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December 30, 2017

Report on the Malvar Guerrilla Forces

The President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG) was a guerrilla organization that operated in Luzon, including Batangas, during the Japanese occupation. The organization had many units in Batangas Province, including the Municipality of Malvar. In this municipality, the unit was formed and commanded by one Wenceslao Cornejo. In this document1 is contained the investigative report of US Army personnel of the Malvar Guerrillas.

[p. 1]

Report on “Malvar Guerrilla Forces, PQOG”

1. Lt. Grant S. Wilcox and M/Sgt Sebastian G. Songsong proceeded to Malvar, Batangas, on 5 September 1946, to investigate the Malvar Guerrilla Forces, PQOG.

2. ALLEGED HISTORY: (See attached unit file.)

3. FINDINGS:

a. The following persons were interviewed and their statements are reflected in the findings:

UNIT MEMBERS

Lt. Col. Wenceslao L. Cornejo, Unit CO
Maj. Victor Malabanan, Unit Ex O
Capt. Alfredo Endaya
1st Lt. Pablo E. Reyes
1st Lt. Isidro Bardonado
2nd Lt. Tomas Miranda
2nd Lt. Vicente Miranda
T/Sgt Gregorio Lat
T/Sgt Raymundo Baldonado
2nd Lt. Tomas Torres
S/Sgt Juanario Custodio
S/Sgt Alipio Reyes
Sgt Seriano Lat
Sgt Estanislao Malabanan
Cpl. Benito Endaya
Cpl. Anselmo Saysa
Cpl. Mariano Lat
Pfc Norberto Platon
Pfc Roman Bulaklak
Pfc Dominador del Mundo
Pvt. Pedro Lintan
Pvt. Dominador Lat
Pvt. Severino Mangubus
Pvt. Francisco Latido
Pvt. Ceferino Garcia
Pvt. Ruperto Lingao
Pvt. Eugenio Malabanan

OTHERS:

Col. Vicente S. Umali, CO, PQOG Command
Col. Quintin S. Gellidon, FAIT, Overall Guerrilla Coordinator, 11 A.B. Div.

[p. 2]

Lt. Col. Phil. C. Avancena, CO, 25th Red Lion Div. PQOG
Lt. Col. Mariano S. Umali, G-4, Inspector General, PQOG
Lt. Col. Gavino Tolentino, CO, 25th Regt, 25th Div.
Miss Rufina Lucedo, Malvar, Batangas

b. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence. This organization, under the command of Lt. Col. (Grla rank) Wenceslao L. Cornejo, remained absolutely passive during the occupation. There is no supporting evidence presented to substantiate claims to have actively engaged in any form of guerrilla activity. The unit CO said that no rosters were ever made, no induction or promotion papers issued, and no service records ever kept. This unit never had any supply or financial problems since all the members lived at home and looked after their own subsistence.

c. This unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy. The unit never engaged in action against the Japanese. The reason given for this was “Once you harmed a Jap at that time, the whole town would be burned.” The only activity of the unit during the liberation was to evacuate the town from Malvar to Tagaytay Ridge with the rest of the civilians of the town. The unit had no attachment with the U.S. Army units during the liberation. Col. Quintin Gellidon, overall guerrilla cooordinator with the 11th AB Division, stated [that] the 11th AB Div. operated in the Malvar area yet never heard of this unit.

d. A definite organization was not established, members, when interviewed by the contact team, had to refer to a copy of the roster turned in with request for recognition when questioned as to their ranks or positions in the unit.

f. The unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization. If this unit ever existed, it was only as a homeguard unit in the strictest sense of the term.

g. The unit claims that the taking care of four American fliers as one of its activities. The date the Americans were taken in is about six months prior to the date which the unit claims to have organized and started activities.

[p. 3]

Upon questioning the unit as to the aid given the four American fliers, it was admitted that after caring for the fliers for about six months, the unit persuaded the Americans to give themselves up to the Japanese. There was too much danger of the Japanese discovering the Americans hiding in Malvar, so the leaders of this unit decided that they could not hide the Americans any longer and urged them to give themselves to the Japs. This they did after the leaders of the unit arranged for them to do so.

h. Despite the claims in the alleged history that the unit has letters and testimony of their accomplishments and sacrifices, the unit could not produce a single piece of evidence. In the alleged history, the unit also claims to have mined the streets and to have blown up Japanese trucks, waylaid Japanese soldiers and to have caused havoc and chaos with the Japanese Army. However, the officers and enlisted men of the unit did not make any such claims during the interview when questioned about such activities.

i. This unit is not a PQOG unit. There are some PQOG men in Malvar, but they are members of the Red Lion Division, PQOG, of which this unit is not a part. Lt Col Phil C. Avancena, CO of the Red Lion Division, asserted that the unit is wholly fraud [fradulent]. Col. Vicente S. Umali, CO of the PQOG Command, stated that the PQOG had some men in Malvar under the Red Lion Division and that the Malvar Guerrilla Forces was not a PQOG unit. The unit leaders explained that they used PQOG as part of the unit’s name because they had planned to join the PQOG Command in 1943, but because the unit did not get arms and money from the PQOG, they did not join up. However, they continued to use PQOG as part of the unit’s name.

j. No useful purpose will be served by further investigation of this unit. All worthy members have been recognized and a separate casualty roster has been submitted.

4. POLITICAL ASPECTS:
This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

5. RECOMMENDATION:
It is recommended that the Malvar Guerrilla Forces PQOG be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] SEBASTIAN G. SONGSONG
M/Sgt, Infantry (PA))
[Sgd.] GRANT S. WILCOX
2nd Lt. Infantry


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Notes and references:

1 “Malvar Grla Forces, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-27, downloaded from PVAO.


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