The Hunters/ROTC was a guerrilla group formed in 1942. Initially operating in Rizal Province, the group would also have a sizable presence in Batangas and would be instrumental in providing intelligence to the United States forces leading to the assault landing at Nasugbu on 31 January 1945.
More information about the group is available in this article → “Operations of the Hunters/ROTC Guerillas in Batangas Prior to the 1945 Nasugbu Landing in WWII.”
In the August 1944 document1 Hunters/ROTC Commander Terry Adevoso explains in a memo to the Commander-in-Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) the organization of his guerrilla group and also briefly gives accounts of other guerrilla groups operating in Southern Luzon, including, of course, Batangas Province. The document is edited her and there for grammar and spelling.
THE HUNTERS or R.O.T.C. GUERRILLAS
: A Brief Explanation of the ROTC Guerrillas System of Organization
: The Commander-in-Chief USA-SWPA
1. Units of the ROTC Guerrillas are always present in certain portions of the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Tayabas2, Batangas, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Southern Nueva Ecija and the City of Manila. Its intelligence net covers a far greater area. However, armed and unarmed units are heaviest in the first five named provinces which correspond roughly to [the] Southern Luzon Area of the 4th Military District.
2. For more efficient control and administration, Southern Luzon had been organized territorially as a 4th Military District.
3. The 4th Military District is divided into (a) An Interior Zone which contains part of the unexplored regions and the Pacific seaboard, and (b) a Theater of Operations which in turn is subdivided into a Communication Zone and a Combat Zone. The Theater of Operations composes majority of the occupied areas.
4. The ROTC Guerrillas General Headquarters is contained within the Interior Zone near the Pacific Coast. At present, the following officers are located in the Interior Zone:
b-Offices of the G-3 and G-4
c-Offices of the District Medical Officer, District Propaganda Officer, District Judge Advocate, Dist-Engineer, and Disbursing Officer.
d-Offices of the Dist. HQ Commandant and the Commander of the 44th FA (All riflemen and MG-men) who directly command the armed troops and Home Guard Units within the area.
5. Offices of the G-1 and G-2 are still situated within the Theater of Operations, and so with the other Administrative and Technical Offices.
6. The Theater of Operations, which contains the greater part of the occupied areas, is directly under the control of the 44th Division Commander. All the armed forces in the field are known as the 44th Division.
7. The 44th MD Theater of Operations is divided into three Sectors, each under a Sector Commander and who is at the same time Commander of the skeleton Infantry Regiment occupying and operating in that Sector.
8. Manila and Rizal combined is the FIRST SECTOR and is occupied by the 44th Infantry. Cavite and Batangas combined is the SECOND SECTOR and is occupied by the 45th Infantry (skeleton). The provinces of Tayabas and Laguna together are the THIRD SECTOR and the 46th Infantry operates within that sector.
9. Each Sector had been divided into Sub-Sectors or Battalion Areas under a skeleton Battalion Commander, and each subsector had been divided into Company areas, each company to contain a skeleton company of about twenty armed men.
10. Most of the towns and barrios of Southern Luzon have Home Guard organizations composed of the citizens of those places. These organizations act as a general warning system, a pool of reserves, and through them, food and other kinds of supplies are collected from the public and from members and then sent up to the guerrilla camps. A proportional part of these Home Guard organizations belong to the Hunters or ROTC Guerrillas. Each town controlled by the ROTC Guerrillas has a Town Commander.
11. ROTC Guerrilla Combat and/or Home Guard Units likewise ready for action on commencement of landing operations and area also present in other provinces outside the territory of the 4th MD, such as Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Abra and certain portions of the Ilocos, and Southern Nueva Ecija.
12. Other operating organizations operating within Southern Luzon are:
a-The Kalayaan Command under Maj. Bernard Anderson which units (unarmed or Home Guards) are present in [the] Mauban area, Tayabas area and then along the Pacific coast up to Infanta and possibly Baler.
b-The Fil-American Irregular Troops that fell into several pieces upon capture of Lt-Colonel Hugh Straughn. Actually, some units had joined the ROTC Guerrillas, others, the Kalayaan Command, some others, with the Marking’s Guerrillas, while some had remained independent.
c-The Hukbalahap which means HUKBO NG BAYAN LABAN SA HAPON or The People’s Army against the Japanese. It is led by Pedro Villegas, a former Labor Leader. This organization has some Socialistic tendencies. It is concentrated in Longos, Paete, Lumbang, Laguna Province and Sampaloc, Mauban, and [the] Tayabas vicinity of Tayabas Province.
d-The Marking’s Guerrillas led and organized by Marcus V. Agustin, a former chauffeur and allegedly an Armed Specialist with
the Motor Pool, USAFFE. This organization had taken root in the towns of Teresa, Morong, Baras, Tanay, Cardona, Binangonan, and to a certain degree, other Rizal towns. It has some units, too, in Laguna, Tayabas and, allegedly, Batangas. Its heaviest Home Guard enlistment is in the city of Manila.
t/ELEUTERIO L. ADEVOSO
2 Tayabas is presently the Province of “Quezon,” Wikipedia.