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January 5, 2018

Memo, Hunters ROTC COM to US Captain, Including Area Overlaps in Batangas

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 document1 Hunters/ROTC Commander Terry Adevoso writes to US Army Captain Bernard Anderson about various concerns such as tension between guerrilla groups and the overlap of operational territories, including Batangas. This transcription includes edits here and there for grammar, punctuation and spelling.

[p. 1]

UNITED STATES FORCES IN THE PHILIPPINES
HQ: THE HUNTERS or ROTC GUERRILLAS
4th Military District

10 July 1944

Subject: Various Matters
To: Bernard Anderson (Capt. USA)

1. Some months ago, I received your messages coursed through our then Capt. Nera. I appreciate very much your offer for the use of your kangaroo. We thank you for your generosity and we wish that we could extend to you the same kindness.

2. Perhaps you will be surprised to receive a note of acknowledgement just now. The truth is that I had sent you one message some time ago last April or early May, which unfortunately was lost together with our loss of Capt. Nera (RIP).

3. Now, deciding that the time has come for the two of us to be in close contact with each other even through this means, I am now inaugurating the to-be regular mail system between your Headquarters and this CP2, I really believe that we should know more about our respective problems, our progress that we may more closely coordinate with each other. The time has come when a close system of communication should exist between us if coordination is to be effected. For your information, you may send all your messages for this Headquarters through the 46th Inf CP (Hunters) through its Commander, Lt-Col Vic Mohadan, who in turn will be responsible for the sending of the same to the 44th Divisional CP, and then to this Headquarters. This same thing, I am inaugurating with all other units fighting for the same cause. Thus through this, there shall be effected among our respective [missing word], a greater degree of camaraderie, cooperation mutually that we may all be the more closely welded together. It seems to me that the remote causes of all the feuds among guerrilla organizations which is true in all parts of the Philippines, not excluding the recognized Military District is that our respective men had not been given the chance to know each other and get friendly with each other. If only all guerrillas, irrespective of organization, are closely in touch with each other, then the X leaders will hesitate twice to throw their respective men into mortal combat… for doing so, friends will be made to fight against friends… and there will be no feud after all, for it takes to enemies to make a fight.

4. Marking had proposed peace after he had so treacherously disarmed our men whom he cunningly invited into a conference, after so many lives, especially on his part, had been lost, and after he had come



[p. 2]

to the bitter conclusion that the Hunters could not be destroyed… For oddly enough, this organization has emerged bigger and stronger out of the feud. I should thank the God Almighty for having given me such loyal personal friends who became so wonderful, loyal officers of the outfit who had a keen sense for the Right and Just and who had been spurred to greater efforts to defend our rights to exist, live, and fight for our country and the cause of the democracies.

5. Kangaroo: I am glad to hear from you that your Kangaroo is already working. Ours was supposed to be working already since last June 10 but due to the enemy pressure against [us] in the town, we were forced to take the whole setup to the mountains. We used the Meralco electric power at first, and operated the set right inside the town. That was, however, a costly risk. Hence, we were forced to utilize that which nature had provided us to derive electric power from. We had been furnished all the code etc to enable us to contact the relaying station to Aust.

6. Studying the whole Southern Luzon Theater of Operations, we cannot avoid noticing that there has been so much overlapping of guerrilla territories. Your units are there with the Hukbalahaps and ours. Umali’s units are in Batangas mixed with ours, too. The various Caballas units are in Cavite with ours, too. And Marking’s and Hunters are in Rizal. Something must be done about this. One is the promotion of closer and closer liaison jobs between them. Eventually, I think, this whole area will have to be organized into a 4th MD just like the 6th and the 7th and the 10th. The 3rd MD, and so with the 2nd and the 1st, should also be organized as soon as possible. What we need now is a regular army officer of sufficient prominence and rank to come up to the mountains and assume command of Luzon. Then, he can direct the reorganization of the whole island into a group of Military Districts just like the old days.

For your info, the following are the principal officers of this outfit with whom you may at one time or the other be in contact, or happen to contact. I would like a similar list of your officers as a step to closer liaison work.

Commander, 44th Division (All the Hunters Armed Forces)… Lt-Col. Johnnie San Juan, Class ’44 PMA
Commander, 44th Infantry… Maj. Jose Montefalcon Cls ’44 PMA
Commander, 45th Infantry… Maj. Juanito del Pilar, Cls ’44 PMA
Commander, 46th Infantry… Lt-Col Vic Mohaden, ROTC
Commander, 44th Impvsed FA… Lt-Col Emmanuel Ocampo, ROTC
Commander, 44th Engineers… Lt-Col Remy Gozon,ROTC
(Most likely, you will come in contact with Lt-Col Mohaden and Ocampo most of the time.)

[p. 3]

7. The way the allied forces are closing up towards us must make us all work the more work faster. There seems to be much to be done in so short a time. How I wish everything will be on the ready for reception by the time landing operations begin. Of course, the word reception is too mild and too pleasant a word for the actual thing. There is yet much tears, blood, sweat, and toils to be shed before Victory shall be achieved. Yet, that one Victory alone, which really means the restoration of the way of life we had come to like and love, is more than enough to compensate for all these sacrifices. On one hand, it is a sacrifice… to look back at the dear folks that we had left behind who are being given too much discomfort by the enemy. But, on the other hand, don’t you think it is a pleasure to work for, and to serve one’s native land? To work for, and if necessary die for, a great principle? Actually, we find it a pleasure to learn different kinds of people, preach what we wanted practiced, to roam in the mountains communing with God’s nature. It will just be a matter of time now…

8. Well, I hope this message will serve as the beginner for a closer relationship between our respective organizations. I am writing also to all other guerrilla leaders whom I know that may come the time when all of us are truly one in soul, one in principle, and one in spirit.

s/Terry Magtanggol3
t/TERRY MAGTANGGOL PMA ‘44
Commanding Officer

N.B. Our 44th Div. C of S, Lt-Col Narciso Pia Villa or Tereso Pia formerly of the Jose Rizal College in civil life extends greetings to one he knows there in your Headquarters, I forgot only the name.

GREETINGS TO YOU ALL TOO!

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Notes and references:
1 Box 246, Entry 1087, Philippine Archive Collection, Record Group 407, (US) National Archives. Online at the Philippine Veterans Association Office.
2 CP likely means “command post,” The Free Dictionary.
3 Magtanggol was a nom de guerre used by Eleuterio “Terry” Adevoso, Commander of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas. “Terry Adevoso,” Wikipedia.

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