale sabotage was carried on such as cutting of communication lines, and the placing of tacks on the highway to cause the breaking down of vehicles. It was stated that the unit was always training their men in the handling of weapons in preparation for the coming of the Americans. Some intelligence work was done and forwarded to the American units when they landed in Nasugbu; this activity was carried on by eight members of the organization only.

When the Americans reached the town of Cuenca, and the Japanese began to burn the town, the unit claims to have led the people to

[p. 3]

safety and protected them from Japanese stragglers. When the Americans reached Mt. Maculod, the unit claims to have furnished them guides and laborers but they have no supporting papers. The only American unit that is mentioned in their history used them for a period of two days. The unit claims that they guarded the town until the Japanese surrendered at Mt. Maculod.

The unit was not able to present any supporting papers, and it appears from the statements made that the unit was primarily a home guard unit established upon the landing of the American forces.

POLITICAL ASPECTS

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the statements made by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that with the exception of those members previously recognized, the “Cuenca Volunteers” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] GEORGE R. BOND 2d Lt., Inf., 0-1339838 Contact Team “1”.


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Notes and references:

1 “CUENCA VOLUNTEERS-FAIT” File No. 110-50, downloaded from PVAO.

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